Advice and guidance for people affected by Dementia

Posted about 4 months ago

Dementia affects so many different people. According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, 850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK – more than ever before – 52% of the UK public know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Dementia is when the brain connections become damaged and messages can’t be passed to different parts of the brain, this is why people with dementia can’t retain information and lose their memory.

The number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to grow rapidly, so at Allied Healthcare, we believe it is important to raise awareness of the signs of dementia and share tips on how we can help those who have been diagnosed.

Allied Healthcare’s Lead Nurse, Suzette, has worked with people with dementia for 30 years from hospital settings, care homes and in the community. Suzette was also part of a group that created and implemented the East Midlands Dementia Strategy which involved developing existing and establishing new care services, in the area, to support the growing number of people diagnosed with dementia.

Suzette also has personal experience of caring for a loved one who was diagnosed with dementia and is passionate about educating people so people living with dementia feel safe.

She explains: “Supporting people with dementia is my passion because I have seen first-hand how it can affect people. As part of my role at Allied Healthcare, I provide advice and support to our care workers who are supporting people with dementia to ensure they are providing safe and effective person-centred care.

“The care and support given to people with dementia have dramatically changed in the last 30 years. When I was completing my nursing training there was no specific support for people with dementia, but a lot of research has been carried out since then and now the support is much more person-centred and focuses more on the individual.”

Suzette offers some advice and guidance on how you can play your part in helping people with dementia stay safe.

Tone of Voice

When communicating with someone with dementia it is important to know that they won’t remember the things you say but they will notice how you treat them and how you speak to them. Make sure you speak to them in a calm and friendly tone.

Reassure them

It is important to understand where the person is with dementia. Many people with dementia live in the past so it is common for someone to ask where relatives, such as their parents, are even though they have passed away. To reassure them and make them feel safe, say they will be back home soon, this way they do not become distressed or upset.

Make your Home Dementia-Friendly

There are many benefits for a dementia sufferer to stay in their own home, which is safe and familiar. However, at the later stages of dementia, they may forget where they are, where things are stored and how things work so you must make their home dementia friendly.

Items such as reminder devices that give an audio prompt to help people remember to take medicines and large clocks that display the day, date and time will help people feel less confused.

Take a different approach

You have to act in a person’s best interest. Instead of asking them would you like a drink, put a drink next to them and remind them it is there. They may not understand the question, so by making them a drink this way the person is staying hydrated.

Sense of Purpose

Many people with dementia need stimulation to help them keep active. It’s important to get into their mindset. If they have always had a passion for gardening, why not assist them with watering the plants or ask them to help you tidy the garden. This will give them a sense of purpose.

Ask for help

There is a lot of support available for people with dementia and their families. The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK provide a lot of resources including information on daily living, help with finding care and legal & financial advice.

Allied Healthcare Care Workers are trained so they understand the complexity of Dementia and how it can affect people in many different ways. If you would like further information about Allied Healthcare’s services, please click here. 

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