One in 11 people over the age of 65 within the UK have dementia, and with people continuing to live longer, this statistic is only set to increase.

This National Dementia Awareness Week, leading community care provider Radis Community Care is showcasing its support for people living with the illness.

With a dedicated social activities programme designed specifically for those with dementia, the team at Redditch-based Dorothy Terry House Extra Care Service is prioritising socialisation between attendees, as well as hosting activities that will keep minds and bodies active.

The extra care service’s programme caters for all needs and abilities and will include activities such as; arts and crafts, knit and natter, a wiggle and giggle disco, yoga, gardening, and breakfast club as well as a number of music-themed sessions, bingo and quizzes.

Aiming to do all they can to raise awareness of dementia, here, the community care provider shares its top tips for supporting a loved one with dementia.

  1. Research

Knowledge really is power. The symptoms of dementia can vary quite a lot, and so it’s important to understand current and future symptoms and how to prepare for it.

Understand how dementia can affect a person, and educate yourself on the different ways a person may be affected by the condition.

  1. Start a conversation

It can be difficult for everybody, but especially the person diagnosed and living with dementia. If a friend, family member or loved one is living with the condition, then check in with them, see how they are and make regular visits. And, talk to them about something other than condition – see what else is going on in their lives and have a proper catch up.

It’s important not to be too pushy, asking them if and what they can remember. Instead, encourage two way conversations, and engage in activities that will keep their brains active, without putting pressure on them to remember certain things.

  1. Consider utilising community care services

This depends on how much a person is affected by dementia. For some, they may be able to live an entirely normal and independent life for many years, however others may need more regular support and care earlier on.

Consider the likes of visiting care, live-in care and extra care services to help a loved one continue living a life of independence.

The support of a care worker can offer short-term and long-term care as well as respite for family carers. From daily visits and check ins to having the support of a live-in carer, the choice is yours and can be entirely tailored to meet individual needs.

  1. Stay connected

Living with an illness such as dementia can be a very isolating time, so it is important for people to remain active and connected with their friends, family members and local communities.

Staying physically and mentally fit is crucial, and getting involved in local coffee mornings, community bingo events and wiggle and giggle such as those held at the likes of the John Chapman Day Centre in Norfolk, and Dorothy Terry House in Redditch, is a great way to remain active.

  1. Just be you

A lot will have changed for the person now living with dementia, and as their family and friends, this will undoubtedly change things for you, too. However, your loved one will need consistency and will not want you to change how you act or behave around them, as well as how you treat them.

Be there when they want to talk, listen to them, and go about your usual routines as this will help them feel much more comfortable and at ease with their new-found situation.

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