Social Isolation for those living with dementia
Living with dementia can often be isolating. Over time, the ability of a person with dementia to communicate may become worse and interactions that once seemed to come so easily may become more difficult. This can be frustrating for everyone involved, though it is important to try and understand the loneliness your loved may be experiencing so you can best engage them.
Take note that there are different types of loneliness – for example, someone can feel lonely, even if they have regular contact with friends and family, while others may have limited contact with people and not feel lonely. NursePartners alters our care approach depending on a client’s personality and life history. We engage with introverts differently than extroverts. We also need to consider the person’s skills when creating opportunities for engagement.
These days it can be tough to have regular face-to-face contact, especially if your loved one lives in a facility or if you live far away. FaceTime will only go so far for someone living with dementia. If they are a Pearl, Ruby, or Amber stage of dementia, it might be nearly impossible to connect with them via video chat. This is because the best way to connect with these people if through sight, touch, taste, and smell. However, you may be able to have a virtual breakthrough if you can engage them through song.
Another factor to consider is that those living with dementia are also usually living with diminishing social circles. They may move away from friends and older loved ones die. It also becomes harder for them to initiate new conversations and build new relationships. This is just another reason why it is important to build you care team early!
Social Isolation in the Age of COVID-19
How would you experience social isolation if you were not processing the rationale behind it? As we head into future months of quarantine and social isolation, consider how this is affecting a loved one living with dementia. Consider how your loved one is remaining socially connected in safe way. Do they have close friends or family that visit? Do they see someone at least once a week? How often do you check in and are these calls effective?
If you are answering no to any of these questions, it is understandable. Life gets busy and sometimes we forget how those living with dementia come to depend on us more over time. Nonetheless, you may want to consider seeking help for your loved one if you feel you are unable to provide this care yourself. (Over time it will become impossible for one person to provide all the necessary care for one other person living with dementia.)
The NursePartners Difference
NursePartners has been caring for older adults since 2002. We specialize in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, focusing on what the client can still do, not what they cannot. We build stable care teams for our clients, supporting them from three assignments per week to 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Let us show you how NursePartners can make the difference in the life of you and your loved one. Call us today, 610-323-9800.