Dementia is caused by damage to the brain. It usually affects the brain cortex (the ‘thinking bit’). Damage increases over time, which makes the symptoms get worse – but every person is different, and symptoms will progress at a different rate for each individual.
Typically, symptoms include memory problems, communication difficulties, and difficulty carrying out everyday activities.
Currently, there is no cure for dementia. However, charities like Alzheimer’s Society are funding research into treatments. There are also drugs available to help slow the onset of certain Dementia types.
There are more than 100 types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common. More than 60% of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s.
Different types of dementia affect different parts of the brain. Because each part of the brain has its own job, like dealing with speech or memory, symptoms vary depending on the type of dementia a person has.
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble making sense of orientation, place and time, for example. Those with Lewy body dementia may become aggressive, and need regular reassurance, as they can quickly become confused and disorientated.
Because their brains are damaged, they lose their most recent memories.
They are reliving times past. In their minds, they may be the person they were 20 years ago – or they may be even younger.
They may have trouble understanding the modern world. They might not understand concepts which seem normal to us, but were unfamiliar years ago. Modern appliances, slang and behaviour may be confusing to them.
For the person living with dementia, this can be confusing, frightening and embarrassing. They may no longer recognise people, even family members. This doesn’t mean they’ve stopped loving them. They may start using offensive language, or talking about things they’ve never mentioned before.
Dementia can cause changes to people’s speech, depending on the part of the brain affected. Their speech may become stuttered or slow. If they were bilingual, they may even lose the ability to speak their second language, and begin talking in their native tongue.
This is because people with dementia regress into their own pasts. So it’s really important to be careful with modern slang and technology-related language.
Dementia can seriously affect the sense of sight. People with Dementia may have a very limited field of vision – they may ‘see out of pinpricks’. They may also have physical disabilities which limit the amount they can see.
Because their short-term memory is affected, it’s easy for people with Dementia to forget you’re there if they can’t see you.
People with dementia might act in ways which aren’t considered socially or morally acceptable. This isn’t because they want to hurt people’s feelings, or because they ‘don’t care’. Often, the part of the brain which deals with social interaction is damaged by dementia. This means they’re no longer aware of what’s acceptable in social situations – they lose their ‘social filter’. They may say what’s on their mind without considering the consequences, or do things in public which are deemed socially unacceptable. Try not to let this get in the way of your loved one living the life they want to lead.
These are times when the person with Dementia realises something’s not right. These moments can be very distressing for them. Lucid moments can occur at any time, but become rarer as time goes on. The best thing you can do is provide care and reassurance.
There are a number of reasons why someone with Dementia might refuse meals, or even lose their appetite completely. It’s important to remember there’s always a reason behind this. One reason could be that they’re living in the past. Their food preferences may have changed, because they might have ‘forgotten’ they like certain foods. Your loved one’s tastes in food will likely be consistent with the ‘age they’re living in’. After all, how many of us can say we like the same foods now as when we were teenagers? By talking to your loved one and discovering why they’re not eating, you can determine whether the problem is serious.
Other reasons for refusing food:
People with dementia need to have their privacy and dignity respected at all times. Don’t assume your loved one won’t feel embarrassed or upset because they have dementia.
It’s especially important to maintain eye contact and talk to people when helping with personal care.
Remember that people with dementia might no longer understand how modern technology works, or even what it is. This is true of showers, lavatories and other bathroom items, as well as computers and televisions. They may need to be shown how to use these conveniences on a daily basis.
Often, people with dementia experience disturbed sleep patterns. This puts them at risk of trips and falls, and disturbs the sleep of others in the house.
Sleep disturbances can be caused by noise, sickness, nightmares, delusions, hallucinations, wet clothing, and lots of other things.
If your loved one walks around at night, it’s important to find out why. Give them ‘space to think’, ask them why they’re awake, and take steps to rectify the problem.
You may find that your loved one is having difficulty recalling past memories, family members or life events. To support them you can help communicate with them through their identity – like their background, hobbies, interests and who is important to them.
