Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes, according to Alzheimer’s society. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.
Every person is unique, and dementia affects people differently – no two people will have symptoms that develop in exactly the same way. An individual’s personality, general health and social situation are all important factors in determining the impact of dementia on him or her.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.
Here we run down the key symptoms of the condition and how to help your loved one:
Declining memory, especially short-term memory, is the most common early symptom of dementia. People living with the condition may briefly forget their next-door neighbour’s name, but they still know the person they are talking to is their next-door neighbour. A person with dementia will not only forget their neighbour’s name but also the context.
Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to present day, memory books, showing old black and white films and talking about past experiences will help to reduce anxiety and make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Problems with language
Occasionally everyone has trouble finding the right word but a person living with dementia often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making speech or writing hard to understand.
When you’re starting a conversation with the person you’re caring for try to speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences. Use the person’s name often and try to be wary of your tone and approach if you see them getting anxious or confused.
Difficulty performing familiar tasks
People with dementia often find it hard to complete everyday tasks that are so familiar we usually do not think about how to do them. A person with dementia may not know in what order to put clothes on or the steps for preparing a meal.
If your loved one is displaying these signs when carrying out day-to-day activities, then it can be unsafe to leave them alone. Turning off plugs, putting away sharp items such as kitchen knives and making sure to lock doors can help to prevent serious accidents.
Help for you
Supporting someone with dementia can be a rewarding experience, giving you an opportunity to help someone who is important to you and learn new skills. However, it may be very challenging at times. There are many support groups that can provide useful advice that could be extremely helpful for you and your loved one.
Here at Crouched Friars, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience. Whether your loved one needs round the clock nursing or dementia care our experienced team is here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Crouched Friars are also pleased to be welcoming new residents. They have specific procedures in place, to continue to support families who are looking for care for a loved one, whilst minimising the risk for residents and staff.
If you’re interested in hearing more about our home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Contact us on 01206 572647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.