Dementia occurs when the brain becomes damaged by disease. It spans problems including cognitive difficulties, language problems and memory loss. Those over 65 are most affected. Changes in behaviour and mood may be observed, and eventually symptoms come to significantly affect daily life, requiring appropriate care and support. The most common types of dementia are:
The symptoms of dementia differ in the early stages, but as more of a person’s brain becomes affected, they become more alike. People with dementia typically struggle with the following:
They may also experience mood changes and become frustrated, withdrawn or upset.
Everyone experiences dementia differently. If you have dementia, it is important to stay positive and focus on things you enjoy. Rest assured that you’re still the same person, even though you may have memory or concentration issues. As the disease progresses, relationships can change, so it is important to keep the lines of communication open. With the right support, you can live well with dementia for many years.
It is essential to look after yourself if you have dementia including all of the following:
Life with dementia can be distressing. But the following measures will help you to stay well:
Make your home dementia-friendly
Technology that can help you to live well includes electronic medication reminders, locator devices if you misplace things, and automatic ‘shut-off’ devices if you forget to switch off the oven, tap or gas.
Care for someone living with dementia should be ‘person-centred’, focusing on their specific needs and preferences.
Care workers act in tandem with the family and friends of the person living with dementia. They respond to the individual’s changing needs and can provide invaluable support especially when dealing with difficult behaviour. A care worker can ensure that a person living with dementia stays active mentally, physically and socially. Live-in care may be arranged in the late stages of dementia.
A care worker from an agency such as Guardian Carers will be assigned to an individual after a customised care package has been devised to support the individual and their family.