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How do you achieve self-empowerment as the person with the diagnosis?

By | October 21st, 2020

First and foremost, be aware that some dementias are more apathy producing. Vascular dementia and sometimes frontotemporal dementia have characteristics of losing passion or interest in things, because chemicals and structures of the brain make it hard for the brain to find pleasure in engaging in things. For other dementias, this is not the case. But, if apathy is the issue, you need a third party because you will find that it feels like you’re trying to move lead weight. You need someone skilled in helping get this passion back on track while recognizing it may never come back fully. For people who do have some ability or are feeling anxious or nervous, one of the first things is to start with baby steps: For example, you could ask, “Would you rather work in the garden or go help ___.” Helping in a yard is a great activity because it’s out of the house, a body-brain activity, familiar, and heavy work but also in a space where you always have an option to return to the house. Going to help someone somewhere is more unpredictable, out of the house, and something that can provide for an outlet. One critical thing is how to make this a choice. The choice empowers the person to make that decision and allows them to maintain some form of autonomy.

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