The difficulties of dementia
Figures released in November 2016, reveal that in 2015 for the first time, Dementia and Alzheimer's disease became the leading cause of death in England and Wales. The mortality rate for dementia and Alzheimer's has more than doubled over the previous five years, in part because people are simply living longer, but also because of improved detection and diagnosis.
Dementia continues to be a growing concern globally with more people afflicted every year. On World Alzheimer’s Day 2015, a study reported by the Alzheimer’s Research UK, reported that 1 in 3 of every child born in 2015 can be expected to develop dementia during their lifetime. A YouGov poll in July 2015 found dementia to be the most feared medical condition in those in the UK over 55.
Dementia as an illness remains incurable, although drugs may delay the development of the disease in some circumstances. As such, it is not unusual for people to develop a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, after a period of denial.
Like schizophrenia, dementia is a blanket term covering a range of conditions. The average duration of the illness is 9 years.
Families and friends can sometimes struggle to maintain and adapt their relationship with loved ones who suffer from dementia, as their current behaviour differs markedly from past behaviour.
Knowing what to do and how to engage with your loved one is not easy.
Given that there is no cure, and pharmacology has it’s limitations, care for those suffering from dementia should focus on enhancing their quality of life.
Each case presents differently, hence the care for a dementia sufferer is by definition unique to that individual.
Part of the outcome of the care should be a reduction in the associated stress levels for the main family carer and their family.
The care needs of the individual suffering will depend upon the individual’s specific condition and the duration of their illness. Those suffering from early onset will need less assistance than someone much further down the line. While pop in calls might suffice early on, live in care might be more appropriate at a more advanced stage.
Given our person-centred philosophy, Eden Care will design and amend, as required, a care plan that appropriately suits each client, while supporting the main carer and the family.