Home

Monthly Archives - September 2016

Physical Activity/Healthy Lifestyles for people living with early to mid stages of dementia

 

exercise2The ‘Physical Activity/Healthy Lifestyle on Referral’ service is available for anyone living with dementia (early-mid stages). This service offers a 12 week personalised physical activity programme delivered by exercise referral qualified instructors.

Keeping active is very important but can be particularly beneficial for somebody living with dementia. There are many benefits of staying active which include; improved mobility, increased cardiovascular heath, improved strength/stamina, better co-ordination and weight control. Exercise can also be very rewarding, allowing people to realise their potential, achieve goals and have a sense of accomplishment.

In addition to the above a group class or exercising with a friend can help increase self-esteem and reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation. If you have a friend or family member that is living with dementia, physical activity could be a great way to spend some quality time together doing something positive.

The Physical Activity/Healthy Lifestyle on Referral service is available at a range of leisure centres across Warwickshire, all of which offer a discounted membership to anyone that gets referred. If a leisure centre is not the preference, you may be entitled to a home based exercise programme or even get referred to the local walking group or community based class.

All of the exercise instructors have had training to help increase their understanding of dementia and how to help people achieve their potential.

To be eligible to take part in the Fitter Futures Warwickshire scheme you need to be registered with a Warwickshire GP and have one of the qualifying conditions (living with dementia, early-mid stages).

To get access to the service you must be referred by a Healthcare/Social Care Professional or Pharmacy. Once referred the Fitter Futures Team will get in contact to get you started.

Fitter Futures Warwickshire is coordinated by NB Leisure Trust and commissioned by Public Health, Warwickshire County Council.

For more information about the criteria, prices and other services available through Fitter Futures Warwickshire please visit our website fitterfutureswarwickshire.co.uk

Luke Butler, Fitter Futures Manager

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Warwickshire Libraries: Supporting people to live well with Dementia

Tags

  • Living Well with Dementia

Warwickshire Libraries are proud to have been a member of the Dementia Action Alliance since 2013. Libraries are available for all in the community to use and we are keen to make sure that we are as welcoming and user friendly as possible for all.shutterstock_243769882

Our action plan as part of Dementia Action Alliance has focused on training our frontline staff to be dementia aware and to encourage our staff to become Dementia Friends. Staff have become Dementia Friends by attending a Dementia Friends information Session or by signing up online at www.dementiafriends.org.uk.  We have also begun to look at dementia friendly environments in our libraries: for example what to be aware of, and change if possible when undertaking any refurbishments or building work.

In 2015 The Reading Agency, a national reading charity, launched the Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia collection. A collection of 24 books which provide help and support for people with dementia, carers of people with dementia and anyone who would like to find out more about the condition or is worried about symptoms. With the help of Public Health Warwickshire we have been able to make these collections available in all of our council run libraries across Warwickshire, something we are very proud of.

Each collection contains 24 titles over four subject areas, information and advice, living well with dementia, support for relatives and carers and personal stories. Books are an excellent tool to help support the health and wellbeing of everyone, no matter who you are. Titles in the collection were recommended by Health professionals and were tried and tested by people with experience of dementia. Selection was made using the quality standards for dementia care from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and other professional organisations.

Books within the collection can be recommended to you by your GP or health professional but can also be browsed and loaned at any of our Warwickshire Libraries. Just ask a member of staff or ask online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries

One collection of books that is listed on the national collection and which we also stock in our larger libraries (Atherstone, Bedworth, Kenilworth, Leamington, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford and Warwick) is Pictures to Share: a wonderful set of picture book style books aimed at those with dementia. There are twelve books within each Pictures to Share collection. The books are well worth a look, particularly if you run a care home or day centre as lending sets of all twelve titles are available on a long term loan for your setting.

For further information about the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia or any of our other Books on Prescription collections please visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/booksonprescription

Warwickshire Books on prescription is also available for adults with mild to moderate mental health conditions and two collections, one aimed at young people and one at families and carers with young children are also available.

