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Everyday care and support

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Routine

Keeping to a regular routine might help a person feel more secure, but try not to restrict the person too much. Although some routine is necessary, a bit of flexibility will help to give you both a feeling of freedom.

Communication

As the symptoms of dementia progress, it is likely that the person with dementia will find it increasingly difficult to communicate. Find out more about communicating with the person you are caring for.

Health

The person you care for may become less able to identify health problems, or tell you about symptoms they are experiencing.  As a carer you will need to monitor the state of the health of the person you care for, and look out for signs which may indicate possible infection (e.g. confusion), pain or discomfort.

Practical help with eating, drinking and swallowing

Some people with dementia experience problems with eating and drinking. Due to problems with short term memory, people with dementia may need to be encouraged and reminded to eat and drink. People with dementia may also experience difficulties with chewing and swallowing as their condition progresses. This may affect how well they eat and drink. If the causes of chewing and swallowing problems are identified and acted upon, the risk of malnutrition can be reduced.

It is important to keep hydrated and have a healthy balanced diet. Read tips for food and eating.

Further information can be found here: Patient information leaflets and related links.

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Washing and personal care

Personal care, including washing and bathing, can be difficult for carers and is a common source of anxiety for people with dementia. Find out more.

Dressing

As dementia progresses, the person you care for may require more support to get dressed. It is important to enable people with dementia to make their own choices for as long as they can and, if they do need assistance, to offer it sensitively. Read tips and advice for dressing.

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Dementia Friendly Environments

Recent research has demonstrated that simple and relatively inexpensive changes to the home environment can have a positive impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing and independence. Environmental improvements can contribute to improving accessibility and recognition whilst also reducing falls, violent and aggressive behaviours.

Find out more about changes to the home environment that should be considered to help a person with dementia to remain independent and maintain their dignity.

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Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) are pieces of equipment and technology, designed to keep the person that you support as independent as possible. There are many different types of Assistive Technology from memo minders that can announce a pre-recorded message to remind people to do something to items that can help around the home and/or whilst out and about.

Assistive technology in Warwickshire is provided through Millbrook Healthcare. You can contact them by filling in an online contact form or by Telephone: 0333 321 8986

Please drop in if you would like to try out some equipment or just find out what is available. For more information please visit: Assistive Technology in Warwickshire

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Reducing the risk of fire

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue service recognise that living with dementia can be challenging, especially when people have been recently diagnosed. The service will do home fire safety checks for Warwickshire residents. Find out more.

To book a home fire safety check, please visit the website or call 01926 466282.

 

family history

Sharing life history

Due to the effect dementia has on the brain, a person’s past is a vital part of their dementia experience. Understanding a person’s history will help you to support them better.

Read advice on sharing life history.

A life history is more than just a series of life events; it includes personal beliefs, values and morals, people’s habits, likes and dislikes, their hobbies and interests.  Knowledge of important life events, accomplishments and disappointments can really help in understanding people’s perspective and needs, especially as dementia progresses.

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Keeping up hobbies and interests

A dementia diagnosis should not stop people enjoying the things that they have enjoyed in the past. The  Dementia Friendly Communities initiative aims to support people to access and engage with the local community.

It is important to support and encourage the person to do things for themselves, as much as is possible. Find out more ideas on keeping your loved ones active.

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Being Active

Support people to exercise as much as possible – whether in the house, a short walk or an organised walking group. Being physically active is important for staying healthy and can help people to live well with dementia.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which may help to slow the advancement of dementia. It also reduces the chances of physical illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Fitter Futures Warwickshire Physical Activity/Healthy Lifestyles on Referral Service offers people with a diagnosis of early to mid-stage dementia the opportunity to take part in a 12 week personalised programme delivered by exercise referral qualified fitness instructors.

There is a charge for the service but this is discounted wherever possible. Carers are welcome to watch the person they care for or attend and pay for themselves if they meet the referral criteria. Visit Fitter Futures Warwickshire for more information or call 024 7640 0594.

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