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Living with Dementia - a practical guide

Dementia My Life, My Goals

For those that are experiencing dementia or are supporting a loved with a new diagnosis, it can bring a lot of changes to a person’s life. A recent piece of work has shown that working on a goal can have a positive impact, providing a focus and making a person feel more confident and in control. A new self-help guide called – Dementia My Life My Goals has been created for people in the early stages of dementia by people with dementia and researchers from Exeter University, Innovations in Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The guide focuses on a research project about Cognitive Rehabilitation carried out at the University of Exeter. The trial demonstrated that people with dementia were better able to achieve their goals in every-day tasks if they had received goal-orientated cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

Cognitive rehabilitation = ways to help with some of the changes that dementia can bring. For example, it can help people find ways around memory issues, word finding problems and keeping focused. Its aim is to make everyday life easier for people with dementia.

The study found that people with dementia often feel happier when supported with daily activities and things that bring joy to their life. And that it is not always necessary to stop doing these things after a dementia diagnosis; they may just need to find different ways of doing them.

A person that is in the early stages of living with dementia can benefit from a practical strategy that has been created around their individual needs. A carer or care partner might be able to support problem-solving and help develop the strategy.

Dementia Self-help Guide

My Life, My Goals - Dementia Self-help Guide

My Life, My Goals is a self-help guide designed to help people living with dementia, step by step, try to achieve their goals.

The guide has been designed to give people with dementia hope:

Practical help for people with Dementia

The guide is full of ideas to help you think about your goals. A goal reflects your desires and wishes.

The guide will help you, step-by-step, try to achieve your goals and create YOUR own plan.

There are two versions of the guide available to download. The digital guide can be downloaded to use on your computer, tablet or phone. The printable guide can be downloaded to print off at home and use. Both versions are 60 pages. Hard copies are not available to order.

Some simple tips from the guide

A goal is your wish for the future – something that you would like to do. Working on a goal can have a real impact on your life. It gives you a focus. It can improve how you feel about yourself and make you feel more confident and in control.

Keep your goals simple and specific. Choose something that can be changed. Avoid things that can’t be changed. There may be a lot of things that have changed in your life since dementia.

Here are some of things that some people with Dementia have found difficult:

Then think about the things that have become more difficult for you. What would ‘fill your heart with joy’ to work on? What would make a difference in your life?

The guide goes on to give you practical tips in which to prepare to tackle your goals, what systems you can put in place to give you the best chance of meeting those goals.

Creating the My Life, My Goals self-help guide

The Alzheimer’s Society funded an implementation project called GREAT into Practice (GREAT-iP) to support the researchers from the GREAT trial, led by the University of Exeter, to adapt their cognitive rehabilitation therapy to real-life practice.

Together with people living with dementia, they created the self-help guide, My Life, My Goals, to enable other people living with dementia to set and achieve goals.

What is the GREAT dementia research trial?

GREAT stands for:

The trial demonstrated that people with dementia were better able to achieve their goals in every-day tasks if they had received goal-orientated cognitive rehabilitation therapy. That’s why the Society funded GREAT-iP, to put GREAT ‘into Practice’.

What is cognitive rehabilitation therapy?

Cognitive rehabilitation is a type of therapy that can make managing everyday activities easier for people with early-stage dementia.

It is often delivered over several sessions between a therapist and a person living with dementia. The therapist will help the person living with dementia to plan how to meet their goals and will support them to do so.

Several studies have shown that it can help to maintain independence.

Watch a two-minute video that explains cognitive rehabilitation:

How the self-help guide can benefit people with dementia?

The dementia researchers identified that not all people with dementia were able to access a therapist to receive cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

They also found that some people who were recently diagnosed with dementia were able to identify their own goals and strategies, but might benefit from support to do this.

The people with dementia who helped create the guide wanted other people living with dementia to feel hope. Hope that are ways of managing any difficulties, hope that there are solutions to problems and hope that people living with dementia can live a good life.

Dementia Care with Friary Care

If you would like to arrange a visit to either of our care homes in Weymouth, or discuss your dementia care needs, please call Peter at our on 01305 787811.

My grandmother is extremely happy at Friary House. The staff are hardworking, kind, caring and always smiling. As a family, we feel comfort knowing our grandmother/mother is safe and happy. At Friary House, the team are exceptional. Thank you!

Megan M

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