Dementia Action Week 2021: Dementia explained

What is Dementia Action Week?


Taking place between 17-23 May 2021, Dementia Action Week, the weeklong campaign aims to raise awareness, challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia and calling on the government to take further action.

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

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

It can be difficult to notice the signs of dementia, as memory loss can sometimes 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.

As a specialist dementia residential care home, we have included a run-down of some of the key symptoms of the condition and how best to help your loved one:

Trouble recalling recent events

A person living with dementia can often recall memories they have from 30 years ago but will struggle to remember what they had for dinner last night. Alzheimer’s disease creates impairments in short-term memory but remote memory, i.e., things that happened years ago, often remains intact.

Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to the present day, memory books and talking about past experiences will help make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Struggling to carry out 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 are some of the main tell-tale signs of dementia.

If your loved one is displaying signs of forgetfulness when carrying out day-to-day activities, then it can be unsafe to leave them alone. Turn off plugs, putting away sharp items and make sure to lock doors to help prevent serious accidents.

Difficulty interacting


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.

It is important when chatting to your loved one to ensure that background noises are kept to a minimum.  Where possible you must relax and slow down your pace when talking to them. Despite the fact that you may see the person several times a day or week, each visit may feel like the first for them.

Keep your sentences short, use the person’s name often and try to be wary of your tone and approach if you see them getting anxious or confused.

Help for your loved ones

We understand that caring for someone living with dementia can be tough but it is also important that you look after yourself.  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/

 

Here at The Beeches, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience. Our experienced team is here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Did you know we are still welcoming new residents into our home? 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 01359 230773 or fill out a contact form here.

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