The Coping with Dementia DVD (in English language) is made up originally of 7 chapters and is addressed to people caring for someone in the middle to late stages of dementia. In this page you can find 4 chapters out of 7: Chapter 1, 4, 5 and 7.  These short films will help you understand dementia and learn from other carers’ experiences. It also provides practical suggestions about caring.

 

All videos and transcripts include references to the Scottish Health System as originally were developed to provide information and support to the Scottish carers by NHS Health Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish dementia working group.

Video 1

 

Transcript of the Coping with caring video

Welcome to this DVD for people caring for someone close to them who has moderate to severe Dementia. You will hear from other carers, and find out about practical ways of coping and how to get help. There are many kinds of Dementia and everyone is different, so remember, not everything we talk about will happen for you and the person you care for; but if it does, you’ll be more able to cope.


Emotional reactions

I think caring for a relative that you love very much developing an illness like this is really, really hard at times, I felt mum was moving away from me all the time and it became harder and harder to almost keep a hold of her.
There are times when there are lighter moments and I remember having mum home one Christmas, to spend Christmas Day with us and my husband who she’s known for about 20 years and is very close to, she kept referring to as ‘the driver’ – the driver’s very nice – and you just have to find humour in these moments and let go.
I think the hardest thing was coming to terms with Dementia when Andrew was diagnosed. Nobody believes it, you don’t even believe it, he doesn’t believe it, ‘nothing wrong with me’, says him and you have to try and deal with this and I’ve probably never felt so alone in my life because suddenly all this world was changing around me, he was changing, things that I’d noticed and didn’t understand why, now I started understanding why because people were starting to teach me how to deal with it but until that point I was so alone.

I have fun when I´m visiting Betty. She is very happy to see me and she always holds my hand. Betty becomes more lively when I´m with her. She looks forward to eating sponge cake which I bring her. It is a good conversation starter and we have a good laugh together.

But when I leave and go home, Betty changes and she becomes very disheartened. This is because she is all on her own, left with just the four walls, and Betty becomes very emotional and is again very isolated. Betty wants to have me all the time, 24 hours. She needs that encouragement in playing games, laughter and company. Without me she would be very alone.

My situation was that my dad was in his eighties when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and my mum too was elderly, so it was quite difficult for her to adjust to my dad losing his memory and losing some of his skills in daily life and becoming more dependent on her. So, my sister and I had to, not only support my dad, but to support my mum to care for him.

I think that one of the good things with my dad when he was becoming less aware of the world around him, it meant that he was actually more able to just enjoy the moment, so we had some lovely times just laughing at things that amused him and just enjoying being out and about and meeting people he knew and that kind of thing, and he loved to sing so that was really nice to see him enjoy himself singing. He would say ‘have you heard this one?’, and would launch into the same song for the tenth time that day but it was just so good that he enjoyed it so much.

One thing that made us laugh was that when my dad was taken by a support worker to visit Lomond Shores one day, they were watching the ducks on the loch and my dad was so amused by the antics of the ducks he laughed uproariously and people all around looked to see what he was laughing at and they all laughed too, so I think he brought fun and laughter around wherever he was.

Carers come from all walks of life. You may have given up your job and be having to manage on less income than before, or have had to move home. If you care for your partner then you may miss their support and other changes may present themselves that in the past kept you close. Caring at a distance brings its own worries too.
You will become the expert as you will see the changes in the person that others may not; so you may feel that other people don´t fully understand, which can be frustrating and make you feel alone. But it is important to remember you do not have to do this alone. Ask for help early – it is available. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Talk to a friend or relative you know will listen, or maybe talking to a professional, or someone who can offer you spiritual support would suit you better.

 

[…]
Other carers have probably been through the same kind of things, and talking to them may help you. There are carers´ groups in most areas.

At first my friends and family were all there, but gradually it felt like I was standing on a vast beach, and the tide had gone out, and I was all alone.

It is important you don´t hide the fact a relative has Dementia. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Once I started talking to my friends and family about the Dementia, things changed, and I was able to ask them for help.

Video 2

 

Transcript of the Look After Yourself video

I get stressed and my family helps me a lot. A home help told me “you need to get out of the house. Go to Deaf Connections”. This helps me because I am deaf. I go to play chess which I love. It helps me to rest and relax.
I decided not to give up work completely but I did negotiate hours with my employer and became part-time so that I felt I could give mum time but I also was getting the support from colleagues and the motivation, the satisfaction from still continuing to work.

