Cognitive diseases, such as dementia, affect every part of the patient’s quality of life. When even the simplest things become hard or impossible to remember, basic tasks are difficult to accomplish, if they can be completed at all. When cognitive decline sets in, the assistance of loved ones in a caregiver’s role become increasingly useful. Beyond their ability to step in and both safeguard the patient from missteps or dangerous actions, or their willingness to assume responsibilities the patient may no longer be able to accomplish, the simple social contact and emotional support the caregivers can offer is essential to slowing the progression of the decline.
Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that while good physical health, from diet and exercise, are key to moderating and lessening the effects of cognitive disorders, so too is the emotional and social contact that many dementia patients get less of as their disease takes over their lives. People who stay in a dementia patient’s life and talk to them, who offer them a social outlet, are a key aspect to keeping the patient’s quality of life high. Problems with mental acuity and memory can be scary, even and sometimes especially for those of us who have to watch a loved one suffer from them, but staying involved in their life is the best thing you can do for a loved one in such a situation.