If you’re not already a member, joining the library is free and easy. Just pop into your local library with one form of ID and a member of staff will join you up. Alternatively you can join online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jointhelibrary. Library staff are there to help so if you need any assistance or have any questions, please just ask.

 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Sharing Life History

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support

Reminisce together – photographs and souvenirs may help jog a memory. You cashutterstock_220411204n also consider using technology to aid reminiscence and creativity: involve younger generation in looking up a special place, listening to music or playing mind exercise games together on an iPad or tablet; this can improve
communication, enhance sense of wellbeing and positively benefit your relationship.

You might both find it enjoyable to share some happy memories from the past. A person who has short term memory loss may be able to remember things from a long time ago quite clearly.

There are some good examples of this kind of work available to visit: Dementia UK: Life Story Work

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Keeping up hobbies and interests

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support
  • health and wellbeing

shutterstock_106573217Here are some ideas for you to think about when planning to keep your loved ones active:

  • Support and encourage the person to do things for themselves, as much as is possible
  • Stimulation is important: playing dominoes or simple board games can help with mental stimulation
  • Communicate clearly with the person, explaining things rather than taking for granted that they will understand
  • Encourage the person to be included, to feel part of a community and, where possible, to carry on with activities they have enjoyed before. Just because they have a dementia diagnosis, people do not stop enjoying the things that they have enjoyed in the past. You may want to find out more about Dementia Friendly Communities initiative being developed locally on the Dementia Friendly Communities section on this Portal.
  • Involve the person with daily activities and events, such as preparing meals or shopping, to keep their skills alive and be part of what is going on around them. There is a number of dementia friendly shops and businesses in Warwickshire – please see map of services for details.
  • Sing! Singing with a person who has dementia has been found to be an effective means of communication.
  • Melody and rhythm can help the person with dementia improve their sense of well-being and self-esteem. A person with quite developed word finding difficulty may still be able to sing songs learned in their youth. Find out more about Dementia and Music on the Age UK site. Find your nearest Singing for the Brain session through our map of services.
  • Warwickshire Libraries have recently introduced ‘Pictures to Share’ to their selection of books. ‘Pictures to Share’ are a set of twelve illustrated books that help communicate with people with mid to late stage dementia. They are simple, clear and mostly colourful, with no confusing backgrounds or content that is difficult to interpret. Please contact Warwickshire Library and Information Service for more detail, Tel: 03005 558171
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Safe and well check

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support

When the data from serious injuries and deaths from fire recorded in the West Midlands, people with Dementia feature in around 25% of such incidents. In many cases these incidents could have been prevented or the risk significantly reduced, by booking a Home Safety Check with their local fire service.

A large factor in reducing the figures has been that fire and rescue services across the UK offer Home Safety Checks for the most high risk households. This service is free and involves professional fire fighters visiting people in their homes and supporting them to change behaviours that can affect their fire safety, as well as fitting or recommending preventative measures like smoke alarms.

Warwickshire fire and rescue service (WFRS) have for a number of years carried out home fire safety checks for residents of Warwickshire. During the home fire safety check residents are offered advice on how to prevent fires and what action to take in the event of a fire also included in the check is the supply and fitting of smoke alarms where appropriate.

Currently WFRS are piloting an enhanced safe & well check which will replace the well established home fire safety check. The safe and well check will still include all of the fire safety advice previously offered but will also include advice on other areas of health and well being which impact on the NHS and social care services.

The additional information offered in the safe and well check will include advice on trips/slips & falls, smoking cessation, home security and winter warmth.

WFRS hope to launch the new safe and well check before the end of the year and that Warwickshire residents will soon start benefiting from the enhanced service.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Washing and personal care

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support
  • Deep bath water: Some people can be worried by deep water. If this is the case, ensure the bath water is shallow, or set up a bath seat for the person you care for to use.  For more information on how to request equipment to help with bathing, click here to find out more about assistive technology.
  • Showers: Some people find the rush of water from an overhead shower frightening or disorientating.  A handheld shower may work better for some.
  • Self-Consciousness: The person you care for may find it embarrassing to be undressed in the presence of other people.  One way to overcome this is to only uncover the part of the body that you are washing at the time, leaving the rest covered.
  • Isolation: Some people may become anxious if they are left on their own and may want you to stay with them while they are washing.