I suppose, in my own time, something that I found extremely helpful was just going for long walks – that’s something I’ve always relied on at difficult times.

One of the hardest things in coming to terms with this is that you want to be perfect, you want to do the best thing you can for your husband and you’re given this long list of things which you can do and suddenly you realise you can’t do it and you feel so incredibly guilty when you don’t do it. You’re not this paragon of virtue, you’re not this person, this super-human person, who can be doing the right thing at the right time, all the time and really the worst thing is coming to terms with that and realising you don’t have to feel guilty about it.

I’ve found that if I don’t keep physically well, I can’t cope. And so I’ve done exercises, I do swimming, I did cycling, I work in my garden, and keep active because if I can be physically well, I’m able to cope so much better.
Arrange regular breaks. Family, friends, a local home support service and day centres can help. Ask for short break respite to give you a weekend, week, or more, away. The Getting Help section of this DVD will tell you how.
Try not to become isolated. Explain the situation to family and friends. The booklet “I´ll get by with a little help from my friends” will help you explain to them what they can do to help.

Take time to yourself. What do you like doing? Make some time for you each day, even if it´s only for a few minutes.

 

You and your family

Many people with dementia enjoy time with children. Talk to the children about the illness. Help them to understand. Offer to explain it to their friends as well. The booklet “Understanding Dementia – a guide for young carers” may help them.

When we were younger we used to go down to the old people’s  home and we would make Christmas cards and go down an give them to them and spend an hour or so chatting with them and hearing stories about their Christmases and tell them what we were doing in our Christmases and all of that. We would just chat away to them and it was good for them because a lot of them didn’t have friends or family left anymore because quite a lot of them were older so they got to have a chat to someone which was really good, it was really rewarding.
Looking after someone with dementia brings changes in family relationships. It´s possible that you may feel you are doing more than your fair share and resent this, or maybe the family worry about you wearing yourself out.
Talk to the rest of the family. A specific discussion about how to care for the person with Dementia can be very helpful. Having someone else take part, such as a close friend, social worker, doctor, or minister, can help everyone get a fair hearing and solve disagreements about what´s best.

 

Share the care

The benefits of getting help early really help with isolation because you can be isolated if you think nobody understands, so from a practical and emotional point of view gaining information and being with people who really understand are hugely beneficial. Don´t feel bad about asking for help. Getting help early may also help the person with dementia get to know their support workers. If possible involve the person in discussions about their care. Remember not everyone around you will realise the need for help, so just ask. The person with dementia will also enjoy the different company.

Ask the social work department for a community care assessment and a carer´s assessment. It is important to make full use of the services available.

 

Getting information

It’s easier to deal with most things in life when you have enough information. […]

Most people who become carers find they are having to learn by trial and error, but research has shown that training may reduce stress levels for carers.

Alzheimer Society and carers’ organisations arrange courses for carers, which will give you the chance to get accurate information on the condition, services available, financial and legal matters, and how to cope.

Video 4

 

Transcript of Practical Caring video

Dementia affects all sorts of daily activities. This chapter will give you some ideas about how to cope. Because everyone is different, sometimes you might need to try several approaches before you find what works for you, and the person you care for.

 

Physical Wellbeing

People with Dementia are as susceptible to physical health problems as the rest of us so it’s quite important to try and support them to stay well and that will involve things like some exercise, and perhaps good healthy diet – the kind of things we all like to pay attention to for ourselves and the sense of wellbeing produced from that will actually promote a good sleep pattern to.  When any of us are in pain or discomfort, or feeling unwell, we become a little more grumpy of irritable, and this is just the same for the person with a dementing illness, and maybe the first sign you notice that they become unwell and it is quite important that you don’t assume any changes in their presentation or their confused state are attributable to their Dementia.

It’s important for all of us to make sure that we get plenty of fluid on board – it’s part of keeping ourselves healthy.  Someone with Dementia obviously may be more vulnerable to that because they forget to drink and if someone becomes dehydrated, they can become constipated, they can become confused, and they can become over-tired.  The sensible thing is to try and make sure that the person has 6-8 drinks every day, and really to vary that to work with what the person likes having – perhaps they may have water, they might have juice, they will have tea and coffee but whatever works for that particular individual is the fluid to stick to really.

