September marks the 10th year of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month . Where people come together from all around the world to raise awareness and to challenge the stigma that persists around dementia, with the 21st September marking World Alzheimer’s Day.
The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month this year is ‘Know dementia, know Alzheimer’s’. Focusing on the importance of seeking out information, advice and getting in contact with an Alzheimer’s or dementia association.
Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. To tackle this global dementia challenge, we need to raise awareness of the warning signs.
In order to help your loved one, it’s important to be aware of the key signs and symptoms, which are listed below:
Inability to carry out simple tasks
Tasks that your loved one would naturally do, start to become a struggle. A few examples include, being unable to follow simple instructions in recipes, having difficulty in making decisions over small matters and being unable to problem solve are some of the main tell-tale signs of dementia.
Turning off plugs, putting away sharp items such as kitchen knives and making sure to lock doors can help to prevent serious accidents, as it is likely that your loved one will display signs of anxiety or forgetfulness when carrying out day-to-day activities.
A person with dementia may have trouble finding the right word, they may repeat words and phrases, or may become ‘stuck’ on certain sounds.
Make sure that background noises are kept to a minimal where possible and that you relax and slow down your pace when talking to your loved one. 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.
Short-term memory loss
Memory loss can be an early sign of dementia. Your loved one may struggle to remember recent events, but able to recall things that happened in the past.
Alzheimer’s disease creates impairments in short-term memory but remote memory, i.e., things that happened years ago, often remains intact.
Memory books, showing old black and white films and talking about past experiences will help to reduce anxiety and make them feel comfortable in their surroundings, rather than attempting to bring the person with dementia back to present day.
Help for you
Caring for someone living with dementia can be rather challenging. But with the right support, it can be rewarding and often satisfying. There are a number of support groups that can provide advice and an opportunity to meet like-minded people with a listening ear.
The campaign is highlighting the importance of an early diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to seek out advice and support. Some can feel a stigma surrounding dementia and avoid seeking a diagnosis. By talking honestly and openly we can defeat this.
Get checked. Early detection matters.
Here at The Beeches, it is our belief that a care home can be a truly positive experience. Whether your loved one needs round the clock nursing care or a little respite, our experienced team is here to deliver the highest standard of care in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Our door is always open with tea and biscuits at the ready, so if you want to take a tour of our beautiful home, contact us on 01359 230773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.