Find out what you can do to encourage feelings of calmness, happiness and contentment in a person with dementia
Three signs your loved one is feeling calm and content
1. They’re fairly positive, despite their dementia – they’re able to talk about it openly, even joke about it
2. They take an active interest in daily life
3. They seem quite relaxed and not easily stressed
If someone is calm and content, it basically means they’re happy. For anyone living with dementia to be able to achieve these feelings, in the face of their diagnosis, is a real breakthrough. It means that even though handling the symptoms and challenges of dementia can be difficult, the person with dementia ultimately still feels satisfied with their life.
Beating obstacles to calmness and contentment
Of course dementia brings many challenges which can sometimes make calmness and contentment feel impossible to achieve. They include:
Agitation & aggression
Loneliness & confusion
Sadness & depression
Being able to recognise these challenges and learn how to cope with them can definitely increase your chances of helping the person you’re caring for to feel happier and more relaxed.
Tips to try…
This might involve using a combination of care, activities and techniques including:
Listening to different types of music, or joining a choir can really help to boost happiness and confidence.
Getting creative with arts or crafts can be immensely calming for someone with dementia, as it encourages them to be completely focused on something, helping them to focus less on the negative aspects of dementia.
Not being able to remember what happened last week can be disheartening, but focusing on the other facts that you can remember in great detail– through reminiscence therapy – can help people feel better about themselves
Whether it’s puzzles, games or outdoor excursions, finding activities that encourage engagement will help to stem feelings of agitation and aggression and boost calmness and happiness.
Some medications, such as anti-depressants, can be useful in helping to deal with the issues that can cause sadness and depression.