People with Dementia can have problems with their vision and their perception of the world as a symptom of the condition and also how they hear what’s being said to them – they may have some difficulty understanding and interpreting that – so it is important that we try and give them the best chance possible to relate to the world around them and that means paying attention to the small things like keeping their glasses to hand and keeping their glasses clean and if they wear a hearing aid, making sure that that’s functional – it’s got a battery in it and it’s kept clean.  If you notice or think that person’s hearing or eyesight is deteriorating or has changed in any way, it’s important to consult the doctor, or an optician or a hearing specialist to make sure there isn’t something that can be dealt with, something that can actually improve the situation for the person with Dementia.

If the person with dementia falls, gets ill or constipated, seems in pain or depressed, or starts to see things which aren’t there, consult the doctor.

 

Mental Stimulation

Everyone needs enjoyable things to do, and people with dementia are no exception. Think about what the person used to enjoy.

My grandfather used to be a bridge player. He still loves to play cards so now we play snap and other simple games.

[…]

Involve family and friends.

Break down tasks into more manageable steps.

Many people with Dementia can still remember things from long ago. Going through old family photos can be very enjoyable, for example, as can doing things that they used to do, such as DIY, sewing or gardening. Try not to take over, just give the help they need.

Even if the person doesn’t remember an activity, it is still worthwhile if they enjoy it at the time. A day centre or other support can offer enjoyable activities for the person and, in turn, give you valuable time for yourself.

Life Story Book

My wife and I had six children and she’d kept locks of their baby hair, so we put them in the book – and we put in things like scraps from cushion covers she’d made years ago.

A life story book is a collection of reminders of important times in a person’s life, such as photographs, tickets, postcards etc. It is an enjoyable thing to make.

Ask the person’s permission to show other people such as family members, care staff and friends, who may be involved in their caring. They may find out things they never knew.

Spiritual Wellbeing

Caring for the whole person means caring for their spiritual needs too. Most people’s spirituality is to do with their culture, tradition and upbringing.

Find out what spiritual things used to be important to them, if any. If they attended religious worship or groups, try to help them continue for as long as possible. Encourage visitors from their place of worship.

Video 5

Transcript of Forgetfulness video

Sometimes my dad would mention a visitor he’d had, but he was never sure who it was. So I put a visitor’s book out. Turned out the mystery person was his carer.

Most people with dementia will have memory problems, which get more severe as the illness progresses. Early on, memory aids may help but later you will need to give more direct reminders.  The person may become more confused and forget basic facts, and confuse the past with the present.

Reassurance is very important. They may be aware that they can’t now remember what they used to, which can be very upsetting and frustrating.

Keep to routines as much as possible, as changes can make confusion worse.

Memory aids, like a diary, work best when the person is in the habit of using them.

Put signs or pictures on doors to help them find their way around, for example the toilet. Or simply leave the doors open so they can see what’s in each room.

A memory board, or notice board, is a useful reminder of what’s going on.

If you’re not always with the person, try phoning them to remind them of things.

 

Repeated Questions

Some days Andrew will spend the whole day asking questions, the same question over and over again, and I used to get angry and get irritated, and shout back and say ‘you’ve asked me that question before’, and I truly finally understood that he didn’t know he was asking that question over and over again.  So I will answer the question once or twice and then when he keeps going, I either walk away, I just walk away and don’t answer it or I get him involved in something else and then he will forget.

Conversation and Communication

It’s really important to try and get communication right.  With my mum, the thing that I do often when I go to visit her, I visit her every day, and she walks a lot up and down the corridor, and when I walk towards her, I put my arms out and she points to me, she recognises me and she will walk straight into my arms and give me a hug.  That works extremely well.

If my mum says to me that she’s going to see her mum later, her mother died about 40 years ago, I will never argue with her, I will always say to her ‘so are you going to see your mum later?’, and she’s content then. I’ve observed somebody else telling my mum that her mum died and that distresses my mum and I don’t see any point in doing that at all.  That’s what works really well for me but for other people they need to find what works well for them.

Andrew would try and tell me things and it took a while for me to realise that he was in a fantasy world – he was actually making up what he wanted to believe rather than what was actually happening.  For example, he grew up in England and we only came to Scotland ten years ago and he now tells people that he went to school in Glasgow, wore a kilt and played the bagpipes and is incredibly happy and excited about this, and of course when people hear him telling this, they think this is wonderful.  I’m the only one who knows it’s an absolute fantasy and I don’t stop him from doing it because it gives him pleasure, it harms nobody, so we just let it be.

