Unit 40, Dementia Care

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Dementia is a progressive disorder that will affect how you’re brain functions and particularly your ability to remember, think and reason. Dementia usually affects older people and are approximately 820,000 people in the UK with the disorder, and around 15,000 are under the age of 65. If the dementia is recognised early enough that are a lot of things that you can be done to make the quality of life better. In a lot of dementia cases the symptoms and quality of life will progress and get worse over a number of years. The most common symptoms of a dementia patient are:

* Forgetfulness, maybe forgetting names of people that you have been in contact with every day, or forgetting what you did just hours or days ago. * Having difficulty understanding what people are saying, even simple instructions and retaining them. * Picking up on people commenting on your forgetfulness. * Difficulty making decisions.

There are many different types of dementia and they all have different signs and symptoms and will all progress differently. Some of these are: * Alzheimer’s disease.
* Vascular Dementia.
* Lowy Bodies.
* Pick’s Disease.
* CJD.
* Huntington’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease has many different signs and symptoms and they will change as the disease progresses, it is an average that an Alzheimer’s patient will live eight years after their diagnosis. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s they will have difficulty remembering conversations you may have had with them or events that may have recently happened such as birthdays, weddings or deaths. Another sign may be that they have lost control of balancing their finances and cannot manage them by themselves, this is in mind they will have difficulty when it comes to doing shopping. Everyday tasks such as cooking, getting dressed and keeping up personal hygiene may become difficult and they may need help with doing these tasks. A person with Alzheimer’s may not recognise familiar surroundings and may become disorientated and not understand where they are or why they are there. One symptom that is common in a lot of types of dementia is them having poor judgement, and not being able to make decisions on their own. As the disease develops you may see problems in behaviour, some Alzheimer patients will become angry, suspicious and paranoid meaning they blame family members for things that they haven’t done such as stealing money or a partner having an affair. They may start wandering at inappropriate times, and this may be because they have something called sun downing meaning they are restlessness in the evenings and in the middle of the night. Also as the disease progresses they may need help with doing tasks such as setting the table and things such as knowing their left and right, bumping into obvious objects or mistaking the location of a chair when sitting down. In this stage of dementia they may lose the abilities to read, write and arithmetic and many services for people with dementia will do activities such as bingo to help them keep their mind active. At times they may not recognise family and friends, or get confused with people and thinking that someone is one person when they aren’t. In the late stage of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms will get a lot worse and they may not be able to do a lot of things for them self. A common symptom is they may not be able to communicate with people and understand what people are saying to them, meaning a lot of repeating is needed when talking to them. A lot of their time is spent sleeping and even when they are awake they may not again recognise who you are or where they are, as at this stage they would be very confused. Any ability that they had before of walking and doing any personal care for themselves would have gone by this stage and will need assistance with most things they do. A lot of the time people with Alzheimer’s will lose a lot of weight in late stages of the disease, this may be...
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