Taking place between 17-23 May 2021, Dementia Action Week is a weeklong campaign that aims to raise awareness, challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia and calling on the government to take further action.
What is Dementia?
Dementia can be best described as a ‘set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.’
Alzheimer’s Society states there are roughly 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and is predicted to only increase to 1.6 million by the year 2040.
It can be difficult to notice the signs of someone with the condition. Memory loss and confusion can sometimes just be a sign of old age. A person living with dementia will progressively worsen over time and the person will often display different behaviours that are out of character.
At Crouched Friars, we provide dementia and nursing care for our residents and in this blog, we include key symptoms of the condition to look for and tips on how to help your loved one:
Finding it hard to recall yesterday’s events
One of the main symptoms of a person living with dementia can often be displayed through difficulty recalling events. For example, trouble remembering memories they have from 30 years ago but will struggle to remember what they had for dinner last night.
Alzheimer’s disease creates impairments in short-term memory but remote memory including things that happened years ago often remains intact.
Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to the present day, we have found memory books and talking about past experiences help. Doing this will reduce anxiety and make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.
Struggling to interact with others
People living with dementia often have difficulty in both following a conversation and sticking to topics. It is quite common for them to strike up a normal conversation but then veer off into a subject.
A tip to remember is to keep your sentences short. Always use the person’s name often and most importantly try to be wary of your tone and approach if you see them getting anxious or confused.
It is very important when chatting to your loved one to ensure that background noises are kept to a minimum. Where possible, relax and slow down your pace when talking. Despite the fact that you may see the person several times a week, each visit may feel like the first for them.
We have started welcoming back visitors and have already seen a positive change in our resident’s wellbeing. For more information and guidance on how to arrange a visit, head to our blog here.
Trouble completing simple tasks
You may have noticed your loved one struggling to carry out tasks that they were once a dab hand at. For example, being unable to follow simple instructions, difficulty in making decisions and being unable to problem solve are some tell-tale signs of dementia.
If you are noticing these signs, then it can be unsafe to leave them alone. Always remember to turn off plugs, put away sharp items and make sure to lock doors which can help to prevent serious accidents.
Expert help for your loved ones
We understand that caring for someone living with dementia can be tough. It is also extremely important that you look after yourself and get the help and rest that you need.
There are many support groups out there that can provide expert advice and an opportunity to meet like-minded people with a listening ear. Some helplines include:
- Alzheimer’s Society– https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20046/help_with_dementia_care/79/carers_looking_after_yourself/4
- Dementia UK– https://www.dementiauk.org/sources-of-support-for-families/
- Age UK– https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/caring-dementia/
- Dementia Care– http://www.dementiacare.org.uk/services/need-some-advice/carers-support/
Here at Crouched Friars, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience. Our experienced team is always here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.
If you want to take a tour of the home, our door is always open with tea and biscuits at the ready.
To contact us, please call our friendly care team on 01206 572647 or fill out a contact form here.