This week (17th – 23rd May) marks Dementia Action Week, and Greensleeves Care is raising awareness and offering top tips for family carers who are looking after loved ones with dementia.
Though our ageing population means dementia is common- affecting one in fourteen people over the age of sixty-five, and one in six people over eighty- for many people, understanding and coping with a family member’s diagnosis is unchartered territory. It can be a very emotional time for families of people living with dementia, as they witness the condition progress, and have to adapt to the changes that can come with that.
Steve Mason, Greensleeves Care’s Admiral Nurse, said; “For many people living with dementia, and their families, it is important that they can stay within their own home for as long as possible. However, this decision must consider a significant number of changes within the home environment. Prioritising a loved one’s safety, considering new challenges they might face due to dementia, is vital to ensuring they can stay in their own home for longer.”
To coincide with Dementia Action Week, Greensleeves Care has launched a new online advice centre where family carers can access top tips and guidance to support their loved ones.
The online advice centre – https://www.greensleeves.org.uk/advice-centre/ gives top tips about how to keep someone with dementia safe in their own homes as well as advice on how to spot if someone has dementia and steps to ensure dementia sufferers do not suffer from loneliness or isolation. You can find a wide range of articles within the Advice Centre, but below are some top tips for several key areas of dementia care.
Many people struggle to know when it is the right time to seek a dementia diagnosis, whether that be for a loved one, or for themselves. Many symptoms that people believe to be signs of dementia, such as memory loss, disorientation, or communication and language issues, can actually be caused by other illnesses, or even just ageing in general. It is always best to seek guidance from a GP if you have concerns about yourself or a loved one.
Dementia impacts on people’s bodies in many different ways, one of the impacts is on their eyesight and how the brain processes visual information. This can lead to confusion within the home and can increase the risk of falls and accidents. There are several small but impactful changes that can increase the safety of a person living with dementia in their own home – including ensuring that carpets and floors are dementia-friendly is also vital. For example, dark coloured door mats can look like holes in the ground, and patterned carpets can look as though the ground is covered with objects.
People living with dementia do not always communicate in the exact same way they used to but that does not mean they do not communicate at all. Everybody is different but if you keep some of the following in mind when communicating with someone living with dementia you should both have a positive and enjoyable experience.
Making sure you speak clearly and slowly can make a huge difference with helping someone living with dementia to understand and communicate with you. In addition, keeping your body language friendly and unthreatening will make the communication experience more comfortable for your loved one.
Steve Mason continued; “One thing to remember is that no two people will experience dementia in the same way. As someone progresses in their dementia journey, different advice will become more, or less, relevant depending on how the dementia affects them as an individual. However, taking basic safety precautions will always be beneficial to ensuring your loved one can stay independent for longer.”
For more information about dementia and to speak to dedicated Admiral Nurse (dementia specialist) Steve Mason, contact email@example.com