Cariboo residents wanting to learn more about supporting a person living with dementia are invited to a free upcoming webinars.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, challenges remain for people in Williams Lake and other Cariboo communities affected by dementia,” noted the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in a news released about the webinar. “Many residents are particularly impacted by the changes in care service provision and disruption in daily routine.”
People living with dementia can experience a wide range of delusions, such as the belief that someone else may be living in their house, and hallucinations, which are incorrect perceptions of objects or events that seem incredibly real to the person experiencing them but cannot be verified by anyone else.
A key first step for caregivers is recognizing and controlling the variables which may put people living with dementia at an increased risk of having delusions or hallucinations.
Some tips for responding to delusions, hallucinations and visual mistakes:
Ensure adequate lighting: Inadequate lighting can create an ambiguity about someone’s surroundings and may contribute to paranoia and fears. For example, what may look like a housecoat in a properly lit setting could appear to be a person in a dimly lit setting.
Keep routines and schedules consistent: Constant change to daily routine can create a sense of confusion, disturbance and imbalance in a person living with dementia. Determine whether a hallucination is bothersome: Hallucinations which create a positive reaction may not be important to address, so long as they do not promote any dangerous behaviour. Avoid arguing: People experiencing hallucinations and delusions are experiencing a different reality than the rest of us. Avoid arguing with their expression of these experiences or attempting to debunk them: such an argument cannot be won.
The Society hosts free dementia education webinars every week for anyone affected by dementia or interested in learning more.
A webinar title Research ready: Extending the cognitive health span is taking place on Friday, June 19, 11 a.m. Local researcher Nathan Lewis shares the latest research on cognitive engagement as an intervention aimed at delaying the onset of cognitive decline.
Delusions, hallucinations and visual mistakes is the focus of the webinar scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 2 p.m.. Participants will explore strategies for responding to delusions, hallucinations and visual mistakes caused by dementia.
Living safely with dementia will be the topic of another webinar on Wednesday, July 8, 2 p.m. that will explore how people living with dementia and their families can live safely in the community.
Mindfulness practice as a skill for self-care through the care partnering experience will be the topic of a webinar led by Dr. Elisabeth Drance on July 15, 2 p.m. It will involve a hands-on introduction to mindfulness practice and the benefits to you as a care partner and the person you are supporting.
To register for the webinars go to alzbc.org/webinars.