Family and friends of people with dementia must ensure their loved ones are getting the specialist care they need, a Banstead-based charity has said.
The call from the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society comes after a Royal College of Psychiatrists report revealed that two thirds of hospital staff say they have not been trained sufficiently in the care of dementia patients despite one in four hospital beds occupied by people with the condition.
The charity, which provides accommodation and nursing for former seafarers in Surrey, has now said that patients should be offered continuity in their dementia care patterns to ensure the person doesn’t deteriorate.
Seafarers’ home manager, Anne Kasey, said: “Triggering memories is key to dementia care and we use our patients’ personal items such as photographs and trinkets from their past to create comfort and familiarity in the home. Communication is key to dementia care, and our nurses have learned a series of therapies to trigger memories through conversation.”
Music has also been proven to be an effective way to help patients unlock memories, reduce feelings of isolation and reconnect with loved ones.
Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE, chief executive of the society, said: “With new statistics showing that by 2021 a million people are likely to be suffering from dementia in the UK it is even more important to ensure that all care providers are properly trained.”
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenging journey, not only for the person diagnosed but also for their family members and loved ones as well. Each day can bring new demands and opportunities as you help the Alzheimer’s patient try to cope with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can seem overwhelming at times, but the more information and support you have, the better you can navigate the demanding road ahead. Start by learning about ways to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as where to find support, and how to determine the long-term care options that are best suited to you and your loved one.
Dementia affects 750,000 people in the UK.
Caring for a person with dementia
When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they often feel vulnerable and in need of reassurance and support. The people closest to them – including their carers, friends and family – need to do everything they can to help the person to retain their sense of identity and feelings of self-worth.
If you are caring for someone with dementia, it’s important to help them remain as fit and healthy as possible – both physically and mentally. The better they feel, the more they can enjoy life, making life more pleasurable for both of you.
The way we dress says a lot about who we are. But as dementia progresses people increasingly need more help with dressing. As a carer, if you help the person with dementia to retain their own individual style, you can help them to preserve their identity.