To remind him about things he has to do, we have a diary next to the telephone and every morning I write down the things we agree that he would like to do so that during the day when he’s forgotten that he was supposed to, perhaps work in the garden, he would come in and cross off something. At the end of the day there is no right answer, and you have to do what works for you.

Video 6

 

Transcript of Dressing video

When my dad saw all his shirts in the cupboard he just couldn’t choose and got confused and upset. So now I put out a couple of his favourites. Now he quite happily chooses which shirt he wants to wear.

Allow the person plenty of time to get dressed and make sure the room is warm and they have used the toilet first.

As a general rule try to avoid doing too much for them – give reminders instead. This will help maintain their confidence.

Allow them some choice, and lay out clothes in the order they will put them on. Never leave them entirely naked.

If they have had a stroke and have been left with a weakness in a limb, place that limb into the clothing first.

If the person is incontinent, easily-washed clothes are more practical – but some people with dementia may not feel comfortable or dignified in clothes that are different from what they used to wear.

Slippers should only be worn for short times, as well-fitting shoes give support and reduce the risk of foot problems.

Put clothes for washing out of sight to prevent the person putting them on.

 

Appearance and Personal Care

My mother gets a real boost from her fortnightly visit to the hairdresser. I always try to make sure she has a little makeup and nail varnish on as she always used to wear it and I think it makes her feel more self-confident.

In time, Dementia can cause the person to forget how to do even the basic tasks. Remind and encourage them to do what they can for themselves.

Remind them when to brush their teeth. It may help if you brush yours at the same time. You may have to brush their teeth for them. Dental care is vital, so regular check-ups are essential.

Check finger and toe nails regularly too. If you can’t cut them, arrange for a podiatrist.

Men may need to be reminded, or helped, to shave – and using an electric shaver is far safer than a blade.

 

Bathing

My dad hated me helping him in the bathroom. I told him that he used to do it for me when I was wee and now it was my turn. I think he’s got used to it now, and thinking of it that way made it easier for me too.

The person may forget to bathe or how to wash themselves, and might not like being supervised. Help with intimate care can be difficult.

Try to make bath times as pleasant as possible, making sure the room is warm.

A non-slip rubber bath mat is useful.

You may have to help the person in and out of the bath. A bath seat or handrail may help. Ask an occupational therapist for advice.

If the person baths alone, make sure the door can’t be locked.

Washing intimate areas can be awkward and embarrassing, but is important. Try giving the person the sponge or cloth and guiding their hand. Some people may find it easier being bathed by someone they don’t know, such as a nurse or care assistant.

Ask your health visitor, doctor or social worker for advice. People who go to a day centre may be able to have a bath there.

Managing Incontinence

My mother would try every door in the house looking for the toilet, so I put a sign on the door saying Ladies.

Some people with Dementia may become incontinent of urine. But bowel incontinence is not common until very late in the illness.

If they do become incontinent don’t just accept it as part of the illness. They may just have forgotten how to find the toilet, or not realised that they needed to go. Incontinence can also be a result of an infection or some physical problem. Consult the doctor or community nurse.

But sometimes incontinence is a result of the degree of brain failure due to Dementia.

If it cannot be treated ask your GP to arrange an assessment by a community nurse or continence advisor, who can supply equipment such as pads and bed protectors.

Make sure they show you how to use them.

Watch for any signs that the person may need to go to the toilet such as restlessness or agitation.

Take a matter-of-fact approach, to reduce embarrassment. It may help simply to remind them to go to the toilet at regular intervals.

Zips or buttons can be awkward to undo in time, and Velcro fastenings are a good alternative.

If the toilet is not easy to get to, try a commode.

Sometimes soiling is caused by severe constipation. Maintaining a well-balanced diet with plenty of fibre and enough to drink helps prevent it. Don’t use laxatives unless the doctor has prescribed them.

In some areas there will be a laundry service for help with soiled linen – the social work office can help with this.

[…]

Eating and Drinking

People with Dementia may have poor appetite or forget to eat or drink. They may lose weight or become dehydrated. They may forget how to eat a meal and become messy.

Allow plenty of time for meals and tell the person which meal it is and what there is to eat – prompt them. As far as possible, try not to feed the person yourself as this can encourage the person to become more dependent. Try not to worry about table manners!

If weight loss is a problem, put out snacks.

You can make forks and spoons easier to hold by wrapping the handles to make them thicker.

