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  • Sharon Daltrey

Support For Independent Living

The reassuring news is that, for most people, the period after a dementia diagnosis brings very little change. There may be medications prescribed but essentially life continues much the way it always has. What’s needed at this stage is support for independent living. It’s what most people want, whatever the circumstances, and there is a wealth of simple things you can do to support this in the early stages.

My personal advice to you is - to think outside of the box to overcome any difficulties that are being experienced. A book I would highly recommend reading is ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ by Wendy Mitchell who is currently living with early onset Alzheimer’s. The book is easily available on Amazon and I found it truly inspirational in the way she describes her journey towards diagnosis and the changes she’s made to continue living independently.

Of course, dementia is a profoundly personal diagnosis and the effects differ from one person to the next but I found many similarities in her story to my Dad’s experience.

Some simple and easy things that can be done:

1. Label drawers and cupboards with their contents making things easier to find.

2. Establish a ‘Things to do’ book that family, carer’s and the person themselves can use to ‘journal’ all the things that need to be done in daily life, to act as a reminder and touch point for communication.

3. Get a ‘Day Clock’ This useful item is not only a clock but tells the day of the week and whether it’s morning or afternoon etc. This is can be exceptionally useful as telling the time and time awareness can be affected very early on. It may be that a digital display is better than a face with hands, but most of these clocks have an ability to switch between different displays.

4. If the person already uses a Smartphone then use the reminders and apps that are available.

5. Encourage the wearing of some identification of their condition. I know this might be a difficult one and there might be some resistance but I would recommend positioning it as an ‘insurance policy’. Besides, most people generally don’t notice medical alert bracelets etc. unless there is some reason to be looking for it. When is the last time you noticed someone wearing one?

Starting today, to make things easier for you at what we know is a difficult time, we have a small collection of products to buy that will help you to make some of these simple adaptations. We think our products are useful, practical but also pleasing to the eye, but you will find many other solutions all over the internet.

We hope you find this article helpful.

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