Incontinence may be a sensitive issue for both of you, but it can happen frequently as dementia develops.  If the person you care for has an accident, reassure them and adopt an approach that fits with the nature of your relationship.  Specialist pads to help manage incontinence are available through the NHS Continence Service.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Creating a dementia friendly environment

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support

exercise13

  • Improved lighting: Dementia can impact a person’s sight so that the edges of furniture can become blurred posing a risk of trips or falls. A person with dementia can wake up frequently and feel disorientated in the dark, so it is advisable to leave a night light on, especially by the stairs or the toilet
  • Natural Light: Try to increase the amount of natural light in the room by opening blinds and curtains, and that no outside plants are blocking out sunlight
  • Flooring: Cover any shiny or reflective flooring, as this may be perceived as being wet, and the person with dementia may struggle to walk over it, however, small rugs or mats can be perceived as an object that they need to step over, which could lead to trips or falls
  • Toilet seats that contrast in colour with the toilet bowl, floor and the rest of the bathroom will help the person with dementia to find the toilet easier
  • Navigation: Using familiar ‘landmarks’ can help to navigate the person’s way around, both inside and outside. This could be for example a plant or a picture placed by their room entry to make it recognisable to individuals
  • It’s possible to get household items that are specifically designed for people with dementia, for example large handled cutlery, Property Exit Sensors or the ‘magiplug’, which is a special plug that lets water out of a sink or bath if it gets too full, to prevent flooding
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Dressing

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support

Here are some tips to think about dressing if it is becoming a problem:shutterstock_163661132

  • Promote choice:  It is important to ensure that the person you care for has choice in what they wear, but too many options can be confusing. Ask them what they would like to wear and make suggestions one garment at a time.
  • Encourage independence: Lay clothes out in the order they are to be put on.  You may need to sensitively remind the person you care for which garment comes next, or you may need to hand them items in the order they require them.  If the person is confused, give instructions in very short steps, for example ‘Now put your arm through the sleeve.’. It may help to use actions to demonstrate these instructions.
  • Staying comfortable: Make sure the room is warm enough to get dressed in and remember that the person you care for may no longer be able to tell you if they are too hot or too cold, so look out for signs they may be uncomfortable. It can be useful if the person you care for wears several layers of of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, as they can then easily remove a layer if it gets too warm.
  • Think about privacy: Make sure that blinds or curtains are closed so no one can see through from the street and that no one will walk in and disturb the person while they are dressing.
  • Change clothes regularly: Sometimes people with dementia are reluctant to undress, or will refuse to change their clothes, even when they go to bed.  It is important to make sure that the person you care for changes their clothes every day.
  • Make dressing a positive experience: Helping a person with dementia look the way they would like to look is an important way of maintaining their confidence and will encourage them to take pride in their appearance.
  • Allow enough time: If you are helping someone with dementia to dress, allow plenty of time so that neither of you feels rushed.  The person you care for may take longer to process information than they used to and this will affect their ability to make choices. If you can make dressing an enjoyable activity, the person you care for will feel more relaxed and confident.
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Tips for food and eating

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support
  • Rule out other causes of eating and drinking problems. Make sure that appetite loss is not caused by an acute illness, depression or denture painshutterstock_177352682
  • Offer snacks and meals regularly, perhaps trying 5-6 small meals a day
  • Try and present food in bite sized pieces to avoid any risk of choking; encourage finger foods if the person you care for is having difficulty with cutlery
  • Try an alarm call or phone call as a reminder at mealtimes
  • Serve foods that are familiar to the person you support
  • If the person that you care for has forgotten the types of food they like to eat, show them pictures to help with making choices
  • Demonstrate chewing if this seems to be the problem, and eat with the person so that they can copy you
  • Consider nutrition supplements, particularly in later stage dementia when people tend to lose a lot of weight
  • Always make sure that the person you care for has enough fluids throughout the day; try putting bottled water in different rooms around the house
  • Avoid denying choice altogether, make choice less complicated instead. For example, allow the person you care for to choose between two meals. Too many options to choose from may be confusing.
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Tips for communicating

