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4 ways to support a loved one living with dementia

The month of September is Dementia Awareness Month. From 19 – 25 September Dementia Australia also holds its annual Dementia Action Week, with this year’s focus – ‘A little support makes a big difference’ – challenging us, as a community, to not only increase our understanding of dementia but to also learn how we can make a difference in the lives of those who are impacted.

According to Dementia Australia, currently, close to half a million Australians are living with dementia and while they can continue to lead an active life for years after diagnosis, they often experience discrimination.   

To help us better support a friend, loved one, neighbour living with dementia, Dementia Australia has shared a range of handy tips and tools. Here, we’ve compiled a shortlist of recommendations. 

 

1.Create a dementia-friendly home environment

By making just a few smart changes, you can make living at home easier for someone living with dementia. Simple things like adding signage, larger switches, and using a whiteboard or calendar can assist with creating a safe, accessible space.

 

2.Give People Living With Dementia A Little Space

If you know someone with dementia, you may be tempted to help them with every task.

However, to help them stay as independent as possible and retain their self-worth, you should consider how you can give a person with dementia more space. Dementia Australia suggests giving people living with dementia their space through:

  • Talking: When talking to the person, make sure you listen and give them the time they need to have their say.
  • Planning: When organising an event or activity for the person, ask them directly what they would like to do and if they’d like to be involved in the planning process.
  • Problem Solving: When the person is trying to solve a problem, give them the space and time to work it out on their own. Ask them if they need your help and how they’d like you to help them.
  • Not Responding: If the person isn’t responding to you verbally, be patient and give them time. Try not to rush the person or speak for them.
  • Tasks: When the person is performing a task, give them plenty of time and try not to take over or micromanage them.

 

3.Make Daily Life Easier With Technological Aids

There are many technological aids and devices available that can make day-to-day life easier for people living with dementia.

These devices can act as memory prompts and support with locating important items, keeping track of medications, and more. Below are just a few ideas for easy-to-use technology that can improve the day-to-day life of people with dementia.

Please note: Dementia Australia and Prestige Inhome Care do not endorse the use of any specific products.

  • Digital Talking Photo Books: Digital photo books allow you to store a large number of photos and record voice captions that can be easily played back. These captions can be used to provide orientation and remind the person of who or what is in the photo.
  • Wireless Key And Item Locators: These devices make it easy for the person to find missing keys or other items by “tagging” items with a colour-coded receiver that sounds an alarm when the corresponding coloured button is pressed on a remote.
  • Medication Reminders: You can use specialised devices or even set reminders using phones or other technology to prompt the person to take their medication.
  • Flood Detectors Or Plugs: These devices will sound an alarm if the person accidentally leaves a tap running or can automatically open when the water reaches a certain point, which will allow water to drain rather than overflow.

At Prestige Inhome Care, our care workers can assist clients with the use of these and any other technological aids and devices and find solutions that can be easily adopted into a person’s existing routines.

 

4.Get The Right Support

People who suffer from dementia have unique and specific needs and their care and support services need to be individually tailored. 

At Prestige Inhome Care, we are committed to supporting our clients to live well at home and remain as independent as possible.

We understand that no two clients with dementia are the same. Dementia affects all clients differently and everyone’s experience with the condition is unique. That’s why we work with you and your family to assess the person living with dementia and to develop an individualised plan of care that meets all their needs as well as those of the family.

From our experienced Case Managers through to our qualified care workers, all of our team is trained in understanding dementia and the issues surrounding support and care for clients with this condition.

We can provide support with:

  • Communication strategies
  • Personal care
  • Behavioural management
  • Medication management
  • Diet and nutrition; and
  • Providing you with a much-needed break from your caring role

 

To find out more about our dementia care services and to organise a free, no-obligation in-home consultation, call 1300 10 30 10 to speak to a Care Specialist.