Recent statistics reveal that one in three people in the UK will develop dementia. Dementia affects 800,000 people in the UK; an umbrella term used to describe many conditions in which the brain no longer works so efficiently to process information and direct a person to carry out tasks. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease. Early symptoms include problems with memory and thinking. As the disease progresses it can affect a person’s ability to carry out simple daily tasks and live an independent life with many people experiencing difficulty with walking, balance, problem solving and planning.
When supporting a person with dementia, it can be helpful for carers to have an understanding of the impact the condition has on that person. This includes understanding how the person might think and feel, as these things will affect how they behave. The person may be experiencing a world that is very different to that of the people around them. It will help if the carer offers support while trying to see things from the perspective of the person with dementia, as far as possible.
It is important to remember when caring for someone with dementia that each person is unique, with their own life history, personality, likes and dislikes. It is very important to focus on what the person still does have, not on what they may have lost. It is also important to focus on what the person feels rather than what they remember.
So, assessing a patient’s lifestyle and living environment is particularly important to help people with dementia maintain a good quality of life as much as possible. For example, when support can be provided at home, it can provide a continuity of care that optimises wellbeing and helps patients to cope with symptoms such as memory loss, behavioural issues and mood changes. While the help of family and friends is vital, sufferers of dementia often need round the clock live-in care- which can be a physical and emotional strain and for families and carers. This is now becoming a widely available and affordable option, with specially trained carers helping to manage basic activities such as washing, dressing, meals, medication and finances. Essentially, if a person with dementia can continue living within the familiar environment of their own home, surrounded by memories, they are more likely to maintain their usual way of life for longer and continue to enjoy many of the things they enjoyed before their illness.
All of Promedica24’s live-in care teams are made up of fully trained and skilled care and support workers who are experienced in a range of conditions affecting older people including dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, arthritis and diabetes. For more information please go to http://promedica24.co.uk/ or follow us on the hashtag campaign #noplacelikehome