Discover the care and support that can help people to live well with dementia
TODAY is the last day of Dementia Awareness Week 2014, which ran from May 18-24. The Dementia Friends and Alzheimer’s Society websites offer inspiration and information on how you can get involved.
Dementia is a condition that is becoming more prevalent. 2013 saw the first G8 Dementia summit held in London which was heralded as a stride forward in raising public awareness, and is seen as a benchmark for future collaboration.
Currently there are around 670,000 people in the UK living with the condition but this doesn’t include individuals who are undiagnosed, and numbers are expected to rise by 15 per cent over the next 10 years. Dementia affects mainly older people and with more people living longer, more will need to find a way to live well with dementia.
However, it also affects younger people.There are around 15,000 people under the age of 65 who have been diagnosed with a form of early onset dementia. There are four main types of dementia: Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia are the most common types, although dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Fronto-temporal dementia are also variants.
Historically, the diagnosis and progression of dementia has resulted in an individual needing to leave their own home and live within a care setting, and although there are good care homes that can provide for those requiring acute residential care, many can now live comfortably in their own community. With access to better community services, improved support structures such as memory clinics (normally held at local GP surgeries) and better recognition of the condition by commissioning bodies, more people are being empowered to remain at home for as long as they choose.
Lucie Binfield-Bell of Bluebird Care (Harrogate) said: “When supporting an individual with any form of dementia it is important that they are treated with respect. Carers and family members need to take the time to listen, be flexible and be tolerant, and allow the individual to make their own choices and express their feelings.
Bluebird Care ensures all of its carers are trained in all aspects of understanding dementia and the additional needs this may bring to the care package. It takes time to get to know not only the individual, but their family and others within the care circle, and care plans are bespoke to each and every one of its customers.
Bluebird Care offices regularly deliver ‘Dementia Friends’ sessions. Visit www. bluebirdcare.co.uk to get the contact details for your local office and find out about a Dementia Friends Session near you.
Dementia Friends is a national initiative whose objective is to get as many people in the UK as possible signed up as a Dementia Friend. To become a Dementia Friend you can attend one of the many sessions being held that offers an insight into the mind-set of a person living with dementia and gives you the tools to help support them.
For details on Dementia Awareness visit: www. national-awareness-days. com/dementia-awarenessweek.html and alzheimers. org.uk/remembertheperson.
Dementia Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of the increasing number of people with the condition.