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Dementia Care

What is Dementia?

When someone has a cold, they are using the term as a group name for a set of symptoms. This can be a headache or fever, a sore throat with a cough or a runny or a runny nose. In the same way, ‘dementia’ can be seen as a group name for a set of symptoms that have to do with how the brain functions.

People with symptoms of dementia may have problems with their memory - with remembering events or experiences they’ve had, recalling facts and or concepts about their world, remembering how to do normal tasks or thinking ahead of what needs to happen in the future.

They may also have trouble recognising objects, performing everyday activities or understanding and using language.

Dementia is now seen as a disability, not an illness. And with the right environment and new techniques, it can be managed so that your loved one can continue to have a rich and meaningful life.

 

Watch: Brian, Gracewell of Weymouth - Resident Story

What are the Symptoms of Dementia?

The Alzheimer’s Society originally published the following ten signs of dementia. If you recognise these symptoms in your loved one, speak with a doctor.

  • Experiencing difficulty remembering recent events while past events are easily recalled
  • Finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on the TV or radio
  • Forgetting the names of friends or family or the words for everyday objects
  • Repeating the same stories
  • Losing the thread of a thought or a conversation
  • Finding it difficult to think or reason through a situation
  • Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about forgetfulness
  • Comments from other people about your loved one’s memory problems
  • Feeling confused, even in familiar environments and scenarios
  • Increasing difficulty in reading, talking and writing

What makes the Symptoms of Dementia Worse?

Symptoms of dementia can be made worse if the person isn’t getting the proper nutrition or enough water. If they are unable to sleep or aren’t achieving deep sleep that is restorative, they may experience an increase in their symptoms.

Strong emotions such as feeling lonely, bored or helpless can contribute to worsening symptoms as can consistent levels of high stress or fear.

Can you Reduce Dementia Symptoms?

By addressing the triggers listed above as well as encouraging positive relationships and social interactions, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life for your loved one.

There are ways to address the cognitive functions such as thinking, reasoning, perception and judgement that dementia affects through sensory activity. This is known as Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and can include moving to music, playing throw and catch with an object or playing games with numbers or words. 

We can also teach a person with dementia to compensate for activities they can no longer do or by finding new techniques that use different parts of the brain to achieve a goal. This is referred to as Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy.

Dementia Care at Gracewell

At Gracewell, our compassionate care teams are highly experienced and work closely with families and healthcare professionals to create individualised dementia care plans based on personal history, preferences, and the latest research from experts in the field.

At Gracewell, our Director of Memory Care Jackie Pool, is a world-renowned Occupational Therapist Specialist in dementia. She has brought her expertise to our organisation to ensure that we are the leaders in delivering evidence-based best practice in supporting our residents to live well with dementia.

Our aim is to enable residents living with dementia to continue to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.

Watch: Enriched Memory Care

Holistic Dementia Care

Dementia affects the entire person - mind, body, emotions and spirit. Working with a resident’s family and friends, we create a tailored care programme that brings together hobbies and activities they enjoy, the career they followed and their favourite music or films.

Nutrition and hydration is such an important part of a person’s wellbeing. Our chefs are happy to prepare specialised meals to meet the dietary needs of your loved one.

Learn more about our Five-Point Personalised Care approach.

A Safe Place to Call Home

A person living with dementia needs an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. At Gracewell, we encourage residents to bring their own photographs and mementos that can trigger happy memories and remind them of important milestones in their life.

All our care homes have specially designed features to provide security and a sense of belonging for our residents living with dementia.

Sensory-themed and interactive gardens help residents get natural light and fresh air outside. Bright lighting during the day has been shown to improve mood and behaviour. And in the evening, the light is adjusted to support the body’s natural production of melatonin, a natural hormone that helps promote a good night’s sleep.

An Active Lifestyle

It’s important for a person living with dementia to maintain an active lifestyle - both physically and cognitively. We have a range of activities at all our care homes that can stimulate the brain, such as moving to music, playing throw and catch with an object or playing games with numbers or words.

We encourage residents to enjoy our gardens and grounds when the weather is nice or to join day out excursions so they get fresh air and a bit of exercise.

And our communal spaces have been organised in a way that allows people to socialise in smaller numbers, which can instil confidence and contribute to a sense of wellbeing.

Finding Dementia Care

Our staff are highly trained and dedicated to helping you find the best care for your loved one. If you would like to speak with us about dementia care, please search for your local Gracewell and contact us for a chat or to arrange a visit.