It’s National Dementia Awareness Week, and as a community care provider offering support and care to people living with this illness across England and Wales, we aim to do all we can to raise awareness.

But first, what is dementia?

Dementia isn’t actually a specific disease, but rather, a general term for impaired ability to remember and think, and refers to the loss of cognitive functioning. It can also impact a person’s ability to carry out day to day activities as well as affecting their mood.

Typically, dementia symptoms can first appear in a person’s mid-60s, however it can happen as early as age 30.

What are the main symptoms of dementia?

If a person has dementia, or you think a person may have dementia, the symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Memory loss
  • Speed of thinking
  • Mental quickness
  • Using words incorrectly or trouble communicating verbally
  • Difficulty understanding and making judgement
  • Issues with movement, mood and daily activities

Many people who are living with dementia may need little to no help, but others may benefit from frequent care or even live-in or extra care services.

At Radis, we support many people living with dementia, in many forms, including Ann.

Ann’s Story:

Ann has been living at West End Village Extra Care Service since it opened 13 years ago, and lives with both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Having been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s five years ago at the age of 65, Ann describes this diagnosis as a relief.

She said, “I felt relieved – you’re not going mad. You think you’re going mad, and then you have a reason for it.

“My mother would never admit she had Alzheimer’s, and it made me think if I ever got it, I would be open – which I have been. I think it’s the best way to treat it, head on.”

Our care workers work closely with Ann to help her manage both of her conditions. And, each floor of West End Village has different coloured paint on the walls as well as different coloured carpets to help people with dementia identify their floor more easily, as well as being clearly sign posted.

Helping Ann on a daily basis, our care workers help Ann with the following:

  • Medication
  • Support with getting dressed
  • Letters and paperwork
  • Day to day tasks

Ann explains that she manages her blood sugar herself and will continue to do so as long as possible.

She also said, “I have thin skin and they [the care workers] put cream on every day and night, it is never too much for them and they’re always smiling.

“When it’s their birthdays, I buy them a card and a present as a token of my appreciation, because I couldn’t live my life as independently as I do without the carers.”

Rachael Marfleet, West End Village Service Manager at Radis said: “At Radis, our primary aim is of course, to take great care of everybody, but we ensure that they remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.

“It’s important to us that we enhance the lives of the people we care for and provide them with the independence they need.”

Supporting clients with various illnesses and disabilities, at Radis we work with a multitude of clients to ensure they live a life filled with enjoyment, independence and confidence.

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