Understanding Dementia

Here at The Beeches, we are proud to be a dementia specialist care home. We thought we would put together a blog all about Dementia and how we can help support your loved one.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes, according to Alzheimer’s society. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.

Every person is unique, and dementia affects people differently – no two people will have symptoms that develop in the same way. An individual’s personality, general health and social situation are all important factors in determining the impact of dementia..

Here, we’ve outlined the key symptoms of the condition and how you can help your loved one:

Memory loss

Declining memory, especially short-term memory, is the most common early symptom of dementia. For example, people living with the condition may briefly forget their next-door neighbour’s name, but they still know the person they are talking to is their next-door neighbour. A person with dementia will not only forget their neighbour’s name but also the context.

For your loved one’s well being it’s important not to argue with them, or try to get them to see ‘what’s really happening. This can be quite distressing for someone living with dementia who likely now has their own version of reality. Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to present day, you could use memory books, showing old black and white films and talking about past experiences to help to reduce anxiety and make them feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Problems with language 

Occasionally everyone has trouble finding the right word but a person living with dementia often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making speech or writing hard to understand.

When you’re starting a conversation with the person you’re caring for, try to speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences. Use the person’s name often and try to be wary of your tone and approach.  If you see them getting anxious or confused try to slow things down again or simplify where you can, always being kind and reassuring. .

Difficulty performing familiar tasks

People with dementia often find it hard to complete everyday tasks that are so familiar we usually do not think about them. A person with dementia may not know in what order to put clothes on or the steps for preparing a meal.

If your loved one is displaying these signs when carrying out day-to-day activities, then it can be unsafe to leave them alone. Turning off plugs, putting away sharp items such as kitchen knives and making sure to lock doors can help to prevent serious accidents.

If you are noticing more and more that your loved one is having difficulty with daily life, forgetting to eat, leaving pans on the hob or not getting dressed and washed, it could be time to consider a dementia care home like The Beeches. 

Some helpful tips and sites for dementia 

Supporting someone with dementia can be a rewarding experience, giving you an opportunity to help someone who is important to you and learn new skills. However, it may be very challenging at times. There are many support groups that can provide useful advice that could be extremely helpful for you and your loved one.

Helful sites:

Dementia UK – https://www.dementiauk.org/sources-of-support-for-families/

Alzheimer’s Society – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20046/help_with_dementia_care/79/carers_looking_after_yourself/4

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/

Why choose The Beeches Care Home in Ixworth 

Here at The Beeches, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience and a home from home. 

Whether your loved one needs round-the-clock nursing or dementia care, our experienced team is here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.

The Beeches are also pleased to be welcoming new residents. We have specific procedures in place, to continue to support families who are looking for care for a loved one, whilst minimising the risk for residents and staff.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Visit our website www.thebeeches-ixworth.co.uk or call us on 01359 230773.

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