Are you working with someone who has Dementia or do you just want to deepen your knowledge? Then our Dementia Awareness Course might be just for you! Here is some information on Dementia which might be interesting for you.
How can you support people in the most effective way? Depending on the needs a service user has, this question can be answered differently. That’s why we offer a variety of training courses so that you can support each individual in the best way for them.
At White’s Training, we offer a wide range of additional training courses and specialist training. In this blog, we are focusing specifically on our Dementia Awareness course to give you an idea of what the illness is and how to best care for someone with dementia.
What is dementia?
We have all heard the term ‘dementia’ before. But what does it actually mean? If someone is diagnosed with dementia, they experience symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, problems with language and concentration. Depending on the stage of dementia and the cause, people experience different symptoms. Therefore, it’s important for carers supporting a person with dementia to focus on their individual needs, by performing person-centred care.
What causes dementia and how can it be diagnosed?
There is more than one cause of dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s Disease which causes brain cells to stop communicating and eventually die. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia and usually follows a stroke that causes a reduction of oxygen supply to the brain. If you are caring for a person who is showing symptoms of dementia, you should raise it with a healthcare professional who will be able to provide a diagnosis.
How can I support someone who is diagnosed with dementia?
It can be difficult for someone to process a diagnosis of dementia and can take some time for them to understand and accept it. As a carer, you have to be patient and give the service user the time they need to come to terms with the diagnosis. Quite often, denial is the first stage of the process and it’s important to allow them to come to terms with it in their own time.
A common symptom of dementia is problems communicating verbally. This doesn’t mean that you should stop talking as you usually would with them and encourage them to answer even if they just repeat themselves or need a bit longer to gather the words. To make it easier for them to understand you, it helps if you speak slowly and clearly and remove background noise.
Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms for people with dementia. You can help them by using visual reminders e.g. calendars, planners or reminders on the telephone. To make it easier for the service user you should also leave items like keys, money or glasses in the same place. Using a visitor book, where people can leave the time they visited and the purpose of the visit, can also help the service user to reconstruct their day. As a carer, you can show them photos of their past and encourage them to speak about memories they can remember.
Confusion is very common for people with Dementia as well. It causes people to be easily distracted, irritated and agitated. If you notice these symptoms, it is good to see the person’s GP since confusion can also often be linked to the medication the person is taking. As a carer, you should try to remove any unnecessary distractions in the environment like noises. Properly worn glasses and hearing aids can also help the person concentrate and avoid irritations.
Everyone can have problems with mental health. People with dementia, however, are even more prone to mental health issues such as apathy, depression and anxiety. As a carer, you should be therefore very attentive to any symptoms that indicate that the service user has mental health problems. If so, talking to the person’s GP is the best way to find professional help. Also have a look at our blog “Supporting someone with Mental Health Issues” to receive some further information.
Around 850,000 people in the UK have Dementia. As a carer, it’s your responsibility to make life as easy and as enjoyable as possible for the people you care for. At White’s Training, we offer interactive courses to support you to deliver person-centred care whilst being able to look after all their needs. If you are interested in taking our Dementia Awareness course, then please check out our Open Courses. We are looking forward to working with you!