Dementia poses unique and evolving challenges for those living with the condition
There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is set to rise to over two million by 2050.
Dementia poses unique and evolving challenges for those living with the condition, for their families and for their carers. As a result of this many people find dealing with dementia stressful and emotionally challenging. At Towerview Care we have a wealth of experience in dealing with dementia, early onset dementia and related issues. Our dementia trained staff will work with you and your family to develop a tailored care plan.
We offer specialist Dementia care in a calm and caring environment and use person-centred activities to support those with Dementia individually. The activities that we provide are aimed at improving quality of life and further enhancing people’s interests and capabilities.
Care can often fixate on the illness rather than the individual, this in our experience can exacerbate problems and leads to frustration and stress. For instance, people living with dementia respond far better when their care promotes independence, affords them dignity and respect. Therefore, at Towerview Care we strive to provide individual care plans and work with everyone to regularly review these plans.
What kind of Dementia?
Dementia can affect a person at any age but it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65 years. A person developing dementia before age 65 is said to have young onset dementia.
Dementia is an “umbrella” medical term used to describe a set of symptoms causing a person to have changes in brain function that interfere with the ability to function and do everyday activities. Symptoms are typically caused by a disease, or condition, such as Alzheimer’s.
A person with dementia has problems in multiple areas of brain function. These problems can include; memory, language, impulse control, ability to do things for self, personality, understanding of time, etc.
There are lots of different types of dementia, the most common are:
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia in the UK. It is a physical condition caused by changes in the structure of the brain, due to a build-up of ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’, and this can result in a shortage of important chemicals that help with the transmission of messages. Alzheimer’s can affect concentration, decision making and everyday living skills.
Medication is available to help slow progression but it does not prevent or cure Alzheimer’s.
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. It is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain, commonly due to strokes or a series of small strokes, known as Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), which cause areas of damage in the brain.
The signs and symptoms of vascular dementia depend on which area of the brain has been damaged. For example, language, reading, writing and communication can be affected in vascular dementia. Memory problems may not be an issue initially, if this area of the brain has not been damaged, although they may occur later on.
Frontotemporal dementia is a progressive condition, which tends to affect younger people, usually aged 45 to 65 years, and can be difficult to diagnose. Frontotemporal dementia affects behaviour and personality, and this can cause inappropriate social behaviour. This form of dementia can sometimes be confused with depression, stress, anxiety, psychosis or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Dementia with Lewy bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies is a progressive condition that affects movement and motor control. A person with dementia with Lewy bodies might: be prone to falls, have tremors (similar to Parkinson’s disease). They may have trouble swallowing, shuffle when they walk and experience disrupted sleep patterns due to intense dreams/nightmares. They can also have visual and auditory hallucinations due to the nerve cell damage.
Memory is often less affected than with other types of dementia, but a person might experience sudden bouts of confusion which can change on an hourly basis.
Mixed dementia it is possible to have not just one but two types of dementia. The most common is a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, known as mixed dementia. A person with mixed dementia would experience a mixture of the symptoms associated with the types of dementia they have.
At Towerview Care we have extensive experience with all types of dementia. Our person centred care model is built on a relationship of trust between the person being cared for, their family and care professionals.
Together with the team and family we actively support everybody to get involved in the community life of the home by sharing mealtimes, social events and relaxation time together. We believe that a thriving community is the foundation of a happy home. Everyone is encouraged to make their home their own, besides personal items we support people to decorate and furnish to their tastes. Everyone is supported to take responsibility for those aspects of their personal care that they are able to manage. We believe this makes their experience of care positive, rewarding and fulfilling. This is particularly true for those living with dementia.
We work in partnership with community healthcare specialists to supplement the care that we provide.