Many people who require home care services in the UK will experience some symptoms of dementia.
Dementia is a term that is used to describe progressive neurological disorders which impact on a person's memory, communication skills, and cognitive ability. For many families, a diagnosis of dementia can be a very worrying time, and as the disorder progresses, they will find that loved ones require more and more support in order to carry out basic daily functions. This is where recognising the early signs of dementia can be a huge advantage.
Spotting The Early Signs Of Dementia
- Failing to change their clothes or notice when they are dirty
- Forgetting or being unwilling to bath or wash
- Not changing bedsheets even if they are soiled
- Neglecting regular household tasks such as washing up or bin emptying.
Other symptoms to look out for
It is important to remember that, although forgetfulness is a big part of dementia, there may be other issues that are causing someone to neglect these important tasks. These might include:
- Confusion as to how to complete a task - for example how to operate the washing machine
- Insecurities about their ability to complete a task - this could be a physical task like getting into and out of the bath or a mental task like turning the oven off
- Depression or a lack of motivation.
How Home Care Services Can Help
Apart from being a regular visitor to check that someone is not in danger or upset, a home care visitor can help with the above dementia issues in the following ways:
- Talking to the person about their personal care and how they might need help
- Understanding what the barriers to independence are, e.g. memory, lack of motivation etc.
- Striking a balance between establishing new routines and encouraging old ones
- Facilitating independence as far as possible, e.g. being there for support while someone cooks a meal
- Respecting privacy and dignity
- Preparing areas for specific tasks, for example, the bathroom.
Perhaps the most important task for a home care service is to reassure. Experiencing dementia can be unnerving and upsetting and these feelings may often show themselves in anger or other overwhelming emotions. An experienced home care carer will understand this and work with someone to find out what the issues are and establish helpful routines and systems.
At The Great Care Company, we believe in the importance of understanding the individual needs of each of our clients. A diagnosis of dementia need not mean the end of independence and with our personalised home care services, we ensure our client's happiness, as well as their needs, are a top priority.