Dementia Care

The word ‘Dementia’ can be a very frightening one to hear or think about and coming to terms with a loved one being diagnosed as having dementia can be very difficult to accept. Everyone who lives with dementia will have a different journey with the disease and we at Ashwell Home Care Services recognise the importance of tailoring your loved ones’ care & support so that together we can ensure they live well with dementia.

What are the different stages of dementia?

One of the common misconceptions is that dementia “only causes memory loss”. However, there are many known types of the condition including Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, Fronto Temporal, Lewy Body Dementia to name but a few, each with their own distinctive characteristics.

For example, a well-known symptom of Alzheimer’s is people struggling to learn or recall new events and information, however Frontotemporal dementia actually affects the parts of the brain which control language and behaviour before memory. In fact, Frontotemporal dementia itself has three further sub-types, one of which affects behaviour first and the other two affecting language first.

However, by the later stages of dementia, many symptoms begin to affect sufferers in the same way with later symptoms including memory loss and an inability to do everyday tasks, such as bathing, showering, getting dressed etc.

However, every case is different and each person can present with completely different symptoms at different times, even if they have the same type of dementia, though some symptoms can be managed through medication and can delay the effects.

Dementia Care Services

What is meant by a person-centred approach in dementia care?

Dementia care is something we are very passionate about and we have seen first-hand the difference that recognising the person and not the dementia can have on the quality of people’s lives. This is known as a “person-centred” approach to caring for someone with dementia and is about tailoring a person’s care to their interests, abilities, personality and history so that hopefully they stay independent for longer.

We believe that no matter how far along their journey with dementia they may be, no-one ever loses the desire to be loved, included, valued, comforted, recognized and a part of the community. Dementia care is not so much about what we do but rather how we do it  – a person may forget what you said to them yesterday but they will not forget how you made them feel, that feeling will stay with them – this is the philosophy that we adopt in our organisation.

It has been said by loved ones that when someone they care for has dementia that they can feel like they are losing them slowly and that they often don’t remember things that happened that day, or that they don’t recognise people anymore. This is a terribly sad thing to experience and can often be just as upsetting for those close to them as it can be for the person with dementia.

We appreciate how this can feel, we know how this can affect people, we have seen the difference that the right dementia care and support can make and probably most important of all, we care and the reason that we care is because we understand, truly. Always remember a smile lasts longer than a memory.

Why should we choose home or respite for someone with dementia?

For many people with caring for someone with dementia, especially in the late stages – putting them into a care home can seem like the only option and in the past, this may have been the case. However, Ashwell Home Care services represents a new type of care where our carers will visit your loved one and look after them in the comfort of their own home.

This can be beneficial for your loved one in many ways. By staying in a familiar environment this can make a person feel more confident and safer and many professionals agree this can be very beneficial as it can be hard for an older person to accept change. Also, with our carer they will have one-to-one support, whereas in a care home resources have to be shared. Similarly, by sharing resources it can mean the daily life choices your loved one would enjoy at home would be curtailed to some extent, such as mealtimes.  Furthermore, by having everything done for them in a care home it can make it harder for people to stay active and independent for as long as possible.

Ashwell Home Care Services is working closely with an associate lecturer dementia specialist from Birmingham and Worcester Universities who has had work published worldwide on the subject. The reason we are working collaboratively is that we genuinely feel that together we can spread the message that dementia needs to be talked about, it needs to be understood and it needs to be addressed. Published data predicts that the number of people living with dementia in the UK will rise by over 20% in the next few years, as the population is living longer it is reported that one in three people over the age of 90 will develop dementia –  this is not a subject that we can ignore and it is not one which is going away.

Ashwell Home Care Services will help people to face the challenges that dementia can present in the future and will assist them and their loved ones to live positively in the present. Working with a passionate and understanding agency they will be supported through every step of their journey and will have the confidence and reassurance of knowing that they are not on their own.