As their condition deteriorates and they progress through the stages of dementia, your loved one may need an increased amount of support. However, through still involving them in their everyday tasks, you will allow them to feel useful and may alleviate any negative feelings regarding their self-worth. At Curant Care, we stay up to date with all dementia research and dementia nursing processes to ensure that we are a dementia friendly organisation. We always strive to stay on top of all developments to provide the best possible care and support we can.
The longer people stay fit and healthy for, the better quality of life they have. This is because if someone has an unhealthy diet, they can be susceptible to illnesses which can increase the effects of dementia and cause further confusion and agitation. Encouraging a person with dementia to exercise may be difficult at times, however the benefits are worth it. We have prepared a dementia guide that will act as a care assistant to your loved one – covering risk factors, cost of care, dementia news, types of care available such as nursing care and elderly care, the advantages of providing dementia care in UK homes and so much more.
Try some easy exercises with your loved one if they have not been very active previously. Gentle exercises performed from a chair can help to improve mobility and increase activity. The NHS recommend these movements:
Just because someone is diagnosed with dementia does not mean that they automatically lose all interest in their hobbies. However, they may need some help with facilitating these.
Your loved one could enjoy reading a daily newspaper but find it difficult to go down to their local shop. Assisting them by quickly picking it up means that they will still be able keep up to date with current events and have not needed to miss out on this.
Allowing them to still engage in their interests mean that your loved one will be able to have mental stimulation and will bring a lot of pleasure.
We all acknowledge that caring for people with dementia can be daunting and challenging. That’s why we train each and every one of our carers so they’re experts in dementia care and understand how to make life easier for those living with the condition.
We recognise that the homes of our customers aren’t just buildings, they’re treasure troves, hosting decades’ worth of cherished memories. And when caring for someone with dementia, this continuity and consistency of environment and routine is absolutely vital. With our service, your loved one will be cared for by the same familiar faces, and you’ll get to know your carers too. Read more about our consistent service for live-in care, respite care, palliative care, domiciliary care and visiting care.
To live a fulfilled live, everyone needs to be treated with respect and dignity, and have their privacy respected. People with dementia are no different. Every person has different needs and different personalities. A person’s needs remain in place after they develop dementia. For example, someone who was chatty and sociable when they were younger will still need to be talked to and engaged with – even if they appear socially withdrawn or unresponsive.
Knowing the person
You’ll likely already know a lot about your loved one. But keep in mind there may be things which they have kept from their friends and family – because they wanted to keep them secret, or because they found them too painful to share.
It can be very difficult discovering there is a different side to the person you love. But it’s important to know this information so you can help your loved one live a fulfilled life.
Affection and attachment
Dementia does not typically affect emotion. People still need affection, reassurance and security. They still need to feel human love, companionship and comfort.
People living with dementia may not be able to express this need clearly. They may use different ‘signals’ to communicate their emotional needs. They may ask for certain things, but mean something else.
Four of the most common things people with dementia ask for are:
Remember: No two people are the same. The things people need will be different depending on their relationship with their parents, whether they enjoyed their job, and how they felt about their home.
When you or a loved one has received a dementia diagnosis, it can be a difficult time for you all. You probably have lots of questions and are perhaps unsure whether you’ll be able to stay living in your beloved home. With live-in dementia care from Curant Care, you can rest assured that you’ll never have to leave the comfort and familiarity of your own home in order to receive the appropriate care.
Whether you need 24-hour care whilst you are in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s, or you want extra peace of mind that someone will be there to help you go about your daily activities – live-in care allows you to have the freedom and flexibility of always having someone on hand throughout the day and night, should you need them.
All of our live-in carers receive detailed dementia training as part of our extensive training programme so that they will be able to provide the support and reassurance that you need when living with the condition. What’s more, we’ll make sure that your live-in carer matches you in both experience and personality – so if you have vascular dementia and require help with personal care but also have a particular love for football, we’ll work with you to find a carer that is able to help with your practical needs, but is happy to accompany you to cheer on your favourite team.
