Recognising that people need educating about dementia care, especially during these unprecedented times, Stuart Wright, Brunelcare’s Dementia Lead, shares advice to help friends and family who may be caring for, or helping a vulnerable loved one living with dementia during lockdown.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a host of memory loss symptoms. As dementia becomes more prevalent with age, many sufferers are also dealing with incontinence.
Why Do People With Dementia Develop Incontinence?
There are a number of reasons why someone with dementia might develop incontinence.
• Not recognising the bathroom – People with dementia can struggle to recognise common household objects. While they can visually ‘see’ the toilet in front of them, they might not be able to identify what it is, and what it is used for.
In the UK, someone develops dementia every three minutes, and the Alzheimer’s Society estimates that the number of people living alone with the condition will double to 240,000 in the next 20 years.1
Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director of market-leading provider of Connected Care and Health solutions Tunstall Healthcare, explains how technology such as telecare can help people with dementia and those who care for them in a way that promotes independence as well as managing risks.
“With 225,000 people developing dementia each year it has never been as important to introduce measures into people’s lives to protect their dignity and support their independence, as well as reducing interventions which are currently costing the UK economy £26.3bn a year2.
Spending time with loved ones over Christmas is what the festive season is all about, and for those living with dementia it’s just as important. There are, however, considerations to make when spending the Christmas season together, in order to make it an enjoyable and relaxing experience for all. Dementia wellbeing brand, Active Minds, have put together their top tips for creating an enjoyable day for someone living with dementia.
Food & Drink
Eating and drinking is considered a big part of Christmas traditions, and the Christmas meal itself can be fantastic for evoking memories and encouraging conversation. If the person living with dementia is able, involve them in the cooking process or perhaps talk about recipes from the past.
Happy Days Dementia Workshop & Nostalgic Design are constantly designing and creating nostalgic environments, engagement and reminiscence materials to help care teams, volunteers and families engage with elderly and people living with dementia.
Creating a nostalgic environment in your care home or hospital ward can really bring residents, patients, care teams and families together, says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Workshop.
LEADING ELDERLY CARE EXPERT SHARES TIPS THAT CAN MAKE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA EASIER
Philippa Fieldhouse from Richmond Villages suggests small home adaptions that can make life easier for people living with dementia
“With one person in the UK expected to be diagnosed with Dementia every three minutes by 2051, learning how to care for people with this disease and staying at the forefront of best practice is key,” says Philippa Fieldhouse, Managing Director of Bupa owned retirement accommodation, Richmond Villages.
Anastasia Barnes, a senior occupational therapist at the Emerald Centre in Colchester, was the proud winner of the Cosyfeet OT Award 2018. The £1000 award helped to fund the creation of a sensory garden where dementia clients and their families spend quality time, gardening and relaxing together. Here she reports on the project.
We recently celebrated the official opening of a very special garden at the Emerald Centre. Clients and their families, supported by staff, worked very hard to create the sensory garden, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Colchester.
The Emerald Centre is part of the Essex Partnership University Trust. The centre houses services for people with a diagnosis of dementia. These services include initial memory assessments, consultant reviews, medication monitoring, crisis intervention assessments, home treatment, occupational therapy, psychological assessment / treatments and a 24-hour helpline. The centre also houses group therapies and activities, including cognitive stimulation therapy and a vascular wellbeing group.
DEMENTIA friends gathered at Teesside care home for training to support those with the condition.
Dementia champion and crime prevention officer at Cleveland Police, Peter Ridley facilitated the session at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, Stockton on Tees.
There were more than a dozen attendees, including staff from the home, family of residents, members of the Carlton WI and others from the community.
WI member Ann Swinbank said: “I wanted to learn more as a family member has been showing dementia-like symptoms and I felt it would help if I knew how to assist them going forward.”
The Beeches Care Home manager, Jess Brown, met session facilitator Pete during their dementia friends training at the Dementia Hub in Thornaby.
An innovative forest school and nursery based in South East Northumberland is branching out with a new partnership involving North East charity MIND Active, so that people with dementia can join in with the children's memory-building exercises.
Footprints on the Moon was established in 2015 by Annie Blight from Cramlington. As a child, she frequently cycled to Plessey Woods to play in the peaceful woodland surroundings while enjoying exciting adventures beneath the trees. It became Annie's mission to help children enjoy nature and learn from the forest, as she had done herself as a child. After running a range of activities at various outdoor locations in Northumberland, Annie's dream came true last year when she set up Footprints on the Moon's permanent base at Plessey Woods Country Park.
Annie says, "I chose the name 'Footprints on the Moon' as I believe that there are no limits to what our children can achieve. Using their imagination and creativity, they can reach the moon and beyond."
To mark Dementia Action Week (DAW), which ran from 20 to 26 May 2019, RCH Care Homes committed to creating 900 new Dementia Friends!
As part of RCH’s ongoing partnership with the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS), and to complement our dementia strategy, By Your Side; all 900 employees across our 10 care homes and support services will become ‘Dementia Friends’ over the coming months.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme aims to change the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition so supporting the initiative seemed a fitting action to commit to during DAW.
Staff at MHA Langholme care home in Falmouth were left in awe after seeing first-hand the transformative effect that a motion-activated sensory projection had on residents living with dementia in the home.
With the goal of stimulating, engaging and relaxing the mind, this projection technology, which is manufactured in the UK, comes equipped with quizzes, music and themes that have been designed to prompt conversation, spark nostalgia and maintain memory. Its use of therapeutic scenes and sounds which derive from nature have been known to instantly improve a dementia resident’s sense of calm.
Through this OM Interactive motion-activated technology, residents can reach out to pop a bubble, grow a flower simply by touching it, and even dip their toes in the water as the tide rolls in – all without leaving the sense of security that their own room provides. This is made possible by the equipment’s portable and height-adjustable properties which are able to project coloured streams of light onto any table, bed or floor.
RESIDENTS and staff have raised hundreds of pounds for a dementia friendly sensory garden at their care home.
A 3.5-mile sponsored walk around Carr Ellison Park, in Hebburn, near Newcastle, generated more than £280 in sponsorship.
The funds will be used to buy a variety of plants and vegetables, raised flower beds and other multi-sensory items for the garden at Willowdene Care Home, on Victoria Road West.
The sponsored walk was undertaken by residents, staff, family and friends of the home.
One of those was 75-year-old Harry West, who was joined by his granddaughter Samantha West, daughter Angela Groark, son Malcolm West and daughter-in-law Annemarie West.
This Dementia Action Week, 20 – 26 May, Alzheimer’s Society is calling for people to focus on inclusion, and take action so people living with dementia can stay connected to the things they love for longer.
Over a third of people living with dementia have recently felt lonely and over a third have lost touch with their friends following a diagnosis (Alzheimer’s Society’s Turning up the Volume report). Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, this means hundreds and thousands of people living with dementia are feeling cut off.
69-year-old John Holt who is living with dementia has been inspired to write a song about his experiences of the condition. The song ‘The Secret D’ has been released on iTunes with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Society.
John, who lives in Penwortham, attends Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain in Penwortham, and is also a member of the Skylarks Community Choir. As a former musician in a brass band, John penned the lyrics and contacted ‘The Songwriting Charity’, set up by Nathan Timothy, who agreed to write the music and produce it.