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Why Are Friendships Important for Dementia Patients?

Jumping into caregiving for a loved one with dementia may leave you wondering why friendships are important for dementia cases. However, when delving into your education and speaking with professionals, people keep referring to the elements of friendship surrounding dementia care. In fostering the best care in a complex and confusing element, friendships revolve around pleasure, encouragement, and a sense of social identity.

Entering a new phase of in-home clients, day center participation, or memory care is challenging. Likewise, finding the best plan for your loved one is difficult but essential. Why are friendships important for dementia cases? Shielding your loved one from becoming lost, confused, or disconnected in their care by emphasizing empathy and friendship is a loving solution.

What is Dementia Care?

A diagnosis of dementia can be frightening and confusing. Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding dementia, so many people have preconceived ideas and beliefs to overcome. This stigma carries the fear of isolation and distance from friends and family. Why are friendships important for dementia cases? The diagnosed dementia patient must understand that friends and family will stand by them and continue to care.

Dementia care comes in many levels depending upon the needs of the patient. These needs will change with time with dementia. As the levels progress from mild cognitive impairment through mild dementia, moderate and then severe, caregiving needs will vary. No matter what care is being furnished, in-home, daycare, or residential dementia care, friendships will continue to be a valued form of caregiving.

The Role of Friendship in Dementia Care

Why are friendships important for dementia cases? The diagnosis is frightening, and moving forward after hearing the outcome of all your evaluations and testing seems like venturing down an untraveled road. Yet, nothing brings you back to everything you love and treasure like the kindness and understanding of good friends. Removing the fear of losing your friends because you are experiencing early dementia signs is priceless.

Many seniors rely on their friendships, and some do not have support from family. Sustaining friendships in these cases is paramount for the newly diagnosed friend. Why are friendships important for dementia cases? The following parts of a friendship are critical factors for surviving early-stage dementia.

  • A friend knows the patient’s history, personality, baseline behaviors, and patterns. Sensitivity to change is expected in true friendship. These vital components of friendship can help maintain consistency. Trust builds when things get tough.
  • Those diagnosed with early-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s need to stay active. Friends can help support each other to initiate activities and stay physically mobile. In addition, maintaining close touch with skills and interests helps slow the disease’s progression.
  • Friends can keep lines of communication flowing. Listening to their friend’s concerns, fears, and thoughts encourages feelings of inclusion. The conversation keeps the mind working.
  • Maintaining laughter and fun in life. Friends remember reasons for celebration and can keep priorities in line. Those with drastic changes in their thinking and mobility because of dementia appreciate humor and spontaneous fun.

Steps for Being a Good Friend in Dementia Care

Most people believe that once there is a diagnosis of early-stage dementia, the friendship is over. However, just because there is a diagnosis doesn’t mean you should walk away from the friendship. So why are friendships important for dementia cases? If a friend has cancer, you don’t back away; you dig in and support your friend to the best of your ability. Friendships are essential to keep as many long-time connections in life as possible.

There must be an adjustment period and some worthwhile conversations. Honesty is vital for both friends to maintain a future relationship. Friends can learn about dementia together and kill the stigmas surrounding this debilitating process. Getting educated together can strengthen the bond between friends and benefit both people.

Why are friendships important for dementia cases? First, friends can be facilitators for other caregivers and family. Encouraging your friend with dementia to trust you enough to express their feelings and emotions helps both parties. Finally, understanding and empathetic friends can validate the friend learning how to cope with a new reality.

Friends who understand how to simplify questions and pay attention to nonverbal cues can help make their friends feel a small amount of control and boost self-esteem.

Friends who listen communicate caring and respect. So why are friendships important for dementia cases? First, friends are equal and on the same level. This element of friendship keeps the relationships moving forward. Friends show affection, and this key factor to a happy life provides much-needed security.

Find Help in Maintaining Important Friendships for Dementia Care in Tennessee

If you have a friend or loved one recently diagnosed with early-stage dementia and feel lost and need advice, contact Luxury Home Care for expert information. Our senior experts continually update restorative practices for caring for a loved one or friend with dementia. In addition, we take the time needed to keep up with new dementia research and proven diverse care practices. We are friends to all with dementia, no matter what stage it is. Contact us for more information today.

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