Yohko Maki , Hideyuki Hattori
Dementia is a life-changing disease, especially for aspects such as relationships with others. As dementia affects independence, maintaining social relationships should be one of the critical issues in dementia care. Thus, for people living with dementia, such support is necessary in order to enhance the quality of their social life within the context of their interpersonal relationships with others, especially family members. Persons with dementia and their family members are inevitably faced with various challenges in their daily life. As the most causative disease of dementia is progressive in nature, living with dementia is a continuous process of coping with such challenges. If they fail to cope with these difficulties in daily living well, their caregiving burdens will increase. Thus, it is necessary to provide them with support to help them manage such challenges, but the most important thing is to ensure that persons with dementia themselves maintain the will to make their lives more meaningful and enjoyable under such circumstances while receiving support and assistance from others. Discussions related to dementia care tend to focus on how to provide care for persons with dementia, but they are not mere care-recipients, and they should be able to decide how to live autonomously. Even in the advanced stages, persons with dementia are capable enough to maintain the will to live well with dementia. If persons with dementia and their family members succeed in feeling and expressing thankfulness for their current relationships, they may find meaning in living with dementia.