There has been a huge rise in the number of people with dementia in the UK, and this will continue to rise as the size of the ageing population increases.
Do you know someone or have a loved one that may have dementia?
Do you know how they or you will cope?
Caring Homes, one of the UK’s leading independent healthcare providers, understands how stressful and distressing it can be if you suspect that someone close to you has dementia.
This is why its Head of Dementia Care, Rose Magowan, has produced a simple guide for anyone who is concerned, and unsure what to do next.
Firstly, what are the signs of the onset of dementia?
While every person reacts to dementia differently, there are several common early symptoms to watch out for. These include: memory loss, problems communicating, changes in personality, mood or behaviour and disorientation to time and place. If you are noticing several of these symptoms in yourself or someone you know, it is important that you contact your GP. To reach a diagnosis of dementia, a number of assessments and tests will need to be carried out, some by a GP and some by a specialist such as a neurologist.
My loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, how can I care for them at home?
Caring for someone with dementia can be stressful, but it is important to be tolerant and patient, treating the person with dignity and as an individual. Their own feelings and character should not be forgotten, but continually integrated into their care. Carers should also ensure that they are flexible, as their dependent’s needs will change as the dementia progresses. People with dementia will feel vulnerable, and confused, so they will need reassurance, and sympathetic and affectionate care. It is possible to care for someone with dementia in their own home, but if you find you are struggling then it is vital that you get help.
Here are some tips and suggestions for caring for someone with dementia:
- Establish a routine. This provides the person with a feeling of security, providing structure and helping them to feel less confused as they get used to the routine.
- Encourage the person with dementia to remain independent for as long as possible, while also maintaining their personality. What are their favourite hobbies and past-times? Can they still take part in these, with your help? It is important that they remain active, but in a way that is safe.
- Is there a local Caring Homes care home near you? If so, it may be possible to join their dementia support group which will enable you to get practical help and advice from qualified and experienced staff members and also to share your experiences with other like minded individuals.
- Look after yourself, so you can look after your loved ones, enquire with your local Caring Home, or indeed other specialist dementia facilities within the area about occasional respite breaks for your friend or relative, caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting and developing a relationship with your local care home can provide you with a much needed break from time to time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Rose Magowan, Head of Dementia Care at Caring Homes, says: “Dementia does not simply affect the person with the condition, but also those close to them. That is why it is vital that support and information is available to relatives and friends, to help them deal with this distressing condition.”
“The Caring Homes portfolio includes a number of residential and nursing homes that provide superior specialist care for those with dementia, and we strive to help friends and relatives as much as possible as they come to terms with the condition affecting their loved one.”
Like to find out more about the dementia care available through Caring Homes?
There are Caring Homes care homes in your area that would love to help. For further details email firstname.lastname@example.org
23rd February 2010
Tel: 01536 414555