One of the hardest things in life is seeing your loved one, very often a mother or a father, decline physically and mentally as they get older. This is compounded even further when they receive a dementia diagnosis; it takes its toll on them not only physically and mentally but psychologically and emotionally too. This is why it is so important to take care of your loved one in the most holistic way that you can manage so that all aspects of their wellbeing are being cared for. The level of care needed for someone who has been diagnosed with dementia is much more intense than other forms of eldercare.
Taking care of people with dementia requires specialised dementia therapists that can aid in stimulating and rebuilding the memory centres of the brain; this, combined with tailored memory care activities and pharmacological treatment, can help to slow down the progression – giving your loved one more time to make valuable memories and continue to foster relationships with family members.
There are a number of things to take into account when you do decide to enlist the help of a trained dementia therapist, to ensure that you find the right person for you and your loved one:
Ask for recommendations
A good place to start, when looking for a dementia therapist, is to ask others for their recommendations of therapists who specialise in dementia therapy. We also recommend that the families of our loved ones join dementia support groups so that they can learn from others in a similar position. A recommendation from someone you know or someone you can trust is a good indication of whether that particular dementia therapist will work in your situation.
“My husband has been at Livewell for 5 years. The beginning wasn’t easy (for him as well as for me). But with the dedicated staff at Livewell I couldn’t have hoped for better care. I couldn’t look after him as well as they do. Somerset West facility is like ‘home’, but better” – Rita Annandale.
Narrow down your options
Your next step will be to go through your list of dementia therapists in order to narrow it down based on availability and cost. Contact them to find out what kind of availability they have and at what rate, and bring up any concerns you might have. This should give you a good indication of whether a particular dementia therapist is going to work for you and your loved one.
Look for specialised dementia care
Therapists often have particular specialties, such as specialising in certain illnesses, working with the elderly, depression, anxiety, etc. They also employ different types of therapy approaches such as Behaviour therapy, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Cognitive therapy, Humanistic therapy, or Psychoanalytic therapy. Ask your network or dementia support group about these specialties and therapies to help you decide what approach and which dementia therapist might be best for your loved one.
Keep in mind that dementia therapists need to have up to date training in order to take care of people who live with dementia. Our dementia therapists at Livewell receive regular training to ensure that they are up to date with the latest dementia care and therapy treatments to meet the needs of their dementia patients.