Helping Some With Dementia
People with dementia can feel vulnerable and emotional which can have a huge negative effect on their social well-being. Individuals tend to rely more on their close family and friends to do things for them. It is not just medical intervention that is required when helping someone with dementia. As their abilities decline they are likely to feel anxious and scared and their environment and routine need to remain familiar, otherwise they may become frustrated and upset.
We at Home Help Chesterfield appreciate this can be very difficult on the individual and their families. It is very important that people who have dementia feel reassured and supported, while retaining a level of independence. This adjustment can be very challenging and we are here to help and support the process.
No two people with dementia are the same, everyone comes from different backgrounds with their own personality. The majority of people with dementia experience memory difficulties and problems with thinking. This can lead to low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and can therefore impact their daily independence and interfere with their usual social activities. It is therefore imperative to focus on what they feel rather than what they can remember.
Involving people with dementia in their everyday tasks can make them feel useful and improve their sense of self-worth. We at Home Help Chesterfield appreciate the importance of feeling valued which allows our clients to feel more secure. We can create a regular daily routine in their own relaxing environment and provide great support and companionship.
Keeping up hobbies and interests.
In and around the home.
- If your loved ones enjoy cooking we will assist them in making their meals, which will provide them with a sense of achievement.
- We will have a stroll around the garden or maybe help them do some light gardening, this is also good exercise.
- We can help look after their pets who bring great pleasure into their lives.
- We will listen to music, watch a film and help them with reading or a jigsaw, if preferred.
Outside the home
- Help with the shopping and preparation of meals allows your loved ones to feel useful.
- We will assist our customers in remaining sociable and take them out the house if they would like.
- A short trip to the local garden centre, supermarket or attend a local activity encourages independence.
We find some of our customers find it very helpful to have several family photos around them, this is a huge benefit in helping them remember who their loved ones are. Others find it helpful to have pictures on cupboard doors that relate to the cupboard contents, this is another way the individual can retain their independence a little longer.
It is very common for people with dementia to struggle to keep up with conversations for a length of time and it may be necessary to avoid a lot of visitors at the same time. We will therefore ensure that our time spent with your loved ones is convenient for the individual and their families.
People with dementia can become more confused if they get ill which will affect their quality of life. Therefore, maintaining good health and nutrition is vital. We therefore encourage our customers to eat a well-balanced diet and do exercise where possible, even if it’s just a short stroll.
As the illness progresses, daily tasks may become more difficult and the further support may be needed. Eating habits may change and therefore meal times may need to be more flexible and normal routines may need adjusting to avoid stress to the client.
Symptoms of Dementia
Key signs that start to appear with people suffering from the onset of Dementia often referred to as cognitive impairment, which can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, are;
- Memory Loss – forgetting recent activities & events, names of people including those close to them, repetitive statements or questions
- Organising simple tasks or activities that may need some planning
- Struck with a sense of confusion in new environments
- Struggling with conversation, forgetting the right words
- Struggling numerically, trouble with simple maths or when it comes to handling money
- Depression – this can have overall effect on the sufferer, affecting both personality & mood
These are just a few of the early stages of Dementia, and progresses at varying speeds in different people depending on conditions such as what is the initial cause of the condition, the persons state of health, do they suffer with more than one type of Dementia?
The different types of Dementia that can affect people show similar traits whatever the cause for the condition, but the different types of Dementia do have characteristics that are particular to that type;
- Frontotemporal Dementia – changes in mood, emotion & personality, can appear cold, untoward, to others, behaviour that is out of character leading to inappropriate comments
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies – slow in their physical movements, hallucinations & varying periods of alertness vs drowsiness, this also leads to the persons levels of confusion fluctuating causing distress
- Vascular Dementia – sudden onset and rapid progress or progression over time, muscle weakness, paralysis and even stroke like symptoms
Symptoms in later Dementia can massively affect the individual, causing memory loss, unable to recognise close family and friends. Communication can be impaired as well, unable to express themselves as they want to or need to. Mobility can become an issue to, as well as weight loss and incontinence. If you feel you have a loved that is starting to display these symptoms then you should take them to see your GP.