Dementia Action Week - The role of community care
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Dementia Action Week is running from 20-26 May 2019. Organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, this year it’s encouraging everyone to start a conversation with someone they know living with dementia; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour.
The number of people with dementia in the UK is growing – forecast to increase by 40% over the next 12 years – and being able to make the lives of those living with dementia as normal and positive as possible is vital.
Living with dementia can be challenging and stressful. Making informed choices about important aspects of the lives of those who are living with the condition and their futures, particularly when there are increasing care needs, can make things even more difficult.
Why is care in the community so important to those with dementia?
Keeping them active
It’s really important that people with dementia remain as active as possible, but they may need more support to do so. Care support can ensure those with dementia stay active with a range of enjoyable community activities, enabling them to stay connected to their local communities and make new friends.
Taking the burden off families
Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging – both the person with dementia and their family will need support to cope with the symptoms and changes in behaviour. Family and friends need to keep their social life active, and it can be reassuring for those with the condition to know that those closest to them are being supported as well. No matter how much you love someone, caring for them 24 hours a day is hard, so having that extra support can be invaluable.
Helping someone with everyday tasks
Dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life, even in ways you may not expect. Often nurse support is associated with more clinical activities, but community care can also provide the much-needed support for everyday activities. People with dementia often need help with their diet, and they may not drink enough because they don't realise they're thirsty, causing further health complications. Dementia can also affect people's sleep patterns and cause problems with a person's ‘body clock’. Sleep disturbance may be a stage of dementia that is especially tough to support as it may mean getting up repeatedly during the night and those with the condition can often be disorientated.
Care at home
Caring for dementia sufferers in the right place is crucial to help make their lives remain as normal as possible. Enabling them to stay at home means an individual does not need to get used to a different environment at a difficult time and can help their ‘sense of self’ to remain intact. It is also reasoned that the best place for a person living with dementia is in their community, with the people who know them and with their loved ones close by.
Pulse Nursing at Home has a proven track record of providing high-quality care that allows the adults we support to access their community as much as possible, you can find out more here.
Charities and voluntary organisations can also provide valuable help and advice to those affected by dementia and related conditions:
- Alzheimer's Society’s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122
- Age UK's Advice Line on 0800 055 6112 (free)
- Independent Age on 0800 319 6789 (free)
- Dementia UK Admiral Nurse Dementia helpline on 0800 888 6678 (free)