Understanding Dementia Care
Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain. There are over 200 subtypes of dementia, but the five most common are: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.
The brain is made up of nerve cells (neurones) that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia damages the nerve cells in the brain so messages can’t be sent from and to the brain effectively, which prevents the body from functioning normally.
Regardless of which type of dementia is diagnosed and what part of the brain is affected, each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia can affect a person at any age but it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65 years. A person developing dementia before age 65 is said to have young onset dementia.
There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is set to rise to over one million by 2021.
Dementia care training at Moorcare
All our carers are trained in dementia care by either Jane or isla . We both hold a professional teaching qualification and have between us, 40 years of caring for people with dementia.
How can homecare help with dementia?
Living with or caring for-someone who has dementia can be really challenging.
Moorcare can help elevate and support you during this time throughout this time . Having someone to care for your loved one by helping with everyday tasks or perhaps spending time with the person can be a life saver.
It gives you respite when you need it most and support from carers who are trained in dementia care
Can I live in supported living if I or my loved one has dementia?
The answer is definitely yes.
Residential care is not the only option available if you or your loved one has dementia.
If someone has mild to to moderate care need but needs 24 hour support, supported living is an excellent option as you can still love in a normal homely environment?
Please give us a call if you would like more information.
Why does dementia affect each person so differently?
The brain is made up of two hemispheres and each has four lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital. Each lobe has a different function and, depending on which part is damaged by dementia, it can lead to different signs and symptoms. Therefore each person is affected differently.
Frontal lobes control emotional expression, personality, problem solving, judgement, motor function, language, motivation and social behaviour.
Temporal lobes control memory, speech, language comprehension, auditory and visual perception, emotional responses and facial recognition.
Parietal lobes control learnt skills such as reading, writing and calculations.
They also control recognition of objects, spatial awareness and the ability to perform complex skills such as driving and constructing things.
Occipital lobes control spatial processing, ability to determine between different colours, spatial awareness, colour and object recognition, and could also lead to difficulties with activities that require hand and eye coordination such as picking up items.
Types of dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK. It is a physical condition caused by changes in the structure of the brain, due to a build up of ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’, and this can result in a shortage of important chemicals that help with the transmission of messages. Alzheimer’s disease can affect concentration, decision making and everyday living skills.
Alzheimer’s symptoms tend to develop gradually over time. These may include:
- difficulty remembering recent events while having a good memory for past events
- poor concentration
- issues recognising people or objects
- poor organisation skills
- slow, muddled or repetitive speech
- reduced ability to perform everyday tasks such as cooking, bill paying, shopping etc.
- problems with decision making.
Medication is available to help slow progression but it does not prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. It is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain, commonly due to strokes or a series of small strokes, known as Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), which cause areas of cell damage in the brain.
Changes in a person’s condition as a result of TIAs or a larger stroke are often sudden, before their condition plateaus. But the damage caused often means the person does not function quite the same way as they did before.
The signs and symptoms of vascular dementia depend on which area of the brain has been affected. Language, reading, writing and communication can be affected in vascular dementia. Memory problems may not be an issue initially, if this area of the brain has not been damaged, although they may occur later on.
Frontotemporal dementia is a progressive condition, which tends to affect younger people, usually aged 45 to 65 years, and can be difficult to diagnose. The region of the brain most affected is the frontal lobes. Frontotemporal dementia affects behaviour and personality, and this can cause disinhibition and inappropriate social behaviour. Eating patterns can also be affected, with people suddenly bingeing on food, especially sweet foods. This form of dementia can sometimes be confused with depression, stress, anxiety, psychosis or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Dementia with Lewy bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies is a progressive condition that affects movement and motor control. A person with dementia with Lewy bodies might:
- be prone to falls
- have tremors (similar to Parkinson’s disease)
- have trouble swallowing
- shuffle when they walk
- experience disrupted sleep patterns due to intense dreams/nightmares
- have visual and auditory hallucinations due to the nerve cell damage.
Memory is often less affected than with other types of dementia, but a person might experience sudden bouts of confusion which can change on an hourly basis.
It is possible to have not just one but two types of dementia. The most common is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, known as mixed dementia. A person with mixed dementia would experience a mixture of the symptoms associated with the types of dementia they have.
How can we Help?
We are only too happy to discuss how we could help you or your loved one.
Call us on 01822 616 020 or submit your details below and one of our team will be in touch.
Why Choose Moorcare Devon
We are a family owned and managed aged care company, based in Tavistock, with family values at heart.
We are proud to have built our care service on the strength of our local reputation in Devon, recognising that it is the quality of carers that matters.