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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Watson

Holistic Approaches to Dementia Care

For some people mentioning the word holistic may bring visions of hocus pocus. They are not sure what it means and may shy away from anything that is not within the views of mainstream medicine.

According to Webster the definition of Holistic is:

Full Definition of holistic

  1. 1: of or relating to holism

  2. 2: relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts <holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body> <holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system>

Hmmm. I believe looking at the whole person is a good thing to do, how about you?

Separating what is going on in our mind from what is happening in our body and the world around us will only alienate the dementia sufferer.

A holistic approach to dementia would include looking at 4 pillars of support. This approach not only benefits the individual with dementia but will also support the whole family. After all family is an extension of who we are.

  • Environment

The environment where someone is living can have a huge effect on their behavior. We often hear about "dementia behaviors". These behaviors can often be alleviated or at least reduced with simple tweeks to the environment where someone is living.

What Do You See and Hear?

A person with dementia, may have some limited vision and hearing. Changes to the lighting and ambient noises can help to calm a situation before if gets out of hand.

Minimizing clutter in your living space can make the home safer while at the same time helping to provide a sense of calm.

What Do You Feel?

Environment is also about supporting the people who care for and live with someone with dementia. When the family is healthy and their needs are met it will help their loved one to become more relaxed and at ease.

  • Communication

Do you speak dementia? When I ask this I am not talking about speaking down to someone. I am talking about leaning how to properly communicate with someone with cognitive impairment in a way that respects and comforts them.

Some people with dementia are non verbal. How do you communicate then?

  • Nutrition

When we feel good it is no surprise that our brain works better. Think about when you have a cold. You may drag yourself into work. But let's face it, you will not be very effective. It is hard to focus when you do not feel well.

Doesn't it make sense then that someone with dementia will feel the same. You may not be able to reverse their symptoms but chances are they will function better when they are feeling good.

What's good for the heart is also good for the brain. Fresh fruits and vegetables with limited processed foods will keep all systems running well, from the heart to the brain and everything in-between!

Holistic Care is not about ignoring mainstream medicine. It is simply about engaging the whole person in the care. At Light Heart Memory care we believe in a Holistic Approach. We take the time to get to know our "family" so we can offer the best care possible. Give us a call today to see why we are a top provider in Memory Care.

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