Understanding Dementia

Dementia home care in Cambridge; We provide caring and sensitive home and live-in care support to help people live well with dementia.

At Bluebird Care Cambridge we understand the devastating impact dementia can have on people's lives.

Understanding Dementia

There are around 850,000 individuals living with dementia in the UK and it affects 1 in 14 over 65 year olds. With our aging population, dementia care needs our understanding and support. Those living with dementia cannot be seen as a collective group. Instead, we need to understand the wider impact of the disease, whilst ensuring dementia care is tailored to the individual.

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What is dementia

Dementia isn’t a single condition. However, Alzheimer’s is the most common diagnosis, affecting over 60% of those diagnosed. There are also other types such as dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. It can be complex, and you may want to learn more about specific types of dementia.

However, dementia is also an umbrella term representing some common symptoms. It is how the individual living with dementia experiences these symptoms, and their progression, which determines the right support for them, usually dementia live-in care, or dementia home care.

Common symptoms of dementia

The most well-known symptoms of dementia are cognitive (thinking) and memory difficulties. However, there are multiple other symptoms. Symptoms are typically progressive, but the speed at which they change can vary enormously from one individual to another. Additionally, not every person living with dementia will have every symptom, or experience them in the same way. Particularly in the early to middle stages of dementia, individual experiences are exactly that - highly individual.

Symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Cognitive difficulties
    Cognitive difficulties are those which affect how an individual thinks and processes information, as well as things such as concentration. It includes executive functioning difficulties, such as making and following plans and decision-making. Cognitive difficulties also extend to visual-spatial problems (the ability to make sense of what you see and the environment around you). This is thought to be one reason why those living with dementia seem particularly prone to falls.
  • Memory difficulties or loss
    These are usually short-term memory problems which impact on completing everyday tasks, such as following a previously known routine, as well as recall of facts. Memory difficulties also cause language problems, where the individual cannot find the word they need.
  • Communication issues
    Due to both cognitive decline and memory difficulties, communication issues are common symptoms in those living with dementia.
  • Mood changes
    Extreme changes in mood are often symptoms of dementia, especially in the twilight hours, leading to a phenomenon known as ‘sundowning’. Unfortunately, depression, anger, frustration, sadness and irritability can all be symptoms, which is why it is essential to have carers who understand the nature of the disease and can treat the individual with compassion and support.
  • Mobility concerns
    Later in the progression of dementia, mobility problems can become more marked.
  • Incontinence
    Again, later in the progression of symptoms, both bladder and bowel incontinence are not unusual.

When the symptoms of dementia reach a stage where they cause difficulties with daily life, it’s essential that the individual and their families have the right tailored support in place.

Dementia care in Cambridge

Due to the difficulties caused by dementia symptoms, we strongly believe that in-home care offers the best and most individually-tailored support. By staying in their own home, those with dementia have the comfort of a familiar environment, and the caring individual attention at the level they need.

In-home care also ensures that independence can be maintained for as long as possible, and the care can be scaled-up and adjusted as the individual’s unique progression of the disease unfolds. For example, at Bluebird Care we can arrange in-home carers in and around Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire for a few hours a day to help with essential tasks of daily living and companionship. The amount of care needed can then be increased, and perhaps adapted to live-in care, should it be needed in the future.

It’s essential that the individual living with dementia and their family feel secure in consistent and nurturing care, rooted in understanding of the condition.

Find out more about our specialist in-home dementia care. Call us on 01954 212 881 or email cambridge@bluebirdcare.co.uk.

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How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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