Dementia and Hypnotherapy
Dementia Action Week is all about focusing on what we can do to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.
Here at Inspired to Change we are interested in discovering whether hypnotherapy could be part of a care package that makes a difference to the lives of those living with dementia and their carers.
What is dementia?
When the brain has been damaged by disease or injury, the mental processes start to gradually erode the cognitive abilities to function properly, causing memory disorders, personality changes, impaired reasoning, and the failure to undertake normal activities.
There are many types of dementia with Alzheimers being the most common. While it is very rare under 40 years of age, by the time we get to 80 the statistics show one in five people will be diagnosed with dementia, so the older you get, the more likely you are to develop this disease.
How can hypnotherapy help?
When people are first diagnosed with dementia it can cause stress, anxiety or depression worrying about the future for themselves and their families. The loss of their cognitive control and changes of personality can be frightening.
And this is where hypnotherapy comes in. Reducing stress and anxiety and enabling people to feel calm and more capable.
Several studies have shown that hypnotherapy can help reduce many of the distressing aspects of dementia by:
- boosting short term memory capacity
- improving the ability to concentrate on every day tasks
- reducing stress and anxiety
- increasing our ability to feel calm and relaxed
- boosting our focus and motivatation
- reducing isolation and loneliness
- The studies show hypnotherapy can improve quality of life by giving clarity of thought, better capacity to concentrate for longer periods of time and learning to control emotions. It can also boost our desire to socialise, interact and be with others reducing the loneliness and isolation many suffers of dementia face.
Hypnotherapy can also bring great benefit to family members or caregivers of those with dementia, helping them to be more patient and understanding with a relaxed approach. It empowers them to feel calmer and not to let their worrying thoughts take over so they are in a better position to deal with the needs of their loved one.
There is no definite way to avoid dementia, but living a healthy lifestyle can make a difference:
- A good diet and regular exercise – both prevent cardiovascular disease which is a risk factor for all common types of dementia.
- Mentally stimulating activities like our hobbies keep our minds active.
- Being with friends and family boosts our mood keeping us positive (untreated depression is another risk factor).
- Getting a good night’s sleep – the majority of the ‘clean up’ process preventing the build up of the plaques that cause Alzheimer’s is done while we sleep (another reason to head off for a relaxing hypnotherapy session!).
At Inspired to Change we are all about finding solutions to how we can cope better with the situations we find ourselves in so here are some practical Solution Focused tips to remember:
1. Keep a diary of good things that happen to you during the day helping you to stay positive and focused.
2. Focus on accepting and adapting to your circumstances rather than trying to fight against them. You might not be in control of what is happening to you but you can be in control of how you think about it and the actions you choose to take.
3. Make a list of tasks that have become more challenging and work out coping strategies.
4. Ask for help, don’t pressurise yourself to succeed, and give each task plenty of time. There are many ways to achieve each activity, so it can be trial and error before you hit on the way that suits you best.
If you, or a loved one are struggling to deal with dementia or the impact of caring for someone with dementia contact the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122, or www.dementiafriends.org.uk. Across the country there are also many dementia cafes for suffers and carers to get support.
About the Author: Carmen is based in our Market Harborough clinic. She especially likes seeing clients suffering from stress and anxiety because the results are truly life changing and they can happen in as little as 6 weeks. Carmen is also a successful piano teacher.
If you would like to explore how hypnotherapy can help you get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon, Suffolk and Kent.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information