After spending a day at country fair, George, a person with dementia, was ready to take the bus home. Although George was diagnosed with dementia, he continued working at the factory where he had worked for last 15 years. He also continued to attend his church every Sunday and was always thankful for the support he was receiving to live his daily life.
The support to live our daily life comes in various forms from various resources such as family, support groups or self-help groups, decisions made by the policy makers, and the services provided by professionals. After a diagnosis of dementia, many persons with dementia report having feeling of being unsupported in their communities. For a person with dementia, the feeling of being supported by their family and community improves their personal outlook.
Dementia-friendly communities have support groups for the caregivers of persons with dementia. As a caregiver reconfigures his or her life with dementia, they need information and emotional support. After providing care for years, some caregivers need respite from their caregiving duties for a brief time. The support group volunteers often look after the person with dementia for a few hours while the caregiver runs errands or attends to their own healthcare needs.
Some communities have support groups for persons with dementia. Persons with dementia enjoy the company of other persons with dementia and time away from their caregivers. Research indicates that people with dementia find informal one-on-one support useful to do various activities such as pursue their hobbies and interests. Persons with dementia also like to attend social group gatherings such as a memory cafe or a religious services at their church. In dementia-friendly communities, venues such as cinemas, museums, and shops conduct special dementia-friendly events. The shopkeepers, staff, befriender, neighbors and caregivers form a ‘circle of support’ for person with dementia. These events, and ‘circle of support’, make persons with dementia feel included in their communities and thereby supported.
In many countries, the local government supports persons with dementia by having dementia-friendly laws and policies. For instance, in the UK, persons with dementia have a right to be treated with dignity and equality. This Equality Act, passed in 2010, has proved instrumental in creating awareness about the needs of persons with dementia. Furthermore, it notes that some persons with dementia need support while accessing various local services (similar to the disability access). Local government and local volunteer groups run public awareness campaigns in order to gather more support for persons with dementia.
Last, persons with dementia often become isolated due to perceived social stigma, and feelings of worry and fear. Having a supportive community around helps relieve the anxiety and depression observed in persons with dementia. We too, at Alzcare labs, are committed to supporting persons with dementia in their daily lives.
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