If the person suffers from night time indigestion, try having the main meal in the middle of the day.

The social work department may be able to help with a meal delivery service or home care.

If the person loses weight, will only eat limited foods, or has lost their appetite, consult the doctor.

Video 7

 

Transcript of Apathy and Loss of Interest video

Over the last year my mother has found it very hard to get herself organised to do things. But I find if I get her started, like sorting out her sewing box, she’ll then enjoy doing it.

Each day should have something of interest for the person, such as going for a walk, listening to music, cards, or gardening. Involve them in choosing what to do. There may be jobs around the house that they can manage. Try to get other people involved, like friends to chat to.

Though sitting back and doing nothing can also be enjoyable sometimes!

Hallucinations and Delusions

Some people with Dementia may hear or see things that are not there, especially with Lewy Body Dementia. These are hallucinations. More often they misunderstand what they see, like mistaking a reflection for a person.

Consult the doctor. It could be because of an infection or a side effect of medicines.

If the hallucination is real for them, it is pointless trying to persuade them they are imagining it.  Be sympathetic and reassuring.

Sometimes people believe things, which aren’t true – these are delusions. Reassure them – if you’re positive they’re mistaken.

 

Depression and Anxiety

I think the thing that made Mum feel at her lowest ebb was when she was confronted with the things that she couldn’t do for herself any longer, because she was so independent and when she would attempt to do things and it didn’t go well she would get very distressed. So we concentrated very much, as a family, on trying to keeps things as normal as possible for her, to keep her involved in doing the things that she had always enjoyed doing but to give her help in a subtle way so that she didn’t appreciate that she was really being supported, she felt she was still managing to do things for herself

I think we noticed my dad was becoming more anxious when my mum had been out for a while and when she came back, he would say ‘where have you been, you’ve been away a long time’ and that became more difficult, so that she was only able to leave him for shorter spells because he seemed to be anxious and depressed when he was left alone.

Wandering

Sometimes when he goes out to the shops he doesn’t come back and I have to go and find him. When I find him he’ll smile and tell me he’s glad to see me and he’s just had a nice long walk.

Just because the person may not be able to explain it, does not mean walking about is aimless wandering.

Don’t try to prevent it if there is no real risk – it’s important the person has as much freedom as possible. Ask yourself: Are they bored? Do they need exercise? Have they forgotten where they were going?

If they’re going out at night they might be mixed up about the time of day, looking for the toilet, or sleeping too much during the day.

Increasing daytime activities may help. Make sure they’ve been to the toilet before bed. A dim light on in the bedroom may reduce confusion.  Make sure the house is as safe as possible at night so you don’t have to worry about the person walking around.

An occupational therapist may be able to help, and in some areas, a night care service may be available.

If they keep going out and are not safe, ask the doctor for a specialist assessment.

 

Changed Behaviour

She would follow me around everywhere, driving my patience to the limits.  Now she loves going to the day centre twice a week, and I get time to myself.

Sometimes someone with Dementia may feel insecure and want to be with their carer all the time.

Plenty of reassurance from you is important, and remember that your wellbeing is important too, so ask for help from friends or family to give you a break. Consider support services to give you time off.

The person with dementia may sometimes do things that are odd or embarrassing to you. Explain to others what is happening and don’t over-react.

If someone starts to undress they’re probably uncomfortable. Take them calmly to another room, check they’re not too hot or needing the toilet.

Remember, it is the illness causing the behaviour, not the person doing it on purpose.

Anger of Aggression

Some people with Dementia can be aggressive at times, even when they never used to be. It’s because the person is frustrated or misunderstands things.  This is the Dementia, not a reaction to you.

Remain calm if you can. Speak calmly and remind the person what’s going on around them. Try to distract them.

Talk to someone you trust and see if you can figure out what caused the problem, and if anything can be changed to prevent it happening again. If you are worried ask the doctor for a specialist assessment.

Sex and Intimacy

My wife and I had a very close physical relationship but since she was diagnosed four years ago, she has gradually lost interest. It bothered me at first but we hold hands and cuddle a lot, and we still share a bed, and that helps me feel close to her.

The person’s attitude to sex and sexual relationships may change. They may lose interest in sex altogether, or want sex more often. If it is your partner you are caring for you may feel different about sex too. You may or may not want to carry on your sexual relationship – or might worry about whether you should.

Sometimes a person with dementia may approach the wrong person sexually. They may have mistaken who it is or have lost inhibitions. Stay calm and try to distract and reassure them. Remember it’s not their fault.

