As the signs of spring start to set in and everyone is excited to swap their boots and jumpers for sandals and t-shirts, for people with dementia, it is important that they are properly supported in these activities. They need to have physical and emotional devices in order to ensure that they are exploring in a safe way and are easily able to call for help if required.
This week, from September 16- 22 is Dementia Action Week across Australia which encompasses world Alzheimers day on September 21. Statewide Home Health Care is joining this campaign to educate and spread awareness to help reduce stigma. In addition to this post, we will be sharing additional content and resources related to dementia through our social media channels this month. Check them out here: Facebook / Instagram
Dementia, while often referred to as being a disease itself, is actually a general term that refers to symptoms that reduce someone's memory or thinking skills to the degree that their normal daily functioning and routines are affected.
Of the many dementia types, Alzheimer's disease is the most common and is the cause of between 60 and 80 per cent of dementia cases. Although the cause is not known, some cases are related to gene mutations which are passed down from parent to child.
The second most common type of dementia is vascular dementia which often occurs following a stroke or similar type of brain injury when an artery’s blood flow stops due to a blockage or burst. Consequently, brain cells do not receive the proper oxygen and nutrients required for normal functioning.
Dementia symptoms are diverse and vary between different people as well as in individuals over time. Some of these symptoms include:
It is not uncommon for people to forget what they ate for lunch, but have vivid memories of their lives fifty years ago.
As a chronic condition, symptoms usually worsen over time and there is, unfortunately, no cure. However, there are products and treatments available to decrease and manage the symptoms.
Caring for someone with dementia can be increasingly difficult due to their sudden changes in behaviour and functioning as well as the degenerative nature of the condition. It is very important that you, as the caregiver, have support in place in order to help you adjust to your role as a caregiver.
Helping people spend more time outdoors is important, especially as the weather is warming up. If someone with dementia requires assistance moving around their home or neighbourhood, devices such as mobility scooters, power wheelchairs, and mobility aids, are popular choices.
Patients with dementia are prone to wandering. While reminding someone with dementia not to leave the house might be ideal, it is sometimes not possible. One method of keeping track of your loved one is through recommending a wearable GPS device such as a MindMe Watch or a MindMe Pro SOS GPS and Pendant. Both of these devices include technology to help locate the person wearing them in case of an emergency.
For individuals who require closer monitoring, we recommend the Cordless Falls Monitor, the Cordless Chair Pad, and the Cordless Bed Pad which are devices that alert caregivers when an individual has fallen or moved from their chair or bed.
Checking with your NDIS provider is a good idea while researching these and other products to understand if you are eligible for benefits that could assist in purchasing this type of equipment.
The best and most effective method of preventing dementia is maintaining a physically and intellectually healthy lifestyle to keep your muscles and mind moving. This includes:
Our team at Statewide Home Health Care are available to help you live your best life by recommending products and activities that are most suitable for you or your loved one.