Living with Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly fulfilling. But it can also be frustrating, scary and stressful. Whatever stage you're in – whether your loved one has only recently been diagnosed or if you now need to find residential dementia care – don't worry. We're here to help.

 

"The team at Sunrise has welcomed me into the community and great care has been taken to settle me in and 'feel at home'."

Resident at Sunrise of Elstree

 

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a group name for the symptoms caused by certain progressive diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular disease and Lewy body disease. The symptoms include problems with memory, wayfinding, recognising objects, performing everyday activities or understanding and using language. 

Watch: Ann's Story

What are the symptoms of Dementia?

Alzheimer's Society created the following list of ten signs of dementia. If you recognise these symptoms in your loved one, or you are worried about your memory, please speak with a doctor, and they may carry out an assessment:

  • experiencing difficulty remembering recent events while readily recalling past events
  • finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on the tv or radio
  • forgetting the names of friends or family or the words for everyday objects
  • repeating the same stories
  • frequently losing the thread of a thought or a conversation
  • finding it difficult to think or reason through a situation
  • feeling anxious, depressed or angry about forgetfulness
  • comments from other people about your or your loved one's memory problems
  • feeling confused, even in familiar environments and scenarios
  • increasing difficulty in reading, talking and writing

 

What makes the symptoms of Dementia worse?

Several factors can trigger or increase the symptoms of dementia. These include:

  • poor nutrition
  • not enough water
  • lack of sleep
  • high levels of consistent stress
  • strong emotions such as feeling lonely, bored or helpless

 

Can you reduce Dementia symptoms?

It is possible to reduce the symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life for your loved one with a healthy lifestyle and supportive relationships.

Some ways to do this include:

  • eating the right food and staying hydrated
  • creating the right environment for deep sleep
  • trying to be as physically active as possible
  • get outdoors as much as you can
  • encourage positive relationships and social interactions

 

Watch: Sunrise Senior Living - Enriched memory care

There are also specific therapies that can support a person to be more cognitively able to function better. These include Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and Dementia Therapy.

We train our Activity Coordinators to deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), a programme of themed activities that provides general stimulation for thinking, concentration and memory. Each session covers a different topic and sessions run over several weeks in small groups or individually. CST is an evidenced approach recommended in NICE Guidelines for the assessment, management and support of people living with dementia.

We also provide Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy, a personalised approach enabling a person living with dementia to compensate for activities they can no longer do. Or, to find new techniques that use different parts of the brain to achieve a goal.

 

Dementia care at Sunrise

Every Sunrise home features a specialised dementia care neighbourhood that is devoted entirely to residents living with Alzheimer's, dementia or other forms of memory loss.

It's the same high quality, individualised care that you'll find in our residential care – but with a specialised focus on caring for residents living with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

You can find out more about Sunrise’s dementia care or, if you would like to speak to one of our friendly team, contact us on 0800 0318 474.