Caring For People With Dementia – What Can Be Done?
Dementia is a condition that involves the loss of cognitive ability in a person. This occurs in a way that is different from the normal levels expected through aging. Sometimes it can have a progressive effect due to disease or damage, or be static (remain the same) if the sufferer has had an injury to their brain. Dementia is more prevalent in older people, however it can happen prior to aging and this is known as early onset Dementia.
In a country with an aging population, then the numbers of people who suffer from the condition are likely to increase (BBC) as such it is important that people understand what dementia is and what aids can be provided to help a degree of normality. World Health Organisation statistics suggested that the worldwide number of sufferers was around 35.6 million in 2010 and is set to rise by around 70% by 2050. This suggests as time goes on more of us will be or will know someone caring for people with dementia.
By diagnosing the condition early on, then steps can be taken and dementia aids provided to improve the patients’ quality of life. It is important for both the patient and those caring for people with dementia them to try and maintain a degree of independence, both to improve the sufferers’ quality of life and reduce the stress and strain on the care givers.
In order to help prolong independence and create a sense of normality, then a number of dementia aids and products exist on the market. These are designed to make sure that the person who is suffering has things that would stand out to them as something they would understand.
One major example of this is the use of toilet aids. Using brightly coloured toilet seats can help jog the person’s memory of what needs to take place. These can be raised in order make using them easier if necessary or standard, but in bright or contrasting colours.
One popular dementia aid that has caught on recently, is that of the memory box. These are designed for people moving to a care-home, to provide memories of their lifetime and also to aid carers in having points to talk about with the patient. If a patient is moving to a care home environment, then it is important to provide them with something that gives a sense of their own individuality and attempt to create a sense of normality.
Depending on the severity of the condition, then other products are available as dementia aids. Some bathroom aids are available, such as supports around the toilet, to help getting up and down and similarly devices are available to make accessing bath and shower facilities easier.
Although the two aren’t always connected sometimes incontinence can be a side effect of dementia. If this is the case, then incontinence products are available to help ease the effects of this. Depending on the severity then different options of incontinence products are available, from waterproof bedding as a precaution, to disposable incontinence underwear.
He most important thing to consider when caring for people with dementia is to try as much as possible to interact with them as normal, and try and instil a feeling of independence. By using various dementia aids, then the patient can have a sense of still having their personal freedom and this can help reduce the strain on their carers.