Dementia describes brain disorders triggering a loss of brain capacity. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates 62% of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. There are other forms of dementia.
Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Unfortunately, dementia is a progressive and terminal condition. In the UK, a new patient is diagnosed every 3 minutes. Currently there are 850,000 people suffering dementia and research estimates an increase to over 1 million by 2025.
The way people experience dementia depends on many causes. Physical make-up, emotional resilience and the support provided are a few. Helping Hands provide bespoke care for dementia patients and have become the leading care team across the south-west.
It’s widely recognised that if you can remain in your own home with support, the effects of dementia is lessened and happiness increased.
Living with dementia is challenging. A patient will feel frustrated by what is happening. However, remember dementia does not change who you are. With the support of Helping Hands, it is possible to keep doing what you enjoy. Diagnosis of dementia does not mean one has to stop living on your own terms. However, you might need to learn to do some things differently.
Learning to live well with dementia depends on five main factors:
- Focus on what you can and want to do
- Keep busy with activities
- Find activities to foster confidence
- Avoid isolationism
- Have support systems in place with professional care
Rosemary Witherby, founder of Helping Hands Care advises,
“Carry on doing what you enjoy with professional help. Avoid sidelining friends and family. Helping Hands always wants to work with relatives and loved ones.”
How To Use Your Eyes
Obviously the earlier you can detect dementia the better it may be for the patient. Research into many features of this devastating illness continues.
In July 2016 London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital revealed research results regarding eye tests.
Research discovered the thickness of the retinal nerve combined with protein deposits can detect early signs of neurodegeneration or dementia as well as other similar ailments.
The Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Clare Walton said, “Changes in the brain associated with dementia can begin several years before any memory symptoms appear. These tests could help to identify people at risk of dementia who would benefit from further investigation”
Sniff Out The Future
Columbia University Medical Centre Research Team highlighted their findings about smells. Research found decreased ability to identify smells could be an early sign of dementia.
In a four-year programme of tests using 400 people, 50 of them developed dementia. In fact, during the test periods 67% of participants showed memory decline. These smell tests proved useful in early detection. Alzheimer’s Society Dr Doug Brown commented: “These studies add to growing evidence that sense of smell may detect the early stages of dementia.”
Most people suffer some sensory loss because of natural ageing. If you start to lose your ‘sniff’ it might be advisable to see your GP. It’s probably nothing to worry about but your doctor can let you know.
If the early onset of dementia concerns you, then these tests might help. Currently, in 2016, there are 40,000 people under 65 years old with dementia in the UK. Dementia costs the UK economy £30,000 a year per person but only £90 per person is spent on research.
Thinking of extra help to make sure you love living at home or to take care of a loved one?
Get in touch for confidential, caring, professional and no-obligation advice.
Call Helping Hands Care, on 01395 264 767.
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