Brickmont Assisted Living Blog

The Power of Positivity in Dementia Care

Posted by The Brickmont Assisted Living Team on Feb 1, 2024 8:00:00 AM | 3 minute read


If someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia, it can be challenging to find the positive side of the situation. The word “dementia” alone has the power to strike fear into anybody with an aging loved one or any older adult.

When faced with challenges and difficulties, we know it can feel impossible to stay positive and maintain a happy outlook, especially when it comes to the well-being of someone that you love. However, despite the uncertain future that dementia brings, maintaining a positive mindset when seeking or providing dementia care can make a significant difference for every individual involved. 

At Brickmont Assisted Living, we understand the emotional challenges that come with caring for a loved one living with dementia. Our dementia care communities serving Atlanta provide peace of mind for families and individuals through our compassionate care services and support. We’re sharing how the power of positivity can bring benefits to many different aspects of this journey. 

Reframing Dementia Care Language

Individuals living with a form of dementia deserve the utmost respect and dignity. As a result, negative terms and phrases can make them feel belittled and promote a sense of de-personalization that can cause feelings of isolation. Not only can this make them feel unsupported, but it can also greatly impact their self-esteem. 

That being said, the power of positive language can go a long way to help reframe how you and your loved ones view and manage dementia. Positive language entails utilizing words and phrases that serve to empower. When it comes to the way you use positive language around your loved one living with dementia, it can make them feel valued, included, and supported during their journey. 

For instance, avoid using words such as “sufferer, suffer from, afflicted, victim or any other words that disempower people with dementia by making them seem passive, childlike, or worthy of pity.”

Slowing Memory Loss

Researchers working with Northwestern University’s Life-span Development Laboratory conducted a nationwide study with nearly 1,000 recruits across the United States to see if attitude correlated with memory loss. The participants, who were all above middle age, were followed by researchers for almost a decade and, at regular intervals, were asked to describe their positive emotions over the past 30 days; then, they were asked to take a memory test. 

The study found that the participants who had a higher level of positivity over the course of time had a lower level of memory decline throughout the decade. Many other studies have found similar results, connecting positive mindsets and emotions to resiliency in times of crisis, lower risk of stroke, increased creativity, and longevity. 

Benefits of Positivity for Those with Dementia

Maintaining a positive attitude and mindset and utilizing positive language when providing dementia care for a loved one can help them feel respected, valued, and understood. Not only does this approach help to improve quality of life drastically, but it also provides encouragement and health enhancements.

For example, focusing on your loved one’s abilities and strengths rather than any weaknesses or inabilities can manage and even reduce behavioral symptoms of dementia, like agitation or aggression. Many times, when a person living with dementia displays signs of frustration and aggression, it’s because they feel misunderstood or are unable to express these feelings in a clear way. However, maintaining positive communication can allow them to feel acknowledged and heard. This can also help to deepen the emotional bond between a caregiver and an individual living with dementia, leading to meaningful experiences and interactions.  

Our mission at Brickmont Assisted Living is to honor residents and cherish the things that make them unique: who they are, who they have been, and who they’ve yet to become. It’s our true calling to utilize the power of positivity at every step of the way in our Silver Linings memory care communities in order to help your loved one find the meaning and happiness that they deserve. 

When you choose Silver Lining dementia care at Brickmont, you can rest assured your loved one will find meaning and contentment each and every day. 

For more information about our assisted living and memory care communities, please contact our team today.

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