By Prudence Twigg, Sandy Burgener
Reminiscence loss can create difficulties in each element of somebody s existence. The problem of speaking innovations and emotions may be made even tougher via different people's destructive perceptions of dementia.
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Additional resources for A Personal Guide to Living with Progressive Memory Loss
This may seem difficult to you, considering the changes you are experiencing. How can you be sure others will listen and respect you when you tell them what you want to happen? You may not be sure that anyone will listen to you, but if you do not talk to others and express what you want, no one can listen. Sometimes, friends and family members may make these decisions for you—not out of disrespect—but simply because they do not know your wishes. Expressing your wishes about continuing in your roles in a positive and realistic way will help others hear your wishes.
Giving up an important role may also increase negative moods or depression. If you do not feel productive or useful, these negative feelings can result in negative moods or depression. Depression is especially a concern right after you receive a diagnosis—a time during which you may be still be active in your previous roles. Continuing in your previous roles may help battle the negative moods that are common after a diagnosis of progressive memory loss. Lastly, giving up roles can result in feelings of being powerless, with little control over your life.
To help you keep a more positive and realistic view of yourself, you might be asked to list your positive traits or characteristics. While it may be difficult for you to think positively about yourself, it is important to your personhood to focus on the positive aspects of who you are. When you start listing your positive qualities, you will be more easily reminded that you have a number of good traits. I often suggest MAINTAINING PERSONHOOD / 33 that people with memory loss keep that list close to them; to carry it in their pocket book or purse as a reminder of the good qualities they possess.