Common Sense Caregiving

Dementia Mentors:

Helping Those with Dementia Remain Social
 
If you or a loved one are living with the symptoms of dementia, you will be happy to know that there is now an excellent source of help and wisdom available online. Our name is “Dementia Mentors” and we can be found at
www.dementiamentors.org.  The creators of this excellent resource have come together from all over the world. These folks are the experts, for they are all dealing with the effects of dementia. But the difference is that these people refer to themselves as “living well” despite their struggles!  Their main goal?  “To help those who are newly diagnosed and in the early stages of dementia and keep themselves socially active.”

No matter what type of dementia related disease is involved, these mentors are there to lend a virtual hand. They have also created a website that is simple and secure.

The familiar symptom of dementia is fear, and fear leads to depression. Anyone diagnosed with a dementia related disease will have these side effects to handle as well.  For this there is a page on the website containing several 3 minute empowering videos designed by the mentors to explain how to “rule your disease.” Remember, these videos were made by people who are walking the path of dementia. You will not find an education like this anywhere else. These are the people you want to learn from. It’s absolutely priceless.

“Social Engagement” is another high priority among the mentors.  This is why they created what they call “virtual memory cafés.” These are live social gatherings transacted through the website, but only for those with dementia. There, problems and symptoms can be discussed openly and safely. (Or if you are simply lonely no one will judge you if you just want to talk about the weather.)  What matters is that communication is taking place between people who share similar struggles. These cafés have become so popular that we’ve learned that we can’t insert a time limit because no one wants to say goodbye! More often than not, tears are flowing and laughter is rolling during these sessions.

Looking at depression for a moment, it is easy to see how it can become a terrible blockade to getting the help needed.  I’ve had strong individuals, men and women both, say they literally broke down and cried for weeks after their diagnosis.  This can be paralyzing!

The reality is that these people have just been given a terminal diagnosis in the clinical atmosphere of a doctor’s office, handed a confusing prescription and then shown the door.  Who wouldn’t be depressed?

Our tendency these days is to rush home, jump on the computer and start Googling whatever disease we’ve been handed. What they see is the horrible end stages, all the worst symptoms and nothing about how to “have a life” in between!

Now, instead of locking the doors, closing the shutters and hiding under your bed, you can request to be mentored live, one-on-one with another person with the same symptoms! For example, if you or your loved one has Lewy Body dementia, frontemporal degeneration, Alzheimer’s, or even the suffering that comes with a traumatic brain injury, we will match you up with someone that has dealt with the same diagnosis and symptoms. All you need is a computer with a webcam. Just by clicking a simple link you will be able to do this from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Please do not be timid. All mentoring session are strictly confidential. We want to make sure that everyone is comfortable enough to ask any question that they have concerns about.

Who better to show someone how to keep dementia at bay than someone who has been there or is personally experiencing it themselves? You are not going to get information like this from a doctor’s office, I promise you that.  Please watch and share the amazing short videos these folks have put together.