A truly inspiring woman, Ms Janet Koh was one of the recipients of the Healthcare Humanity Awards this year. With close to a decade's worth of experience caring for her mother, Janet shares these tips for fellow caregivers who are looking after loved ones with dementia.
- Try to see things from their perspective — they may be experiencing a world that is different from someone who does not have dementia.
- Focus on what they can do instead of what they cannot. Affirm them and find joy in small successes.
- Focus on what they feel rather than what they remember. Respect and empathise with their emotions.
- Make legal and financial plans early while they are still able to voice their opinions.
- Be involved in caring and loving them so that they feel safe and comfortable.
- Speak simply and be straightforward — use short sentences with one main point in each sentence.
- Be organised and stay on top of daily chores — a build-up of chores can lead to additional stress. List down things to do and set realistic goals.
- Bring them for outings by various organisations, e.g. Dementia Singapore (formerly known as Alzheimer’s Disease Association), so that they have social interaction with others.
- Learn as much as you can about dementia — attend talks or take up courses whenever you can to keep yourself updated on the latest information about the disease.
This article was published in the National Neuroscience Institute's NeusLink magazine, which covers articles about NNI updates and brain, spine, muscle and nerve conditions in English and Chinese - to read more articles click here!