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New report looks to help dementia patients be happier

A new report has argued that more must be done to restore a sense of balance in the lives of dementia sufferers, suggesting that patients should live for the moment and not fret about memory loss. With over 800,000 people currently suffering with dementia in the UK and this number estimated to rise to 1.7 …

A new report has argued that more must be done to restore a sense of balance in the lives of dementia sufferers, suggesting that patients should live for the moment and not fret about memory loss.

With over 800,000 people currently suffering with dementia in the UK and this number estimated to rise to 1.7 million by 2050, it is clear that more must be done towards helping friends, family members and neighbours to enjoy the best quality of life possible, whether that be while living at home or in one of the specialist dementia care homes across the UK.

Called A Good Life With Dementia, the report says there must be a greater emphasis on living in the moment, allowing sufferers to retain a sense of identity and, therefore, lead happier lives. According to the report, 72 per cent of UK adults believe that not living in the past is important to ensuring happiness.

Six key steps identified

The document was created by the independent research agency ESRO and was published in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society. It reads: “while past experiences are crucial in shaping our present selves, we do not need to continually remember them to retain our sense of identity and enable us to be happy.”

This is a view which is also shared by Daniel Kahneman – an award-winning psychologist who believes that the value placed on a person being able to recall their memories is overrated.

The report suggests there are six key methods of helping people with dementia enjoy a better quality of life, which are: respecting a sufferer’s identity, sustaining relationships, embracing the now, allowing good and bad days, taking risks and maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing.

The report’s authors also suggest that a timely diagnosis is imperative in helping people plan for their future.

Image Credit: N/A (Carebase website)