What is Dementia?
According to Dementia UK, dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders. These are conditions affecting 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.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood, although several things are thought to increase your risk of developing the condition.
- increasing age
- a family history of the condition
- untreated depression, although depression can also be one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- lifestyle factors and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease
Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain. It’s estimated to affect around 150,000 people in the UK. Vascular dementia can start suddenly or begin slowly over time.
- slowness of thought
- difficulty with planning and understanding
- problems with concentration
- changes to mood, personality or behaviour
- feeling disoriented and confused
- difficulty walking and keeping balance
- symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as problems with memory and language (many people with vascular dementia also have Alzheimer’s disease)
Dementia with Lewy bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), also known as Lewy body dementia, is one of the most common types of dementia. It tends to develop slowly and get gradually worse over several years.
People with dementia with Lewy bodies may have:
- hallucinations – seeing, hearing or smelling things that are not there
- problems with understanding, thinking, memory and judgement – this is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory may be less affected in people with dementia with Lewy bodies
- confusion or sleepiness – this can change over minutes or hours
- slow movement, stiff limbs and tremors (uncontrollable shaking)
- disturbed sleep, often with violent movements and shouting out
- fainting spells, unsteadiness and falls
Frontotemporal dementia is an uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language.
Signs of frontotemporal dementia can include:
- personality and behaviour changes – acting inappropriately or impulsively, appearing selfish or unsympathetic, neglecting personal hygiene, overeating, or loss of motivation
- language problems – speaking slowly, struggling to make the right sounds when saying a word, getting words in the wrong order, or using words incorrectly
- problems with mental abilities – getting distracted easily, struggling with planning and organisation
- memory problems – these only tend to occur later on, unlike more common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease
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. A person with mixed dementia would experience a mixture of the symptoms associated with the types of dementia they have. Mixed dementia is much more common in older age groups, such as those over 75 years.
How can Live-in Care help?
If your loved one is living with any form of Dementia, live-in care could be a beneficial option for your family as well as your loved one.
In the early stages of dementia, many people can enjoy life in the same way as before their diagnosis. But as symptoms get worse, your loved one may feel anxious, stressed and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate.
Nurses and Carer’s can assist your loved one with the following:
- laying the table
- taking the dog for a walk
- helping with eating or drinking
- setting aside enough time for meals
- offering food your loved one likes in smaller portions
- being prepared for changes in food tastes – try stronger flavours or sweeter foods
- provide finger foods if your loved one struggles with cutlery
- offering fluids in a clear glass or coloured cup that’s easy to hold
- putting a sign on the toilet door – pictures and words work well
- keeping the toilet door open and keeping a light on at night, or consider sensor lights
- looking for signs that your loved one may need the toilet, such as fidgeting or standing up or down
- trying to keep your loved one active – a daily walk helps with regular bowel movements
- trying to make going to the toilet part of a regular daily routine
- asking your loved one how they’d prefer to be helped
- reassure your loved one they will not let them get hurt
- use a bath seat or handheld shower
- use shampoo, shower gel or soap the person prefers
- putting a dementia-friendly clock by the bed that shows whether it’s night or day
- making sure your loved one has plenty of daylight and physical activity during the day
- cut out caffeine and alcohol in the evenings
- make sure the bedroom is comfortable and either has a night light or blackout blinds
- limit daytime naps if possible
How can Cavendish Homecare help?
At Cavendish Homecare we can help support you and your loved ones with our expertise in delivering Dementia Homecare. We know that being diagnosed with Dementia can have a huge emotional, social, and psychological effect on both the person living with Dementia and their family. Therefore we ensure specialist care in the comfort of one’s own home
If you would like to enquire about our Dementia Care, contact us on, 02030085210 or email us at email@example.com.