What is Dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. There are many different causes of dementia, and many different types. People often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer ’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia and, together with vascular dementia, makes up the majority of cases.
Symptoms of dementia include problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mood, understanding, movement, language, and judgement.
- Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. This is set to rise to over one million by 2025
- 9,600 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes
- One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia
- The condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80
In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to enjoy life in the same way they did prior to their diagnosis. But as symptoms get worse, the person may feel anxious, stressed, and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate.
This can be distressing for both the person with dementia and their family surrounding them. It is also exhausting for the person caring for that individual.
It can change their relationship and mean they are unable to cope with their own emotional and physical needs.
How our companions can help
At Eximius we provide exceptional live- in support for those diagnosed with Dementia. All our companions are fully trained and qualified with Dementia care. Our companions are aware of the importance of supporting those with Dementia to maintain skills, abilities, and an active social life. This is crucial in helping how they feel about themselves, helping reduce behaviours that are out of character and reassure family members that their loved ones are being looked after.
Eating and drinking
Those with Dementia may not drink and eat enough as they do not realise that they are thirsty and hungry. This can put them as risk of:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Loss of weight
This can lead to increased confusion and make the symptoms of dementia worse. At Eximius companions help with the client’s food shopping and cook healthy well-balanced meals. Meal’s choices can be prepared based on the client’s desires and preferences. This ensures that the client regularly eats/drinks and receives essential vitamins. This is important in remaining healthy and keeping their immune systems strong helpful in fighting illness.
Helping with incontinence and using the toilet
People with dementia may often experience problems with going to the toilet. Both urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence can be difficult to deal with. It can be very upsetting and uncomfortable for the person with dementia.
Problems can be caused by:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Constipation, which can cause added pressure on the bladder
- Some medicines
Sometimes the person with dementia may simply forget they need the toilet or where the toilet is. Companions at Eximius can:
- Look for signs that their client may need the toilet such as fidgeting or standing up or down
- Keep the client active by taking them on daily walks. This can help with regular bowel movement and prevention of urinary tract infections
- Make the client go to the toilet as part of their regular daily routines
- Place signs and pictures on the toilet door to help remind clients
Help with personal care
Some people with dementia can become anxious about personal hygiene, forget, and may need help with washing. Washing is a personal, private activity. Companions at Eximius understand that this can be a sensitive matter and ensure the person’s dignity is respected whilst assisting with personal care.
Help with sleep problems
Dementia can affect people’s sleep patterns and cause problems with a person’s “body clock”. People with dementia may get up repeatedly during the night and be disorientated when they do so. This can be dangerous if there is no one to comfort the individual and assist them back to bed. At Eximius we can provide live-in night care. Companions remain awake throughout the night and regularly check the client is safe.
Help cope with distress
When a person with dementia becomes distressed, it is often because they are trying to communicate something to you. If a person with dementia does start to become upset, our companions can help them feel calmer by comforting them, for example giving them a hug, playing music they love, sitting and holder their hand, offering them a cup of tea, provide reassure and helping the client find the answer themselves.
Help them stay socially active
Our companions can help keep dementia clients stimulated by ensuring they keep in touch with friends, remain active and attend activities they enjoy and love such to dance lessons, swimming classes, art lessons. This is good for a client’s confidence and mental wellbeing. According to ‘DailyCaring’ home dementia exercise programmes help increase abilities and improve symptoms of Dementia. They improve cognitive function, reduce depression, improve balance and improve ability to perform everyday tasks.
Companions can also escort clients on daytrips to museums and concerts and on holiday. This helps ensure that our clients experience a quality life that they deserve.
Help with domestic tasks
Companions at Eximius are required to keep a client’s house clean. All rooms are regularly cleaned and vacuumed ensuring that the upkeep of the house is kept to a high standard. This can be reassuring to a client’s family knowing that there relative is a safe and tidy environment.
Help care for the client’s much-loved pet
Companions at Eximius will happily support looking after client’s pets by feeding them and taking them on regular walks.
Reasons to choose Eximius
We believe in keeping the same carer in place for as long as possible. This means less anxiety for the person with dementia and that the carer can learn a clients likes and dislikes and what might trigger an adverse reaction.
Dementia specific Support
Our GP Dr Bashir is an expert in elderly care and in Dementia. Our clinical lead Claire dancer is a specialist in mental health and addiction. Between the 2 of them they offer a wealth of knowledge and support to clients and family members struggling with the impact of dementia.
All our carers are trained in dementia and many of them have extensive experience in different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, vascular, Lewy bodies and Korsakoff.
Choosing the correct care is an important decision and our experienced team are here to help every step of the way. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are more than happy to help.