Right at Home offices across the UK are calling upon all its care clients, carers and their families and friends to unite for Dementia Awareness Week 2017.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s national campaign, which runs from 14-20th May, aims to get people talking about dementia, helping them to understand the condition and the many ways that we can all support those whose lives are affected by it.
So how can we help people living with dementia? By offering help and understanding, improving care and, most importantly, supporting the research to ﬁnd a cure for the disease that is set to be the biggest killer of the 21st Century.
5 things you should know about dementia:
- Dementia can be caused by a range diseases that damage the structure and chemistry of the brain; Alzheimer’s is one, others include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, mixed dementia and frontotemporal dementia, including Picks Disease.
- Symptoms of dementia often start with memory problems; other symptoms include difficulties with planning or thinking things through, struggling to keep up with a conversation or to complete daily tasks, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour. For example, someone might get unusually sad, frightened, angry, easily upset, or lose their self-confidence and become withdrawn.
- Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it doesn’t just affect older people. Over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia. This is called early-onset or young-onset dementia.
- Everyone experiences dementia in their own way; their experience can be affected by their attitude to their diagnosis, their physical health, their relationships with friends and family, the treatment and support they get, and their surroundings.
- Help is available. Although there is currently no cure for dementia, support and treatments can allow people with dementia to lead active, purposeful lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most. This is one reason why it’s important to go to the GP as soon as you suspect there is a problem.
5 ways we can help manage symptoms of dementia:
- Seek medical diagnosis as early as possible
- Cognitive stimulation, which might involve doing word puzzles or discussing current affairs
- Life story work, sharing memories and experiences with a loved one, carer or nurse to create a ‘life story book’
- Keeping as active as possible – physically, mentally and socially – which can boost memory and self-esteem, and help avoid depression.
- Putting support in place for everyone involved – the Alzheimer’s Society provides expert information and support to anyone affected by dementia. Their National Dementia Helpline number is 0300 222 11 22.
Right at Home provides three distinct levels of service for people living with dementia.
- Our highly-personalised hourly care and support service offer respite and assistance when it’s needed, from a small but consistent team of highly- trained CareGivers who understand the specifics of your loved one’s condition.
- Our managed live-in care service meets the needs of those who need a trusted carer to be on hand in the home around the clock.
- Our dementia programme uses a five-pillared support plan to stabilise and slow the progression of dementia symptoms. Results have included wider cognitive function, improved ability to communicate and increased independence.
For more information on any of our services, please contact your local Right at Home office.