Good heath and well-being in dementia care is important just as it is for everyone. Dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life and as the disease progresses they will need more help and support in all aspects of daily living.
This section looks at how family, friends and carers can help and support a person living with dementia to continue to feel valued and involved, promoting their well-being. It also looks at what support can be given to maintain a healthy lifestyle including:
I believe that it is important that people caring for those with dementia, understand the disease and the associated symptoms. At the beginning of Mum’s illness I didn’t understand the symptoms and I now realise that some of my actions, such as trying to convince Mum she was seeing things, only exasperated her anxiety and paranoia.
The more carers can learn about their loved ones illness and educate others, the easier the journey will be for everyone invloved.
Information on some of the issues people with dementia face in getting a balanced diet, the consequences of not eating and drinking properly and what can be done to help and support someone with dementia to continue to enjoy their diet.
As dementia progresses it becomes more challenging and time consuming to get them to eat and drink enough and as a result they become more frail, prone to falls and infection. They often need help cutting up food and eventually will need feeding. There are some products available to help people with dementia to eat and drink independently for longer, such as easy grip cutlery, two handled cups and plate surrounds which help them load food onto their fork / spoon.
This page also includes information on Dysphagia, the term used to describe problems swallowing, which is a common symptom in the later stages of dementia.
Information on some of the barriers to personal hygiene, the consequences caused and what can be done to help support people to maintain a personal hygiene regime.
In the later stages of the disease, bathing will become more and more difficult. Once this happens try to be realistic about how often bathing is required, certainly not every day. Also consider alternatives when met with resistance, like a sponge wash, rather than a bath. There are also products available such as ‘dry shampoo’ and ‘body wipes’ which can be used without water.
Information on why using the toilet can become difficult for people with dementia, often leading to accidents. The consequences of incontinence and poor hygiene and what can be done to help and support people with dementia to use the toilet and maintain their dignity.