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Advice for people living with dementia

 

Most of us know someone who is affected by dementia, but did you know that dementia is actually an umbrella term and there are over 200 different types and sub-types of dementia? 

Here at Hospiscare, we have partnered with Dementia UK to provide an Admiral Nurse (specialist dementia nurse) to help support people living with dementia. 

Keep reading, or click on the links below to find out more: 

Hospiscare's Admiral Nurse

advice for people living with dementia

videos about living with dementia

 

Hospiscare's Admiral Nurse

Since the role was created in 2017, our Admiral Nurse, Chrissy, has been working to provide the specialist dementia support that families require. She works closely with families, offering psychological support and expert advice and guidance to enable them and their loved one living with a dementia to be able to adapt and prepare for the changes that occur within the dementia trajectory.

Chrissy uses a range of techniques to help people live positively, develop skills to improve communication and to maintain family relationships. She also works with other healthcare professionals so that people's differing needs are addressed in a coordinated way.
 

Chrissy is Hospiscare's Admiral Nurse

 

We caught up with Chrissy to find out what advice she would give someone who is living with dementia:

  1. You can live well despite a diagnosis of dementia. 
  2. Make sure that you receive an assessment and diagnosis of what type of dementia as that will determine the appropriate  level of support and response that is needed to be able to live well within the diagnosis.
  3. Don’t let dementia stop you from doing anything. There is always a way through - it might just mean rethinking the approach to the activity.
  4. Eat well and exercise  as much as possible . A brisk walk 20-30 minutes a day is great for lifting the mood. 
  5. Don’t ‘isolate’ people you know with dementia. It may be that they are not as spontaneous in conversation and ideas as they might have been but they are still your loved one. They will need you to provide the spontaneity that perhaps the dementia has ‘stolen’. We all require company and conversation. We need society and the contact of others to help us maintain our sense of identity and sense of belonging. That doesn’t change with dementia. It is up to us to keep that going for our loved ones and friends who are living with dementia!

Chrissy also offers some tips for communicating with someone with dementia: 

  1. Short, simple, precise and concise is my mantra when attempting to talk with someone who has dementia. Remember, in this instance, less is certainly more.
  2. Try and be at the same height as the person. If they are sitting down, you try and sit down as well. 
  3. Engage the person with eye contact making sure you have their attention.  
  4. Think of your tone of voice. Smiling when you talk lightens your tone. Talk slower than normal and with a good volume.   
  5. Don’t overload the person with too much information or detail as their processing skills are often diminished.
  6. If you are offering the person a choice, restrict it to two items - maximum three.   
  7. Patience is key. When asking a question, wait for the answer. If it becomes clear that the person is not going to answer, repeat your question in the same way using the same words. 

 

Dementia Information Videos

As part of our support, we have also prepared some videos that might help if you are looking after somebody who has dementia. Please share these videos with your friends, family, and fellow carers.

Communicating with people with dementia

Communicating dementia Top 10 Tips 

Caring and Dementia: Caring for the individual 

 

How does dementia affect eating?

Caring and Dementia: Creating the right environment 

Caring and Dementia: Coping with unusual behaviour 

Dementia and Carers Caring for the family carer