By 2025, It’s Estimated That One Million People in the UK Will Have Dementia.
“September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma. It’s a time for action, a global movement united by its call for change, but also a time to reflect on the impact of dementia, a disease that will affect more and more people as the years pass,” – Alzheimer’s Disease International.
10 Points You Need to Know About Dementia:
1. Dementia is about much more memory loss: it affects personality, mood, confidence and our ability to make everyday decisions. Moods can change quickly – anger and tears can be brief moments that pass in a heartbeat. Confusion and suspicion are not uncommon at times either. A person may seek more comfort and reassurance than they normally do – they will show obvious signs of dependency.
2. The disease can take over their personality: A person can become horrible or ungrateful, but it won’t be their fault, most of the time if this happens it would be down to their frustration. Detach yourself when the person is angry. Remember that you can’t change their behaviour – you have to change yours. At the end of the day, it’s not the person talking, it’s the disease.
3. Regular social interaction is key: Sitting the person in front of the TV is not always the answer. Social interaction with other people will make a difference to the person’s mood and mental awareness. Stimulation helps, so encourage the person to get involved in activities or mix with others. Days out, lunches, family events, or even telephone calls will work a treat.
4. You need to be in a good place: Be prepared for anything. The person could be happy, sad or indifferent. So aim to be in a good place mentally when you visit the person with dementia and avoid visiting when you’re tired, stressed or in a bad mood. They will sense your mood, even if they can’t understand the reason for it and the person may remember how you made them feel. Relax and make the most of your time you have with them.
5. Exercise: Studies show that moods can be boosted by the endorphins released when we exercise. Exercise can, therefore, help you cope mentally meaning exercise is great for the person with dementia. This obviously has the added bonus of being generally good for their physical health too.
6. You can’t do it all on your own: Going it alone isn’t easy and you’ll need your own trusted support crew. Seek help from family, friends and neighbours and accept help when it’s offered – even if it’s a surprise offer. Speak to professional bodies – local authorities, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Dementia UK – don’t let yourself cope with the situation alone, it will be much more manageable and easy to work with other people.
7. Accept the inevitable: The time will come when the person with dementia cannot be left alone. We advise to do your research now – start planning, preparing and thinking about thecan you do now that will save you both stress in the future? And don’t worry – this is where care homes come into play and there are lots of lovely, welcoming homes out there.
Early Warning Signs of Dementia:
1. Memory loss that affects day-to-day life: As people age, it’s common to forget names or appointments. Forgetting learned information is where there is an obvious problem. One of the most common warning signs is memory loss that includes forgetting significant dates or events, repeatedly asking for the same information and increasingly relying on memory aids (reminder notes, electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own. If someone starts showing any of these signs, suggest they seek medical advice as soon as possible.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems: Making occasional errors within day-to-day life is normal. However when things become much more often and serious and they start having trouble concentration when trying to fix the problem in front of them – that’s a sign something isn’t right.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks: It’s typical for older people to occasionally need help with tasks such as changing the settings on the television. However, people with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks at home, at work, or during leisure activities. They may have trouble driving to a familiar location, for example, or remembering how to do things they have done for their entire life, like board games or house work.
4. Confusion with time or place: It’s not uncommon to get confused about what day of the week it is and then figure it out later, but people with Alzheimer’s can have a hard time distinguishing their location and/or time of day. They often lose track of days and season and have trouble comprehending why something isn’t happening immediately.
5. Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships: Vision changes related to cataracts are a common part of aging, but people with Alzheimer’s may have bigger vision problems. This includes difficulty reading, judging distance, and recognising colour or contrast.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing: It’s normal to occasionally have trouble finding the right word, stuttering or having a lisp when having a conversation, but for people with Alzheimer’s, following or joining a conversation can be very difficult. They may repeat themselves, struggle with vocabulary, or call things by the wrong name (example: calling a “watch” a “hand-clock,”).
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Many people lose their keys or misplace things from time to time and retrace their steps to find them. However, people with Alzheimer’s may misplace belongings frequently and have a hard time retracing their steps to find them again. They may forget where they store important items like a birth certificate or items they use on a daily basis, like car keys. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing.
8. Decreased or poor judgment: Making a bad decision once in a while is normal, but people with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making on a more frequent basis. For example, they may use poor judgment when they encounter a stranger or deal with money. In addition, they may pay less attention to their appearance and keeping themselves clean.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities: While it’s a normal to sometimes feel weary of work, family and social activities, it may be a warning sign if a person withdraws from multiple social events. A person with Alzheimer’s may stop going to family meet ups and work events and no longer spend time doing things they once enjoyed. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they’ve experienced.
10. Changes in mood and personality: As a person ages, they develop a specific way of doing things and can become irritated when their routine or plan is disrupted. But a person with Alzheimer’s may have mood swings and feel a multitude of emotions at one time. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they’re out of their comfort zone.
Must Have Dementia Aids:
Care Shop have a wide range of Dementia products. Including practical items that will help with everyday routines, to activities and trinkets to trigger memories.
Check out our other Dementia blog post we published: Click here