Caring for residents with dementia
Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly. Globally, the number of people living with dementia will increase from 50 million, in 2018, to 152 million in 2050. That’s an increase of 204%.
Dementia is a collective name for progressive brain syndromes – there are over 100, including vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia – all of which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Symptoms may include:
- Memory loss
- Problems with language
- Regularly misplacing items or putting them in odd places.
- Difficulty performing daily tasks, such as getting dressed
- Getting lost, confused or unsure of location
- Impaired judgement
- Changes in mood or behaviour
Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.
According to Alzheimer’s research UK, the prevalence of dementia in care homes rose from 56% in 2002 to 70% in 2013. Going to a dementia care home is still seen by many as the only viable option for later life care, especially when dealing with a condition such as dementia. While there are many care homes that provide specialist dementia care, we do not to take new residents who are already in the later stages of dementia and may be unable to cope with the change in surroundings.
So what happens if your loved one develops symptoms of dementia while in our care?
Firstly, don’t panic! We understand that someone who is in the early stages of dementia may still be making sense of their condition and that moving to a new setting would be disturbing and ultimately counter-productive. Instead, our aim is to make them feel comfortable and safe in surroundings that are already familiar. Each of our 31 bright, sunny bedrooms is individually decorated and we encourage residents to personalise them with their own furniture and treasured possessions, especially photographs and pictures.
Birchwood House staff are specially trained in caring for people with dementia and are on hand 24 hours a day. Manager, Helen explains: “Birchwood House really is a home-from-home and the care we give is warm, friendly and professional. Where possible, we work with residents’ families to ensure we have photos of loved ones – as this really helps with visits from family and friends. We also work closely with multi-disciplinary teams – Highland House, Darenth Hospital and local GPs, to ensure our residents have access to all the right resources once a diagnosis of dementia has been made.”
Dementia often develops slowly and is not always obvious in the early stages. If you are experiencing any symptoms, or are concerned about a friend or relative, visit your doctor and discuss your concerns.
We care deeply about our resident’s mental health here at Birchwood House. Learn more in our blog about protecting the mental well-being of the elderly during the pandemic.
Other articles you may like
- Give us a smile! Four Reasons to smile every dayNational Smile Month is upon us and here at Birchwood House, we’re all about sharing a friendly smile. Back in December of 2020, we launched Birchwood Smiles. It was a difficult time for us all, with the pandemic a major concern for many vulnerable people. With all staff in PPE, we wanted to make sure Birchwood House residents were still able to see a friendly face and so every team member wore a lanyard around their neck, with a large picture of their smiling face on it.
- A Taste of Days Gone By this AprilThis month we travelled back in time and turned the clocks right back for an afternoon of vintage 1940s fun. We enjoyed fabulous vintage-styled live entertainment, historically themed displays, and the nostalgic taste of wartime Britain during our 1940s-inspired Tea Dance.
- Spring Open dayWhether you’re looking for respite or permanent residential care Birchwood House warmly invites you to our Spring Open Day on Saturday 7th May from 12 – 4 pm. All key members of staff will be available to meet you as well as give a tour of our beautiful residential home on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells.
- There’s a spring in our step at Birchwood HouseThere’s a spring in our step! The flowers are blooming, and the skies are turning blue. Spring is onContinue reading “There’s a spring in our step at Birchwood House”
- Win a Mother’s Day afternoon tea
- How arts and crafts hugely benefit the elderlyIt’s been a fantastic month here at Birchwood House. We’ve recently celebrated Valentine’s Day and have enjoyed smiles all around.
- The difference between care homes and retirement villagesAs many adults enter the later stages of their life, they often need either extra care, help and support and want to be around those in a similar situation or position to them from an age and health perspective.
- Win a harvest vegetable hamperWould you like to be a winner? We’re giving away a Harvest Vegetable Hamper with the October issue ofContinue reading “Win a harvest vegetable hamper”
- Forget a siesta as residents fiesta Mexican styleOur residents sipped on fruit cocktails and were served an array of Mexican food such as pork carnitas, guacamole, pickled red cabbage, churros and flavoured tortilla chips and dips, all of which were prepared by our care home chef, Erminio.