Welcome to the dementia care in Bexhill website. Our aim is to provide you with all the latest news and information about dementia and as many local dementia resources as we can. A great place to start is our Free Dementia Guides which you can download by clicking here.
If you have any questions or need support please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and help you in any way we can.
If you have any news or resources you wish to contribute please let us know and we’ll publish it on the site.
Finally we hope you enjoy the articles on the site and hope you’ll make your views known by commenting on them or connecting with us via social media.
A diagnosis of dementia can feel like the end of life as you know it. But it needn’t.
Although the news is just as shocking for family and friends as it is for the person diagnosed, it’s important for everyone to remember that it is possible to live, and LIVE WELL with dementia for many years.
The key to coming to terms with the range of emotions you’ll be experiencing is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. As Nina Balackova – an inspirational Czech lady who spoke about her own experiences of dementia at the Alzheimer Europe Conference in 2013 – said “You can’t choose what you feel, but you can choose what you do with it.”
The amount of information and support available is growing all the time so here are our suggestions for some helpful places to find reliable and easy to digest information and advice. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it will hopefully give you some valuable starting points.
The Alzheimer’s Society www.alzheimers.org.uk is an obvious place to begin, whether you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or one of the many other forms of dementia.
Particularly helpful sections on their website are:
– Factsheets which provide detailed information on an enormous range of subjects and lists of where to gain further information and support.
– Online Forum which gives you access to a safe online community where you can ask questions, share your experiences with others in a similar position, and receive advice and support 24 hours a day.
– Local Information about services and support groups in your area.
– E-Newsletters which you can subscribe to for free to keep you updated with the latest news and information.
– Alzheimer’s Society YouTube channel where you can watch video clips of real people sharing their personal experiences.
“DEMENTIA : The One Stop Guide” is a recently published book by Professor June Andrews, with the aim of providing practical advice for families, professionals and people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (Published by Profile Books, February 2015)
Professor Andrews is Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling where she has gained a well-deserved international reputation for her work to improve the lives of those affected by dementia.
Her sensible, no nonsense and easy to relate to approach in this book makes it a truly valuable read. It is well laid out so you can dip in and out of the chapters you find most relevant, and she answers the most pressing questions you’re likely to have without bogging you down in jargon or unnecessary detail.
Chapters include: How to keep dementia at bay, Managing care at home, Disturbing behaviours, Your dementia-friendly home, What you should expect from the social care system, and many more.
I must point out that we have no commercial interest in this publication, but recommend it simply because of the quality, reliability and up to date information it provides. It’s a truly helpful read in our opinion and is worth every penny. It can be purchased from Amazon (click on the image below) or DSDC’s own online bookshop at www.dementiashop.co.uk
NHS Choices – Care and support guide www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/what-is-social-care.aspx
This is a valuable resource providing information for carers on a whole range of issues including how to fund care, benefits that may be available to you, how to get a carer’s assessment, how to access breaks and respite care etc.
Your local GP surgery will be able to advise you on services and support groups available in your locality. Services do vary from area to area but help from a range of professionals may be available, such as Occupational therapy, specialist dementia nurses (Admiral nursing teams), or Social Care teams, and your GP will be able to help make the necessary referrals.
We hope these suggestions prove a useful starting point for you. As one contributor to the online forum at the Alzheimer’s Society put it, “this is a road that nobody chooses to go down, but the more educated you are on what’s happening, the more accepting you are of what’s going on”. Try not to let anxiety about what may happen in the future dominate your thoughts. Take things one step at a time and keep your focus on managing the present.
In future emails we’ll endeavour to focus in on particular aspects of care that may prove helpful to you.
As always, if there is something specific you want to know please reply to this e-mail with your question and we’ll be delighted to help.
The Team at Dementia Care Bexhill
Volunteer befrienders will be matched with people with dementia to help them live well with their condition.
A total of 85 per cent of people with dementia say that they struggle with isolation, loneliness and depression.
“Befrienders provide companionship and are matched with people depending on their personality and common interests, so those with the condition are able to do things they love from shopping,
walking the dog, visiting the gardening centre or playing golf to simply having a chat and a cup of tea.
Corinna Irvine has been volunteering as a befriender for nearly 10 years. She said, ‘It has been a privilege to be accepted and trusted by those I visit at a time when they may be feeling scared and lonely.
“It is a mutually enjoyable time with a good deal of fun and laughter as we take an interest in each other‘s lives.”
Alzheimer’s Society volunteering officer for East Sussex, Louise Cruickshank, said, “Reducing social isolation and encouraging social participation and engagement in an enjoyable activity is important in helping to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
This service would not be able to function without the commitment and dedication of the befriending volunteers.’
For more information, visit the website at: www.alzheimers.org.uk/localinfo
Article originally published on 15th September 2014 Bexhill-On-Sea Observer
Memory problems can have a devastating impact on a person’s confidence. Frustration, loss of motivation, and anxiousness can all too quickly lead to people withdrawing from activities and social groups they previously enjoyed.
Yet it is at exactly this point that social engagement and activities to stimulate both mind and body become more important than ever to keep life purposeful and ward off depression.
Loved ones can play a vital role in providing not only encouragement, but also having a detailed knowledge of the person’s likes and dislikes, identification of which are likely to be the key to success.
Most activities can be modified to make them accessible in some shape or form. The Alzheimer’s Association in America has provided some tips which we hope will help.
In the early stages of dementia, the person may withdraw from activities he or she previously enjoyed. It is important to help the person remain engaged. Having an open discussion around any concerns and making slight adjustments can make a difference. For example, a large social gathering may be overwhelming, but the person may be able to interact more successfully in smaller groups.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, you may need to make other adjustments to the activity. Use the following tips:
- Keep the person’s skills and abilities in mind.
A person with dementia may be able to play simple songs learned on the piano years ago. Bring these types of skills into daily activities.
- Pay special attention to what the person enjoys.
- Take note when the person seems happy, anxious, distracted or irritable. Some people enjoy watching sports, while others may be frightened by the pace or noise.
- Consider if the person begins activities without direction.
Does he or she set the table before dinner or sweep the kitchen floor mid-morning? If so, you may wish to plan these activities as part of the daily routine.
- Be aware of physical problems.
Does he or she get tired quickly or have difficulty seeing, hearing or performing simple movements?
- Focus on enjoyment, not achievement.
Find activities that build on remaining skills and talents. A professional artist might become frustrated over the declining quality of work, but an amateur might enjoy a new opportunity for self expression.
- Encourage involvement in daily life.
Activities that help the individual feel like a valued part of the household — like setting the table — can provide a sense of success and accomplishment.
- Relate to past work life.
A former office worker might enjoy activities that involve organizing, like putting coins in a holder or making a to-do list. A farmer or gardener may take pleasure in working in the yard.
- Look for favourites.
The person who always enjoyed drinking coffee and reading the newspaper may still find these activities enjoyable, even if he or she is not able to completely understand what the newspaper says.
- Consider time of day.
Caregivers may find they have more success with certain activities at specific times of day, such as bathing and dressing in the morning.
- Adjust activities to disease stages.
As the disease progresses, you may want to introduce more repetitive tasks. Be prepared for the person to eventually take a less active role in activities.
These tips were produced by the Alzheimer’s Association in the USA. For further information visit their website or click on the link here- www.alz.org/care/overview.asp