22 August 2013

Helping you to care for a person with dementia at home

| Jazz
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helping care for dementia at home

Did you know that one person in Australia is diagnosed with dementia every six minutes? That’s 1700 new cases every week. As our population ages, more people are being diagnosed with dementia, although it’s not always an aged person’s disease.

Around 15% of people with mild cognitive impairment will progress to having dementia each year. People with dementia need carers – an estimated 1.2 million Australians are caring for someone with dementia.

At Absolute Home Care we know that people with dementia are best cared for in their own home for as long as possible. That’s because one of the earliest symptoms of dementia is difficulty in remembering recent events so placing a person with dementia in an unfamiliar environment often sees them deteriorate quite quickly. Their own home is familiar and a comfort to them. All the necessities to fulfil their aspects of daily living are where they have always been.

We know how to recognise dementia and how it differs from typical age-related changes. The ongoing education and training of our staff in using strategies to deal with dementia means we can help and support you, the primary carer, to care for a person with dementia.

Not only do we provide care for people with dementia, we can also direct them to the various support services available. We know how to deal with challenging behaviours and can educate you on strategies you can use to make it easier to live with a friend or relative with dementia.

We also provide respite so you can attend a support session at Alzheimer’s ACT or just go out for a coffee with friends.

The stress of being a primary carer for a person with dementia is often overwhelming. Answering the same question a hundred times a day is a very difficult and common scenario. It’s hard to watch a loved one change from a quick thinking, capable person to someone who’s forgetful and vague and often has difficulty in speaking. Our staff will relieve the situation and work with you to set up a plan, often involving the whole family, to help shoulder the load.

A few years ago we cared for an elderly lady who had lived in the same home for 64 years. Her family were concerned for her safety. We were contacted by the Alzheimer’s Association to assess her cognitive status and to initiate a plan to ensure she was safe and comfortable. Her inability to complete tasks was an obvious concern. We introduced two carers as her friends. These friends were rostered to visit her at meal times. Her oven was switched off outside and the microwave was unplugged. Central heating set at a stable temperature ensured heating wasn’t a concern. Every morning a carer came to cook her breakfast and help with housework. This was repeated at lunch and dinner. The carers became familiar faces. Once or twice a week a carer would take her shopping or out for a coffee. As her condition deteriorated her carers introduced her to various activity sessions organised by the Alzheimer’s Association which she thoroughly enjoyed. As the years passed and her condition declined, both cognitively and physically, it became time to move her to a care facility. The night before she was due to leave her home she passed away in her sleep at the age of 94.

At Absolute Home Care we know what you’re going through. Call us on (02) 6112 8886 and have a chat about how we can help make your life easier.

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