It can be difficult but try to discuss the situation with a professional you trust, such as your doctor, community psychiatric nurse or Alzheimer Society.

Video 9

 

Transcript of the Getting help video

Well I think it was probably the first thing that instigated, for my mother anyway, was the care package, which she now receives, but she’s always been fiercely independent and one of the problems was getting her to accept help.

But a crisis arose very early on where she needed help to get tucked in at night and put to bed, but from that, I’m not saying floodgates, but it certainly opened the introduction to all the help that she presently receives and it doesn’t seem to have taken away any of that independence that she had and she now is more willing to accept it so that in itself was a blessing. Just whatever it was, was just introduce it, which took a lot of pressure off of us and also helped her I think, from now until the present time. Community care services The person with dementia has a right to a community care assessment from the social work department; call them to ask for an assessment, they’ll visit you. A social worker or other professional will visit and find out all about the sorts of services and support that will help the person with dementia continue to live their life. You, separately, have a right to a carers assessment from the social work department so ask for that too, to work out what would support you to carry on caring.

If the assessment shows that the person with dementia needs services, they will get a care plan with details of a package of care. Alternatively, if you have a power of attorney or guardianship order for the person, you can ask on their behalf for ‘self-directed support’, also known as a ‘direct payment’. That means the social work department gives you control of the money they would have spent on the package of care and you choose what services to buy. The assessments are free but the person may have to pay for some of the services. Home care services offer help with personal care such as eating, getting dressed, or other activities – like shopping. They might also give you a bit of time off, or can help someone who lives alone to cope safely for as long as possible. Private care agencies can also provide care at home.

Some voluntary organisations, such as Alzheimer Societies, run schemes in many areas providing trained support workers for care and stimulating activities or outings. […]

A place at a day centre can give the person with dementia a chance to socialise and stay active. My mother didn´t want to go to the day centre at all, but I persuaded her to try it and went along the first couple of times. She loves it now! She goes on outings, paints, plays games… The time off helps me cope.

Caring for someone with dementia can be tiring and often stressful. A respite break, for example when the person with Dementia goes into a care home for a few days or a week or two, will give you the chance to recharge. Other kinds of respite breaks are available too – for example extra care at home while you go away. Or you can ask about a direct payment, to give you and the person a holiday together, so that someone else does the cooking while you can relax. Talk to the social work department about respite – you may be able to arrange regular breaks. If the person you care for can afford it, there is also the option of private respite in a care home. It may be that the person with Dementia may not want to accept a service. Talk to them about the service you think may help – suggest a trial period.

Offer to be there the first few times. If they’re worried about a respite break, reassure them that it´s just a holiday, that they will be coming home again. Free personal care and charges for care services If the person with dementia is over 65 and is assessed as needing help at home with personal care, such as washing, eating or going to the toilet, this will be provided free. If they are under 65, they may have to pay. They may still need to pay for other things, such as day care, meals, housework or respite care. Health services for people with dementia If you are concerned about the physical or mental health of the person you care for, talk to the family doctor. If there is a lot to discuss ask for a double appointment. If you require an interpreter say this when you make an appointment and the surgery will arrange this.

Make a list before you go so that you remember everything. It’s important not to assume any change is due to Dementia. For example, if the person is suddenly more confused, they may have an infection, which needs to be treated. […] The GP may refer the person to a hospital specialist for assessment or treatment. They may be offered a place at a day hospital or a stay in an assessment unit – for example, if they have especially troubling problems such as hallucinations or aggression.

 

Video 11

 

Transcript of the Loss and bereavement video

Some carers say that Dementia itself is like a long slow bereavement. Many carers feel a great sense of loss when the person moves into long-stay care, even if it is obvious it is the best thing. Talking about this with other carers, such as at a carers group, can be very helpful. When the person finally passes away you may have mixed feelings. It´s common to feel any or all of sadness, relief, guilt or anger, for example.

It takes time to come to terms with it. At first most memories of the person with dementia will be of the illness years. This is when you may appreciate the help of family and friends the most. Cruse Bereavement Care can help with counselling.

You may find that feelings of stress and emotional upset stay for a long time but in time you will begin to remember the person before the illness. Eventually the blue skies will return.

Kind permission by

Alzheimer Scotland.Visit site...
NHS Health Scotland.Visit site...
Scottish Dementia Working Group.Visit site...