Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms arising from a variety of neurological diseases, in which the cells of the brain become damaged or are destroyed.
(Jackie Pool Associates 2010)
- It is important to remember that not all brain cells are affected and that the person with dementia has abilities and not just difficulties.
- Every individual’s experience of dementia is different
- Continued forgetfulness and confusion
- Difficulty completing tasks and solving problems
- Disorientation of time and place
- Being unable to find the right words and understand what is being said
- Changes in mood and behaviour
Dementia can affect people of all ages; and although the risk of contracting some form of dementia does increase as we grow older, it is not inevitable. It is not always possible to achieve an accurate diagnosis and some people may show signs of more than one kind of dementia.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly known cause of dementia.
- There are approximately 750,000 people in the UK with some form of dementia
- It is estimated that about 50 to 60% have Alzheimer’s disease
It causes a slow and gradual deterioration of the brain cells, usually over a period of 10-15 years
- Routinely forgetting recent events, names and faces
- Confusion about money, machinery and appliances
- Disorientation of time and place
- Becoming increasingly irritable and apathetic
- Mood swings and paranoia
Often when a loved one is diagnosed with Dementia, there is a lack of information for those who care for that person and rather than immediately assume this person should go into a care home, Lauriem offer an alternative – to support that person to stay in their home by offering scheduled daily visits or live-in care staff.
People with Dementia are likely to feel more comfortable in their own homes and may be confused by relocation to unfamiliar surroundings. By remaining in their familiar home environment, people are encouraged to continue the things they would previously have done.
Lauriem endeavour to maintain continuity of care to reduce what can be a very confusing time for the person with Dementia by providing a small team of staff with whom the service user becomes familiar and the staff can get to know the needs and preferences of that person to fully support them. Continuity is one of the best ways for a person with Dementia to maintain their quality of life.
All Lauriem staff attend induction training to heighten their awareness or their responsibilities. We use a City & Guilds accredited course written by Jackie Poole Associates which gives everyone the confidence and competence required to support service users at all stages of dementia.
Subsequently, core members of the staff team are supported to complete further accredited modules of training in dementia which are specialised and in-depth. The specialist team can support service users with more complex needs to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This may be as the person’s needs change or, if taking medication, prompting and supporting to take medication at the right time and in the correct dosage.
Service users with dementia are supported in the same way as others with regards to their personal care, nutrition and also with mobility difficulties. Dignity and privacy are maintained at all times and service users are assisted with everyday tasks such as dusting, laundry, making a cup of tea, preparation of meals etc so that those skills are maintained for as long as possible.
Any activities which were enjoyed are encouraged and again, support is given to continue those activities i.e. knitting, gardening, arts and crafts, trips out for shopping or just for lunch.
The staff at Lauriem are committed to the care of all service users so that their quality of life is maintained to the highest level possible. Person-centred care plans are developed and reviewed regularly and service users and their families are actively encouraged to be involved in this process.
We liaise with the service user’s GP, district nursing team, community psychiatric team and, of course, the service user and their family members to achieve the best outcomes for the service user at, what can be, a very difficult time for someone with dementia.