In the community we live in today, dementia has affected millions of people around the world. According to the World Health Organization, Dementia is a syndrome, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and ability to perform everyday activities. Speaking of global statistics, there are 47.5 million people worldwide who are living with dementia and this number is projected to increase as time goes by. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which has affected 44 million people globally and only 1 in 4 people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed.
Did You Know?
According to a global research, across all regions of the world, dementia disproportionately affects women. Women are more at risk of developing dementia and the symptoms they live with are more severe compared to men. Given this, it’s no wonder why more women are living with this cruel disease.
When women reach the age of 65, dominantly, they are more likely to have this disease, but it can also affect younger people. And when the time comes, dementia hits women really hard which leads to physical suffering and emotional stress and job losses in the process. In fact, in Britain, this disease has been one of the leading causes of death in women. Aside from that, scientists revealed that for some time that the genes we inherit from our parents can affect whether or not we will develop certain diseases. In the case of dementia, some rare causes are very clearly inherited, for example, Huntington’s disease, but not all.
Reading through all these facts and statistics can make us all think of the people around us, especially the elders who are most likely to acquire this disease as they age. Even at their age and physical incapability, still, we should consider them as relevant members of the community. People affected with dementia deserve a friendly environment wherein they can be with everyone else without discrimination and unlikely treatment. It is everyone’s commitment to the community to help people with dementia live with dignity and to remain as connected to their communities for as long as possible. Here are helpful ideas on how to build a dementia-friendly environment.
Create an Open and Inclusive Environment
According to Bauer 2006, organizations and management practices can limit or assist staff–family relationships. In connection to this, in order to create a dementia-friendly environment, we should all work with one another, act as a family and help create an inclusive place. We should open all possible communications and reach out to them. Let them share their experiences and become part of an active community.
Encourage Family involvements
Family members of those people who have dementia are highly encouraged to take part in creating this environment. Family participation in the care and wellbeing of a person with dementia should be supported rather than limited. There should be a cooperation between them, the community and the person with dementia. The family should provide support as for them not to feel different as well as give information and exchange conversations. Not only that, delivering a befriending service that includes practical support to ensure people with dementia can engage in community life as well as offering emotional support.
Have valued settings of a home-like environment
Shape communities around the needs and aspirations of people living with dementia alongside the views of their caregivers. As much as possible, we should build a setting where these people can feel that they are part of a family rather than a stranger or an indifferent person. There should be an offer of organized activities that are specific and appropriate to the needs of people with dementia.
Connect With The Community
If you are eager to pursue the change, there should be a clear and ongoing communication both within the team and the general community. According to Kotter, without credible communication, and lots of it, the hearts and minds of the troops are never captured. It means that there’s no point in having a vision if no one else shares the same thought as you have. Communicate the vision with the rest of the people in the community in order to achieve your goal of a dementia-friendly environment.
Conduct Activity Programs For Dementia Patients
Given that other person especially elders have diagnosed with dementia, it should not be a hindrance for them to be left out in activities. Empower and encourage the rest of the community to participate in activities to help people with dementia enjoy and at the same time improve their cardiovascular health. These activities could also help keep bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis to occur. Before any activities for dementia patients, it is of great importance to consider the person’s abilities, needs and preferences to avoid any unforeseen incidents to happen.
People who bear signs and symptoms of dementia have their own special needs that we should consider. Their need such as comfort, attachment, understanding and identity are just a few of the many that we could offer them. It might not be that much, but you can make a big difference in the community and partake in building a dementia-friendly environment where everyone can live with unity without discrimination. Start today, and you’ll see what can become of tomorrow!