Dementia is a disease which causes a decline in brain function. There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and it is estimated 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. The risk of dementia significantly increases with age.
For the individual and their family and friends, living with the enormity of dementia can be baffling. People are affected by dementia in different ways and have varying levels of family and friend support, so no care plan should be the same.
At Lillyfields we provide staff who are experienced in dementia to help keep quality of life and enable people to stay in their own home. We are flexible in our approach and always aim to make any care plan fit with individual needs.
Typical activities include:
- Medicine management
- Bathing and dressing
- Catheter care and continence management
- Help to establish regular exercise into the structure of the day
- Diet management – checking fluid levels and ensuring there is a balanced diet
- Assisting with routine household chores and shopping
- Companionship and helping you to be involved in social activities.
Our services provide the practical support and care needed to maintain the best possible quality of life.
Dementia can be complex to diagnose because symptoms will vary according to the type of dementia and which area of the brain has been impacted. Common symptoms are:
- Increasing memory loss
- Cognitive difficulties – e.g. problems thinking quickly, finding the right words, complete tasks requiring concentration
- Loss of sense of time
- Personality changes – disinhibited or withdrawn behavior
As with many diseases, the earlier you seek medical help the higher the possibility the progression of the disease can be slowed down.
Currently dementia can only be diagnosed with 100% certainty through a post mortem examination so the GP will start by working out whether the symptons are being caused by another condition such as depression, thyroid deficiency or even a side effect of other medication.
If all other conditions have been excluded then the GP will normally make a referral to a dementia specialist. The dementia specialist could be a psychiatrist with experience of dementia, an elderly care physician or a neurologist. The specialist will probably carry out a physical examination, use a tool to test memory and thinking and may then wish to organise further tests which may include brain scans.
NHS Choices – Dementia Guide