Dementia Action Week 2021: Understanding Dementia

According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are roughly 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. It is predicted to increase to 1.6 million by the year 2040.

It can be difficult to notice the signs of someone with the condition, as memory loss and confusion can sometimes just be a sign of old age. The main symptoms of a person living with dementia will get progressively worsen over time and the person will often display different behaviours that are out of character.

 

What is Dementia Action Week?

 

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.

Often used as an umbrella term, Dementia can be best described as a ‘set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.’

As a specialist home that provides around the clock dementia and nursing care for our residents, in this blog we have run-down key identifiers of the condition and ways on how to help your loved one:

Difficulty remembering yesterday


One of the main symptoms of a person living with dementia can often be displayed through difficulty recalling events. This may be show through trouble remembering memories they have from 30 years ago but will struggle to remember what they had for dinner last night.

It is worth noting that 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 present day, we have found 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.

Finding it hard to do 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 in recipes, having difficulty in making decisions over small matters and being unable to problem solve are some of the main tell-tale signs of dementia.

If you are noticing your loved one displaying signs of anxiety when carrying out day-to-day activities, 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.

Trouble interacting 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 that is completely different without so much as a pause.

A tip to remember is to keep your sentences short. Always use the person’s name often and 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 and that you relax and slow down your pace when talking. Despite the fact that you may see the person several times a day or week, each visit may feel like the first for them.

At Portland Nursing Home, we have begun welcoming back loved ones to our homes and have already seen a positive change in our residents. For more information and guidance on how to arrange a visit, head to our blog here.

Help for your loved ones


We understand that caring for someone living with dementia can be tough and it important that you look after yourself and get the help and rest that you need.

There are many support groups that can provide advice and an opportunity to meet like-minded people with a listening ear.

Help includes:

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/

At Portland, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience. Whether your loved one needs round the clock nursing care or a little respite, our experienced care team is here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.

We are still welcoming new residents into our home so if you want to take a tour of our beautiful home, our door is always open with tea and biscuits at the ready.

To contact us, please call our friendly care team on 01298 23040 or fill out a contact form here.

 

 

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