I’m working on what I believe are the true needs of a person with dementia, and would love your contributions. There is so much written on this topic by professional experts, and very little written about it by the real experts, that is, the people with dementia. Mostly, I think people with dementia need others to accept us as we are, each day, and to change themselves to accommodate the new me. The symptoms of dementia change without notice, offering us an ever-changing new truth or reality. We have little or no control over this, and so feeling truly valued, loved, and accepted, and that we are still contributing to the world and the lives of others and ourselves is key. Living engaged and meaningful lives, not just sitting in activities rooms playing Bingo or sitting alone in our rooms (if in residential care) or home alone, but a more nurturing and individualised style of support and care. I’ve listed a few things, in the order of importance to me, but welcome your comments and additions to the list, as well as your ratings of most to least important.
- Your willingness to change and accept the ‘new me’
- To feel loved and valued
- Acceptance of my ever changing ’new truth’
- Support to live an engaged and meaningful life