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Caring for those with Alzheimer’s

By 5th September, 2019 Care No Comments

This month is Alzheimer’s awareness month, so we will focus on this on our blog, offering a little advice for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Living with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia has a big emotional, social and practical impact on a person and those around them. The way a person with dementia feels and experiences life is down to more than just having the condition. The relationships that person has, their environment and the support they receive shapes a person’s experience. Therefore if you are able to recognise this and be as supportive as possible, this will help the person living with Alzheimer’s.

You can help this person to feel valued and included, but this support needs to be sensitive to the person as an individual and focus on promoting wellbeing. This is what we try to achieve at Fairdene Lodge. Our focus really is on person-centred care – treating the person as an individual and finding a care plan that suits their needs and interests. Each person is unique with their own life history, personality, likes and dislikes. At Fairdene Lodge we get to know each of our residents before and when they move in to make the transition as easy as possible and so that they feel we are a home from home.

Although dementia affects people differently, there are a few things to consider when caring for your loved one which focus on reducing the frustrations for both of you:

  • Schedule: Establish a daily routine. Some tasks are easier when the person is most alert and refreshed, so plan tasks and appointments around those times where possible and be flexible to adapt to the person each day – if they are having a bad day – rearrange plans as much as possible
  • Time: Understand that tasks may take more time than they used to so allow more time, so you don’t feel rushed which could cause frustration.
  • Involve: Allow the person with dementia to do as much possible without always stepping to do everything for them. Could they dress themselves if you laid the clothes out on the bed in the right order?
  • Choice: Allow choice without overwhelming. Perhaps offer a choice between two items. For example ask if they would prefer to go for a walk or watch TV.
  • Instruction: Keep instructions simple. People with dementia prefer clear, one-step communication.
  • Distraction: Minimise distractions such as the TV at mealtime and during conversations to help your loved one focus.

There may reach a time when it is no longer safe for your loved one to live independently, and this is a tough time for you both, however we will support you both through this transition, getting to know you and understand your loved one’s personality and what they enjoy. We get our residents involved in the running of the care home as much as possible involving them in the weekly shopping choices, gardening, setting the table, pairing socks – whatever they would like to be involved in! We also have more elaborate entertainment, like when Elvis came to visit, to grant one resident’s wish.

We also have outings for those who are able, and tailor these to the individual, whether that’s a cup of tea by the sea, a spot of shopping or a trip to the local DIY shop. All our residents are different and enjoy different activities and we hope that if you visit you will see that our care is truly person-centred.

Did you know Tea had all these benefits?

By 7th March, 2019 Care Comments Off

Drinking tea is quintessentially British and a big part of daily life in our care home, but have you ever thought about the benefits your average cuppa has to offer? From medicinal benefits, to positive effects on mental health and even helping fight against illness and cancer. We love a good cuppa at Fairdene Lodge, and there’s nothing more soothing than sitting down with a nice fresh brew and a bit of company.

For us here, the main benefits are its calming effects, routine and sociable aspects of having a cup of tea. Here are some of the many other benefits that drinking tea may have – although many of them are still theories, we like to think a good old fashioned cup of tea is doing us the world of good.

  • Tea keeps us young. Antioxidants contained in tea can help slow down the ageing process and help your cells to regenerate and repair. Teas of all varieties contain high levels of antioxidant polyphenols that can help keep your body healthier and some studies suggest even ward off some cancers.
  • Tea lowers stress hormone levels. Black tea has been shown to reduce the effects of a stressful event. This might be why the British response to any drama is to offer a cup of tea!
  • Tea can cause a temporary increase in short term memory. Not feeling on your game today? Try drinking some tea. The caffeine it contains may give you the boost you need to improve your memory, at least for a few hours.
  • Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Tea helps to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots which are very often the cause of heart attacks and strokes. Some studies have even found that black tea drinkers were at a 70 percent lower risk of having a fatal heart attack.
  • Tea is calorie-free. Tea itself has no calories unless you choose to add sweeteners or milk, making it a satisfying, low-cal way to wake up and maybe even shed a few pounds. Unless, like us you enjoy a cake or biscuit with your brew!
  • Tea can help prevent arthritis. Research suggests that older women who are tea drinkers are 60 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who do not drink tea. The same effect has not been measured in older males, however, but additional studies may prove otherwise.
  • Tea may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. New studies are suggesting that regular tea consumption may help protect the body from developing this neurological disorder.
  • Tea can lower blood sugar. Tea contains catechin and polysaccharides which have been demonstrated to have a noticeable effect on lowering blood sugar.
  • Tea can prevent iron damage. Those suffering from iron disorders may be helped by drinking tea, which contains tannins that limit the amount of iron the body can absorb.
  • Tea can help with nasal decongestion. If you’ve got a bit of a cold, drinking black tea with lemon may help clear up some of the congestion.

Now there’s 10 good reasons to go and stick the kettle on!

Also this week is Dementia UKs 10th anniversary of “Time for a Cuppa” so why not raise some money for a great cause and enjoy the health benefits of a few cups of tea with some friends or colleagues?

Companionship – Some Inspiration of Things to Do

By 4th February, 2019 Care Comments Off

Sometimes growing older can feel lonely, particularly if you have lost your partner. Companionship is a great gift, but sometimes it can be hard to think of ideas of things to do. For some, just popping in for a cuppa on the way home from work can brighten their day, however if you want to go that bit further, or need some inspiration, here are a few ideas of activities you could do together:

Keeping the mind active


“If you don’t use it, you lose it” as the saying goes, keeping your mind active is important for everyone. How about doing a crossword together or sudoko? If you are creative perhaps a bit of drawing or painting – heading out into the countryside and finding a quiet spot to bring out your inner artist with a friend or relative can be so therapeutic.

You could dust off the board games and take the grandchildren over for a game of Monopoly (if you have a spare afternoon or more!) A perfect activity for all ages.

Keeping the body active

This one might not always be easy, however a little exercise and fresh air is good for the soul. Why not take your loved one out for a walk, or perhaps there’s somewhere near by that offers some dancing. Dancing is loved by most and takes people back to another time and era, it could bring back some happy memories which you could talk about together and reminisce.

Relaxing

Listening to music is very calming, choose some tunes from your loved one’s era and see if it brings a smile to their face or takes them back to a memory. 

Reading a book together can also be very relaxing or perhaps you could look through old photographs and tell the story behind them.

Activities for those with Alzheimer’s

These ideas might not be practical for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. For them it might be better to find shorter less structured activities. Perhaps a bit of housework, sock pairing or gardening. It depends on the individual, however most of us like to feel useful and you get some help with the chores!

We very much like to think of activities around our homes that are useful. Residents love getting involved in daily life, with activities such as laying the table, collecting plates or pairing socks. Of course we have lots of other activities throughout the year, dancing, boxing, arts and crafts, and lots more.