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What is Dementia?

Dementia is a major neurodegenerative syndrome that leads to a decline in various areas of cognitive functioning. As dementia progresses, this cognitive decline can significantly disrupt the individual’s ability to live an independent life.

In the early stages, dementia symptoms cause mild cognitive impairment, whereas people with late-stage dementia may require assistance with basic daily activities, such as eating, showering, toileting, and dressing.

While dementia is commonly associated with older adults, its signs and symptoms go beyond the usual brain functioning of older age. Cognitive symptoms of dementia include:

Psychological symptoms of dementia include changes in the following:

Dementia has an emotional, social, and economic effect on affected individuals, their family members, and their community. Society often perpetuates stigma and imposes barriers to proper diagnosis and treatment. Dementia home care services aim to reimagine the approach to care for people with this condition.

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What is Dementia Home Care?

What Support is Available

Specialist at-home care services strive to decrease the effects of dementia while the patient keeps their own tenancy and stays close to their loved ones.

Transferring to a nursing home changes one’s established routine and surroundings, which can be stressful and uncomfortable for individuals with dementia. This makes home care services a better alternative for people whose loved ones struggle with this condition.

Dementia home care providers deliver person-centred assistance to individuals with this diagnosis who cannot independently manage everyday activities. These trained experts provide interdisciplinary care for people with dementia, including help with the following:

In treating every person with dementia, carers follow a personalised plan that prioritises the client’s specific health needs, desires and schedule preferences.

Care providers promote the independence of individuals with dementia and encourage their integration into the local community.

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Benefits of Dementia Home Care

The goal of dementia home care providers is to deliver you or your loved one the professional assistance needed for a fulfilling life in the comfort of your own home. Specialist home care packages allow individuals with dementia to receive high-standard care while they stay close to their families. Practitioners are trained to follow preferred routines, enabling people to live as independently as possible.

Depending on an individual’s required medical attention, you can choose a carer to pay occasional visits or opt for permanent live-in care to ensure 24/7 assistance. The most important benefits of dementia home care include the following:

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Early Signs and Symptoms

In many cases, early signs of dementia are subtle and hardly noticeable, which prevents people from accessing diagnosis and early treatment. Although this condition may affect people differently, early-onset dementia has several common symptoms. If you or your loved one experiences multiple symptoms of dementia, consult a doctor for a proper assessment.

Memory Loss

Not all instances of memory loss are linked to dementia, but it is one of the most common warning signs. The damage associated with this syndrome often affects parts of the brain responsible for retrieving memories.

As this condition progresses, memory problems become more constant and increasingly impact everyday life. The consequences of memory loss may be too hard for the person and their family to cope with on their own.

Reduced Concentration

Most individuals with dementia experience a decline in their concentration and attention span. As they reach disease progression, they may succumb to distractions easily and face difficulty focusing on a specific task.

For example, one loud noise may be enough to distract someone from completing a simple household chore. Some focus exercises may allow people with dementia to increase their attention span to a certain level.

Behaviour Changes

Most types of dementia cause behaviour changes that become more apparent in the middle and later stages of the disorder. For instance, most people with dementia become increasingly restless as the condition progresses. The following are examples of behaviour changes:

People living with dementia may need extra attention from loved ones and carers to feel safe and loved.

Loss of Ability to do Everyday Tasks

As people with progressive dementia experience more severe decline levels, they will likely lose the ability to carry out basic everyday activities. The daily tasks we take for granted may become significantly challenging for individuals with this condition.

Therefore, they may need a personal care provider to help them with the following:

In receiving these services, patients require privacy, dignity, and respect for their boundaries.

Delusions

The most challenging dementia signs include delusions or hallucinations. People living with this condition can see things that don’t exist or develop firmly held beliefs with no basis in reality.

Sometimes, delusions linked to dementia can lead to intense paranoia and aggressive behaviour. For example, the affected person may believe their family members or caregivers secretly intend to harm them.

Sundowning

Sundowning is a term that denotes behaviour changes in people with dementia that occur from the late afternoon until the end of the day. For some individuals with dementia, this is a particularly challenging part of the day. Signs of sundowning include:

These symptoms can persist at night and prevent the person from getting quality sleep.

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How Dementia Is Diagnosed

For individuals who experience cognitive and behavioural changes, the first thing to do is visit a primary care doctor and request an initial assessment.

A dementia diagnosis is the result of several different tests and assessments. There is not one particular test that can diagnose dementia. Diagnosing dementia involves reviewing the patient’s medical history and performing several types of testing. The assessment might include the following:

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Types of Dementia

Dementia is often divided into groups according to specific characteristics, such as symptoms and the affected brain area. Below are listed common types of dementia:

Other related disorders that cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms include Parkinson’s disease dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.

Causes of Dementia

Dementia is usually linked to old age and chronic diseases.

Other possible causes include accident-related injuries and some modifiable risk factors. Below are listed the most frequent factors that may increase dementia risk:

In some cases, the risk of developing dementia can be decreased by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular intake of vitamins, and proper stimulation of the brain.

Dementia Treatments

There is currently no cure for dementia, but there are viable methods that treat dementia symptoms. Apart from adequate prescription medications, other forms of treatment and support are vital for creating a better world for individuals with dementia. This includes:

Stages of Dementia

Symptoms of dementia affect patients differently as this disorder progresses through different stages. The specific underlying causes and health conditions dictate how patients develop dementia symptoms. However, signs and symptoms of dementia can be broadly understood by dividing the condition into three stages: early, middle, and late.

Early Stage

In its early stage, dementia often causes mild symptoms that can go overlooked, making early diagnosis difficult. Early-stage dementia signs include:

Middle Stage

As patients reach the middle stage of dementia, they experience clearer and more severe symptoms affecting many areas of everyday life. Middle-stage dementia causes:

Late Stage

The late stage of dementia is characterised by almost complete inactivity and dependence on a caregiver. Memory loss and overall cognitive decline severely affect the person’s mental abilities. Late-stage dementia symptoms include:

Dementia Home Care with Leaf Complex Care

At Leaf Complex Care, caring for individuals is our lifelong mission. Our impact-driven care experts aim to remove the social barriers imposed on people living with dementia. The Leaf team imprints kindness and dedication in every care package we offer.

Leaf provides person-centred home care tailored to your specific health needs and personal boundaries. Our practitioners support people with dementia in their own homes, allowing them to stay close to their loved ones.

If you need quality at-home support for a loved one with dementia, Leaf Complex Care is the right choice for you. We provide CQC-regulated care in Bristol, Exeter, Slough, Somerset and the Midlands.

Contact us, and we will outline a tailored, personalised care plan for you or your loved one.