[Doctor’s commentary] 5 tips for dementia care and how to treat family members!

If there is laughter, dementia treatment and nursing care will go well. It is said that borrowing the “power of laughter” eases symptoms and reduces the stress of nursing care, making both patients and their families much more comfortable. We asked Mr. Mutsuo Enomoto, a dementia specialist, about nursing care tips and how to treat family members.

5 tips for dementia care and how to interact with family members

Table of contents

  • Bring laughter to dementia care! Proper treatment can slow the progression of symptoms
  • Dementia Specialist Recommended “5 Tips for Dementia Care”
  • What should a person with dementia not do? Peace of mind and smiles are important
  • Improving symptoms of illness Health Benefits of Laughter in Research Data

Bring laughter to dementia care! Proper treatment can slow the progression of symptoms

Bringing laughter to dementia care

Mutsuo Enomoto, director of the Enomoto Internal Medicine Clinic, sees close to 1,000 dementia patients every month. The importance of “laughing” is realized from daily medical treatment. We call for more laughter in the treatment and care of dementia.

“When the patient and family smile, it makes me think that the treatment and nursing care are going well. Dementia itself often progresses slowly in those people. I’ve been going to the hospital for a long time, but since I’ve been taking medicine and getting regular checkups from an early stage, my symptoms have barely progressed.”

“When I ask, ‘How are you feeling?’, he replies with a lot of humor, ‘I’m doing great!’ Of course, in reality, there are worries about nursing care, but she never speaks in front of the person, and quietly gives me a note and asks for advice. It’s a wonderful response.”

Dementia Specialist Recommended “5 Tips for Dementia Care”

Dementia Care Tips

So, what is the secret to making dementia patients and their families smile like this couple? We asked Ms. Enomoto about her tips for caring for people with dementia.

1. “Dementia” is a NG word
“forgetfulness” is enough. Avoid expressions that make you feel uneasy.

2. Find your strong points
Respect what you can do rather than what you can’t do.

3. View from the outfield seats a little away
It is also important to take the stance of a bystander without entering the same ring.

4. Act like an actor and treat them with a smile
Rather than being too serious, don’t forget to use humor as if you were an actor.

5. “Relax” nursing care instead of cutting corners
Use nursing care services to secure time for a change of pace. Relax your mind.

What should a person with dementia not do? Peace of mind and smiles are important

What not to do with someone with dementia

On the contrary, Enomoto says that it is NG to complain to the patient or to insist on something that cannot be done.

“For example, if you try to persuade a patient who is about to leave home by telling them, ‘I’m going home,’ that ‘This is my home,’ they won’t be convinced. I try to persuade them with a serious face. The expression on their face is so scary that they can be seen as an “enemy” to the person in question.Since patients with dementia are sensitive to other people’s emotions and can read facial expressions well.That’s why I smiled and said, “Well then, let’s go home together.” Okay,” and taking a short walk will solve the problem faster.”

Yes, a smile is a sign that “I’m on your side”, and it’s also a trick to solve problems quickly.

“Just try to smile as if you were an actor. Patients will be drawn to your smile.”

A smile really works! It is. Enomoto says that even if the core symptoms of dementia such as forgetfulness and judgment cannot be improved, peripheral symptoms (BPSD) such as wandering and delusions of having things stolen can be reduced by smiling.

But even when I can’t laugh when I say that…

“Of course, there will be. But there is no need to blame yourself for not being able to smile. It seems that many people realize this in about six months.If dementia is detected early and is properly diagnosed and treated, it is not a scary disease.Let’s laugh and socialize.”

Improving symptoms of illness Health Benefits of Laughter in Research Data

The health benefits of laughter began to attract attention in 1976, when American journalist Norman Cousins ​​wrote a memoir about his illness.

He had a chronic collagen disease, but he announced that he was able to overcome the disease with high-dose vitamin C therapy and laughter. Take this opportunity to medically research the healing power hidden in laughter. His book has been published in Japan under the title of Laughter and Healing Power.

Even in Japan, there are cases where blood sugar levels have decreased due to manzai.

The subjects were 19 diabetic patients. When we compared how blood sugar levels rose after meals on days when we received a boring lecture and days when we burst out laughing at comedy, we found that the increase in blood sugar level was suppressed by 46 mg/dL on the day of manzai compared to the day of lecture. .

Anxiety and other stresses tend to raise blood sugar levels, but laughter did the opposite.

In addition, many studies have reported that laughter has a positive effect on the mind and body, such as boosting immunity.

■ The person who taught me

Mutsuo Enomoto

Mutsuo Enomoto

Enomoto Mutsuo Director of Enomoto Internal Medicine Clinic (Chofu City, Tokyo). Born in 1967 (Showa 42). After graduating from Tokyo Medical University, he entered the geriatric department (now the geriatric department). He researches dementia and neurological disorders at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology. After working at the Nanasawa Rehabilitation Hospital Cerebrovascular Center, he assumed his current position in 2009. He is also a visiting lecturer at the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tokyo Medical University. His book is “Dementia with Laughing” (published by Shinchosha).

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