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Living with Dementia

By 17th July, 2019 Care Home, Help Comments Off

What is dementia?

Dementia describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.

There are over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.

Dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life as well as those around them. 

However, it is important to remember that:

  • they are still the same person even though they have problems with memory, concentration and planning
  • everyone experiences dementia differently
  • focusing on the things the person can still do and enjoy will help you both stay positive

Keeping socially active for as long as possible is good for confidence and wellbeing. There are many dementia-friendly activities available, have a look online to see what might be available near you.

In Brighton, for example they run dementia-friendly gardening sessions every Tuesday. Being outdoors in the fresh air amongst nature is amazing therapy for the soul. That’s why our care home gardens are so important. We try to get out in the garden as much as possible, whether it’s for a spot of gardening or for tea and cake.

The same company also organises a monthly dementia-friendly cooking class. The Alzheimer’s Society also runs different sessions to work on maintaining skills.

Here are a few tips to help manage dementia

  • Have a regular routine
  • Put a weekly timetable on the kitchen wall or fridge and schedule activities for when you are at your best
  • Keep your keys in an obvious place
  • Have a list of helpful numbers by the phone
  • Use direct debits for regular bills
  • Use a pill organiser box
  • Make sure your home is safe and dementia-friendly

The way your home is designed and laid out can have a big impact on someone with dementia. 

That’s why we spent time and money investing in our care home’s layout and decor creating colour coded ‘zones to aid orientation. It is also vitally important for us that our residents feel at home, which is why thought, care, and also input from residents themselves has gone into the decoration of each and every one of our 28 bedrooms. Each door is clearly numbered and with consent, photos are attached to aid orientation. 

Symptoms of memory loss, confusion and difficulty learning new things can mean someone with dementia may forget where they are, where things are and how things work. We think of ways to help residents live a full and independent life for as long as possible, welcoming visitors whenever they choose and hopefully providing as much of a home-from-home feel as we can.