Tags

  • Carers
  • carers support

shutterstock_151945976Pay attention to the environment:

  • Make sure there is enough lighting for the person to see you, and make sure that if they wear glasses, they are clean
  • Make sure that unnecessary noise is reduced – sounds like the TV, washing machine,or the vacuum cleaner can be very distracting. A person who has dementia will have difficulty concentrating on too many things at once
  • Make sure you have the person’s attention before speaking to them, it is worth also considering that they may need some time to concentrate if they have just woken up.

When in conversation with the person you care for, try to:

  • Speak clearly and calmly, try to avoid speaking sharply or raising your voice as this can cause distress to a person who has dementia
  • Use simple, short sentences; a person who has memory loss is likely to remember the last thing that has been said
  • Avoid too many closed questions (questions which require a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer) as you might always get ‘No’. Instead of asking ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ which might be declined – even though you know the person is thirsty – try something like ‘I’m just going to make a cuppa, do you fancy a biscuit with yours?’
  • Avoid questions that start with what, where, how , who or when as they can be quite challenging to a person who has difficulty remembering
  • Try not to contradict the person or get into an argument, you’ll both end up exhausted! Try to ‘go with the flow’ and acknowledge what the person has said, even if you know it’s incorrect
  • Allow time for a message to be understood when communicating, as processing information will take the person longer than it used to
  • Keep it familiar. When talking, use familiar names and jokes that the person has known for a long time. This can give a person a frame of reference for communication when everything else seems hard to grasp. As the dementia progresses, the person may become less able to start a conversation, so you may have to start taking the initiative more often.

Also make sure you consider the following:

  • Be patient. Short term memory loss will make the person more likely to repeat themselves or lose the thread of a conversation
  • Be mindful of body language and whether this could be seen as negative or threatening to the person that you support. A person who has dementia can often retain the ability to sense your mood from your language and body posture even if they can no longer articulate this
  • Never make fun of ‘strange’ or unusual behaviour. There may be meaning behind behaviours that you will need to understand.

Here are a few tips worth noting:

  • Rule out other causes of eating and drinking problems. Make sure that appetite loss is not caused by an acute illness, depression or denture pain
  • Offer snacks and meals regularly, perhaps trying 5-6 small meals a day
  • Try and present food in bite sized pieces to avoid any risk of choking; encourage finger foods if the person you care for is having difficulty with cutlery
  • Try an alarm call or phone call as a reminder at mealtimes
  • Serve foods that are familiar to the person you support
  • If the person that you care for has forgotten the types of food they like to eat, show them pictures to help with making choices
  • Demonstrate chewing if this seems to be the problem, and eat with the person so that they can copy you
  • Consider nutrition supplements, particularly in later stage dementia when people tend to lose a lot of weight
  • Always make sure that the person you care for has enough fluids throughout the day; try putting bottled water in different rooms around the house
  • Avoid denying choice altogether, make choice less complicated instead. For example, allow the person you care for to choose between two meals. Too many options to choose from may be confusing.
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page

Archives

Categories

Latest News

Follow us @DementiaCandW

RT @smartstartwarks: This week is Dementia awareness week (14 – 21 May) Why not become a Dementia Friend? #DAW17. https://t.co/uIF8wMi0JH - 3 days ago.

RT @Escape_Changing: It's #DementiaAwarenessWeek. 'Who am I. Living with dementia?' continues in North Warwickshire libraries throughout 20… - 7 days ago.

Remarkable results from dementia friendly gymnastics programme - British Gymnastics - https://t.co/CLIkXYF0KA - 7 days ago.