Despite what you heard time and again as a child, the answer is no…using facial expressions for an extended period will not make your face freeze that way. But when caring for a loved one with dementia, regular use of deliberate and positive facial expressions can provide concrete reassurance and solidify what you are trying to communicate.
An early dementia diagnosis does not mean you and your partner can't – or shouldn’t – continue to enjoy a meaningful sex life. As dementia progresses, however, you and others may question if your partner is really consenting or is simply unable to say no.
As dementia interferes more and more with their daily life, people with dementia can become frustrated, angry, or depressed as they feel their sense of identity slipping away.
This can occur when their symptoms prompt major life changes, such as an unwelcome retirement, they stop driving and must rely on others, or they stop participating in social activities or hobbies they enjoy – whether out of necessity, embarrassment, or fear of making mistakes in front of friends.
When you promised to stick by your spouse in sickness and in health, becoming their full-time caregiver was probably far from your mind or far in the future. If a dementia diagnosis has brought that vow to the forefront of your relationship, you may be experiencing new strains on your marriage or resentments in your caregiver-recipient relationship.
Each time you lose your keys – again – or forget a name – again – you might wonder if dementia is creeping in. While some memory loss is expected as we age, dementia isn’t, so it’s important to evaluate other risk factors in addition to aging.
The importance of keeping our minds engaged as we age cannot be overstated. In fact, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, President & Medical Director of the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, recommends at least 20 minutes of brain aerobics, three times a week, to maximize memory and brainpower.
Whether you live far away or need to keep your distance from your parent to avoid exposing them to dangerous viruses, virtual caregiving technology makes it possible to connect with them and monitor their safety. And these tools aren’t just for the tech-savvy. Even if you rely on your grandkids to teach you how to make a call on your smartphone, you can provide effective virtual care.