It’s important to note that an individual will not always recognize memory loss as dementia and may simply note it to be a sign of age. However, sudden issues with memory loss in an individual over sixty should always be a cause for concern.
Early signs of dementia can also include cognitive issues. This can extend beyond typical memory problems. For instance, it is possible that an individual with dementia will struggle to complete simple tasks such as driving a car. They may also get confused about what time it is or what day it is. This can be a constant or recurring issue that becomes more common as the disease progresses. Even familiar locations and occurrences that are typically in their schedule may become confusing to someone who is suffering from dementia.
At later stages, you may also notice that a person with dementia struggles to speak or find the words that they need. They can forget what they are saying mid-sentence and will often find it difficult to engage in a conversation.
Individuals around someone with dementia often note phases of an individual ‘fading out.’ During this time a person with dementia can zone out completely and this will often occur during a conversation with them. When they snap back, they will have no memory of what has been said.
Some of the more troubling signs of dementia include issues with decisions and changes to personality. Both can put a person suffering from dementia in dangerous situations and potentially endanger those around them as well.
It’s important to notice that according to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is a myth that cognitive decline is a natural part of growing older. This should always be taken seriously and treated as a possible sign that dementia is developing.
Why Is Dementia Care Necessary?
You might be wondering why home care for dementia sufferers is necessary. As well as the signs of dementia, the occurrences above are also the symptoms. These often will get worse as the condition develops.
Unfortunately, this can lead to worrying situations. Memory issues coupled with confusion and cognitive trouble can leave an individual unable to care for themselves. They may struggle with basic tasks including self-care such as grooming or preparing meals. If this goes unnoticed it can lead to a serious decline in the quality of life of an individual.
With dementia home care, individuals with this condition can get the support they need and ensure that their quality of life does not deteriorate due to their condition. They can be well looked after and they can even gain the support required to complete tasks that they are unable to do. This could include issues with home maintenance as well as self-care. Home care for dementia sufferers can handle all these bases and guarantee that there are no areas of support that are left neglected.
An individual with dementia can also be a danger to themselves and those around them. When an individual suffers from dementia, they can struggle with typical tasks and develop memory issues. Even something as simple as pouring a cup of tea can become dangerous. A person with dementia may pour scalding hot water on their hand rather than in the cup. Or they could forget that the cup is hot when picking it up and spill it on themselves. This is just one example of the danger that a person can find themselves in without carer support.
A person with dementia may forget who they are or who members of their family are. This can be distressing for them and individuals in the home. If for instance, they forget who a family member visiting is they could feel threatened and attempt to get them to leave their property. This could lead to a serious accident or even violence, intentional or accidental.
It’s important to note that problems like this will often occur in episodes. An individual with dementia will usually snap back, particularly during the earlier stages of the condition but by this point, the damage will already have been done. As such, they, a loved one, a family member or even a complete stranger could have been hurt.
Caring For Your Family Member With Dementia Yourself
If you do learn that a loved one or relative is suffering from dementia, you might consider offering dementia care yourself. While this is certainly admirable there are a few issues to be aware of.
First, many people are not prepared for the extent of dementia care necessary to keep an individual with the condition safe. It is impossible to know when a person is going to experience severe symptoms or forget who they are. Dementia and the symptoms do not follow a set schedule. For this reason, a person may need 24/7 support, particularly during the later stages. You may not be prepared or able to provide this type of home care for dementia sufferers.
As well as this, taking on the role of a dementia carer is going to profoundly shift your relationship with the individual. This will be true for your perspective and the perspective of the person with the condition. You will have to take on the full responsibilities of a carer. When this occurs it can be more difficult to continue to see an individual with dementia as a father, a brother, a mother or a grandparent.
As well as this, if you are not fully prepared for the responsibilities and requirements of dementia home care, then everyone in the home could be in danger. This might include your children, depending on whether you choose to bring a relative with dementia home to live with you.
How Dementia Care Services Can Help
Dementia care services can provide the full support that an individual suffering from this condition will need. Be aware that while there is no cure with the right level of support it is possible to slow the disease down and potentially reduce the impact. This can lead to improvements in the quality of life of the person with the condition as well as their friends and family members.
Various studies have shown that social interactions and engagement, as well as cognitive activities, can have a profound impact on the development of dementia. A professional dementia carer will ensure that an individual suffering from this condition gains the support they need to socialise and continue be a functioning member of society. This could include transportation to social events or simply interacting with them on a one to one basis. The more attention provided here, the more likely it is that progression of the disease can be reduced.
Of course, it’s not just about reducing the impact of the disease, it’s also about providing the right type of care. The support individual suffering from dementia requires is not the same as the type provided for a person without this condition. Dementia specific care will be necessary to ensure that an individual gains the right level of support.
An example of this could include changes to the home. A person with dementia may require their home to be changed to ensure that they are less likely to experience an injury. Trips and falls are common for an individual with dementia. As such, flooring is often modified to reduce its impact. A person with dementia may also be provided with a low profile bed or one with sides. This ensures that they are not at risk of a fall in the middle of a night when a dementia carer may not be close by.
Dementia specific care will also include coping mechanisms to help an individual with their condition. This can include memory tasks, designed to improve memory and aid cognitive functioning.
A dementia care provider will always assess an individual and their situation. They will be able to determine whether someone can live safely in their home and the level of support they will require to ensure this is the case.
Is Residential Dementia Care Necessary?
You may be concerned that an individual with dementia may be better suited for residential care support. However, studies suggest this might not be the case. Indeed, research shows that dementia and the impact of the condition can be reduced if an individual remains in an environment that is familiar to them as their property. Dementia home care provides for this requirement and at the very least, does reduce the stress an individual can feel.
Moving to a new location can be incredibly stressful for someone suffering from dementia and can cause significant levels of anxiety. With specialist dementia care at home, this isn’t necessary because someone with dementia can get the full level of support they need.
Dementia care in Sydney and other parts of Australia can also help an individual with the condition maintain a high level of independence. This can once again help reduce symptoms significantly.
Do You Need Dementia Respite Care?
It is possible that you have already taken on the responsibilities of a dementia carer. This could be putting immense pressure on both you and other members of your family. It is certainly not an easy task and you will find it impacts your personal life, professional life and your spare time. If that’s the case, you may want to consider dementia respite care.
This is a form of dementia home care where a dementia carer can be used to ensure that you get the relief you might desperately need. A dementia carer will immediately take over your role and ensure that an individual with this condition can still stay in their home. This frees you to go on holiday, focus on yourself and simply enjoy time with the rest of your family. Dementia respite care will not be a permanent solution however many families find the relief to be exactly what they require. This does cause some people to then explore longer forms of home care support for their family member of a loved one.
Is Dementia Specific Care Available In Your Location?
It’s important to note that dementia care in Australia is available in every state and location across the country. You can certainly get dementia care in Sydney and surrounding areas and you should consider this possibility if a loved one or family member is suffering from this condition. In no time at all, you will be able to make sure that they do get the treatment and support they require. Remember, this will benefit you as much as them and give them the best chance at reducing the symptoms of this condition.
Although there is no cure for the condition with the right level of dementia carer support in place, the impact can be greatly reduced. You can also make sure that your loved one is safe and free from harm while protecting your family from the dangers that can be apparent when an individual is suffering from this condition.