As dementia home care specialists, we recognise how important it is to maintain a routine and to keep disruption to a minimum for anyone that is living with the condition. That’s why we’ll work with you and your loved ones to create a tailored care plan that fits in with your life and personal preferences, whilst also making sure you get the very best care.
Live-in care also means that you can stay in the comfort of your own home without the stress and upheaval of moving into residential care, where you may be further away from your family than you would like. One of the challenges of dementia is confusion and disorientation, so it makes sense that you surround yourself with an environment that you are familiar with, which is what live-in care within your home can offer you.
Having the same carer provides you with consistency of care and someone that you can get to know and build a rapport with. Having one-to-one care from the same person instead of a variety of different carers that you might have in a nursing home, means that you create a mutual trust and understanding for one another. For example, you may need support with your personal care, but your live-in carer will know which elements you need help with and what you prefer to do for yourself. They’ll also help you to remember things that are important to you – for instance, you may have shared an afternoon together in your childhood town and need gentle prompts to remember the people you met and the activities you took part in.
For those that are in the advanced stages of dementia, live-in care may evolve into palliative care. With a carer in place that is already familiar with you, your routine and your loved ones, this transition can be made in a dignified and seamless way, ensuring your wishes are carried out the way you would like and you feel comfortable and cared for.
Many of our customers who have live-in dementia care find that their carer becomes more like a friend or an extended member of the family. Not only is a carer there to support you with the practicalities, they can help you to maintain your independence and the hobbies you love. So, instead of worrying about getting lost when trying to find your favourite café, your carer can accompany you so that you can enjoy some fresh air and a change of scenery.
Not only will your live-in carer support you with personal care, administering medication and helping you to mobilise safely, they can make sure your house is clean and tidy and that your cupboards are stocked up. From doing your laundry, changing the beds and washing up, to taking the bins out, accompanying you to the shops and cooking your tea – everything will be tended to. And if you have a pet that you absolutely adore, they can help with that too. Whether your canine companion needs a couple of walks a day or you need gentle reminders to feed your cat – they will never go without.
There are many facets to dementia, which is why so many people find the condition difficult to discuss and a daunting prospect to deal with. Having 24-hour live-in care could be an ideal solution for you or a loved one, allowing them to feel safe and supported in the comfort of their own home.
There are many benefits of having live-in dementia care, such as:
If you’re planning care for you or your family member, it’s easy to arrange support. Here’s how:
Your local Curant Care manager will visit you to discuss your requirements face-to-face and learn about the type of carer you’re looking for.
We’ll make all the arrangements for the start of your care – whether that’s introducing you to your visiting carers or working with you to find the right live-in carer for you. After that, your care manager offers regular reviews, carer supervisions and extra support as needed
Dementia care is all about helping you or a relative to have the support they need to carry on living in their own home. Our carers always work to follow a routine that you’re used to and comfortable with, maintaining independence as much as possible, and always promoting the highest standard of care for the person they’re supporting.
Read more about what live in care covers.
It’s best to call us for an exact price of our Dementia care services as the cost is very much dependent on your needs. We’re here for you seven days a week.
Visiting Care Costs
We employ the very best carers to give you the very best care at home.
Live-in Care costs
For more intensive support, live-in care could be the ideal solution if you require someone to assist you round-the-clock with your care needs. Living with you in your home, your very own live-in carer will provide one-to-one support tailored to your exact requirements – giving you peace of mind that you always have help available should you need it.
Live-in care can either be for a sustained amount of time with no planned end date or in the form of respite care, which is for short-term solutions lasting less than four weeks.
Ongoing live-in care prices start from £1,075 per week for one person and £1,375 per week for a couple. To find out more on the fees for ongoing live-in care and short-term respite care, please click here.
Read more about what live-in care covers here.
We’re here to help you navigate the funding options for you or your loved-one’s care.
Local authority funding
You may be entitled to care funding through your local authority – contact your local authority for a financial assessment or speak to us to find out more.
Continuing healthcare funding
This may be available if you need a full-time carer for health reasons. It includes funding to cover personal care, nursing care and any costs related to household adjustments due to your health condition.