I came across this book by chance on a trip to The Works looking for a puzzle for Fathers Day, but it turned out to be a valuable resource in the last couple of months.
There is so much we have been learning on a crash course and a few times the information I read in this book has allowed me to be ahead of the professionals.
There are tips that you can try, information you maybe unaware of and lots of advice of where you can go to find out more.
No one tells you everything you need to know, everyone’s Dementia situation is different. Sometimes its a case of you not knowing what you don’t know until it’s too late. A book like this allows you to educate yourself on some of the things you can look out for so that you can prepare.
Armed with the right information you can make sure when you are face to face with the professionals you know which questions you should ask.
There are so many resources out there and people who can help you, but it isn’t always easy to know who to ask.
I found that the best thing to do when you meet someone new is ask what it is they can offer and try to think ahead as much as you can. Dementia can change so quickly, what works today may not work tomorrow, so think ahead as much as you can.
Pay particular attention to anything for the home that will make life easier going forward. A shower chair for the bathroom for example makes showering safer whilst they can manage on their own but going forward when they need help you have the equipment in place ready.
In terms of walking, make sure their shoes fit properly, are easy to slip on and secure, velcro is good and make sure house shoes are the same. Loose shoes and stairs don’t mix. Also think about whether something to hold onto for stabilisation when walking is needed because when the energy starts disappearing the risk of falls can rise.
Falls and infections are my biggest fears; we do what we can to avoid them. I learned the importance of this from reading this book. We learned the hard way how to look out for infections when she went downhill quickly and ended up being hospitalised due to a bad urine infection. We now know that if she has a couple of bad days together that we need to get her tested for an infection.
The important thing is to maintain health for as long as you can. Make the environment as safe and organised as you can and make sure when you need to access hospitals and nursing homes etc you know what you are entitled to.
You may find you need an element of fight in you to make sure you get what you need for your loved ones but anything they need to make life easier has to be worth that. You can start by making sure you have access to the information you need and that starts with a book like this.