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Caring For Someone With Dementia

7th November 2019
Caring For Someone With Dementia

Due to the nature of dementia, it can be very difficult to care for someone suffering from this memory-affecting condition. Our guide to caring for someone with dementia will give you an idea for how you can help them feel safe and secure.

What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of medical conditions that are characterised by a decline in memory, difficultly communicating and a general deterioration in brain function, making it difficult for the sufferer to carry out everyday tasks. The condition can also affect personality, behaviour and emotions. 

Symptoms of dementia include: 

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty performing simple tasks
  • Problems communicating 
  • Changes in mood and/or behaviour
  • Difficulty planning or problem solving 
  • Confusion regarding time and place 

Caring for someone with dementia

While it can be extremely rewarding, caring for someone who has dementia is also incredibly challenging. As dementia affects memory and cognitive function, the person is likely to often feel confused, scared and anxious. They may even lash out at loved ones trying to help because they have forgotten or can’t understand that you’re trying to help them. It’s important to support them, not just in everyday tasks but emotionally as well. 

How you can help

People with dementia can often feel isolated and lonely, so to make them feel included and wanted, make conversation with them. 

  • Speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences
  • Make eye contact and give them time to respond
  • Encourage participation and let them answer questions
  • Acknowledge what they’ve said, even if it doesn’t make sense
  • Give them simple choices when asking questions
  • Keep your patience – remember it is difficult for them to communicate

You can also do simple things around the house, including:

  • Placing labels on cupboards and doors
  • Reduce glare, shadows and reflections 
  • Let as much natural light in as possible
  • Keep the house quiet 
  • Choose contrasting colours i.e. different colour walls, bedding, even crockery 
  • Keep rooms and walkways clear

When to get help

As dementia progresses, symptoms are likely to become worse and your loved one may begin to feel more anxious, stressed and scared. It’s important for both yourself and for the person suffering with dementia to take frequent breaks from your responsibilities as a carer. Respite care in a residential home is a great way to ensure your loved one gets the care they need whilst you take a break or, if you’re finding it difficult to meet their needs, consider letting them move in permanently. That way they receive support from trained professionals, and you can make the most of your time together.

Wolfeton Manor is a residential care home in Dorchester, Dorset, that specialises in the care and support of the elderly and those with dementia. Our compassionate carers are fully trained and work hard to ensure all our residents live fulfilling and happy lives. To learn more about our Dorchester care home, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on 01305 262340 and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.  

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