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FAQ

What is dementia ?

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. These include:

  • memory
  • thinking
  • language
  • understanding
  • judgement

People with dementia may also become apathetic, have problems controlling their emotions or behaving appropriately in social situations. Aspects of their personality may change or they may see or hear things that other people do not, or have false beliefs. Most cases of dementia are caused by damage to the structure of the brain. People with dementia usually need help from friends or relatives, including help in making decisions.

 

How common is dementia?

Dementia is a common condition. In England alone, there are currently 570,000 people living with dementia. That number is expected to double over the next 30 years.

Usually dementia occurs in people who are 65 or over. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop it. Dementia is slightly more common in women than in men.

 

Types of dementia

Listed below are the different types of dementia.

Alzheimer's disease, where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This disrupts the normal workings of the brain. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around 496,000 people in the UK. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, which means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, the symptoms become more severe.

 

Symptoms

People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses, they may:

  • become confused and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events
  • experience mood swings, feel sad or angry, or scared and frustrated by their increasing memory loss
  • become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems
  • have difficulty carrying out everyday activities - they may get muddled checking their change at the shops or become unsure how to work the TV remote.
  • Vascular dementia, where problems with blood circulation result in parts of the brain not receiving enough blood and oxygen.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies, where abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain.
  • Fronto-temporal dementia, where the frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) begin to shrink. Unlike other types of dementia, fronto-temporal dementia usually develops in people who are under 65. It is much rarer than other types of dementia.

 

Why do I need residential care ?

It is usual that most families after a diagnosis of dementia, will continue to look after the person at home, or wish for them to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Sadly this can place a huge strain on family life as the needs of the person are likely to become more involved and complicated over time.

Residential care offers 24 hour support, 52 weeks a year in a safe and homely environment. Residents have their own space to call their own and are encouraged to socialise and take part in activities which promote health and well-being. Families are welcome to visit at any time and are encouraged to read and participate in the person’s care plan ( particularly where the person lacks capacity to make key decisions about their life).

Relatives often go through a range of emotions prior to their family member coming to stay with us, but soon realise the benefits of residential care, which allows them to carry on with their life, whilst still enjoying quality time with their loved ones.

 

What will the manager ask when they visit ?

It is important that we make sure that we can meet the person’s needs before making an offer for a residential placement. We have a detailed assessment questionnaire which looks at :

  • Health needs, current medication and allergies
  • What is important to the person
  • Likes / dislikes
  • Communication,  Mobility, Nutrition, Tissue Viability, Behaviour, Continence and much more

We like to involve the person being assessed and the family. If you have a care manager involved for funding, they will have completed their own assessment, which they will share with the home on request.

 

What can we bring with the person when they move ?

We like to make sure residents are comfortable and encourage families to personalise bedrooms wherever possible. We provide the bed, wardrobe, bedside table and drawers, side lamp and in some rooms digital TV’s. Windows have blinds already fitted and we provide bedding and towels.

We compile a belongings sheet on the first day of admission, which we keep in your care file.

Clothing – day and night wear, slippers, shoes, any reading or hearing aids, books, photographs, pictures, toiletries will be supplied by yourself.  Please note that the homes look after many people and if clothing can be tagged in any way, it is much easier to return to the correct person after the laundering process.

Electrical items such as a radio, TV or kettle are fine to bring in, we will PAT test them to ensure safety.

We ask that jewellery items are kept to a minimum, although we do have secure lockable area for safe keeping.

Some residents like to keep a small amount of change with them, most families pay funds into the personal spends weekly or monthly for sundry items such as hairdressing, chiropody or aromatherapy. We also have a mobile tuck shop for food items or papers.

 

What are the visiting hours ?

Families are welcome any time and we aim to make each visit an enjoyable one with complementary tea / coffee.

The home manager is resident between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and has an open door policy. Alternatively you may book an appointment with the manager by phone or in person should that be easier for you.

You are welcome to telephone the home at any time day or night as we have 24 hour staffing. Please note the busiest times are between 8am and 10am, 12:30pm – 13:30pm, 14:30pm – 15:30pm and 8pm to 9pm, but we will always aim to deal with any questions during those times.

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