Caring for People with Dementia in the UK
The UK has roughly 8,50,000 people suffering with dementia- a figure which the experts say will double by 2040.
12:31 19 August 2021
A study commissioned by Bupa Care Homes on people living with dementia in the UK has shown that one fifth of adults who look after a family member with the condition have put their career on the backburner. Apparently, 33% of the respondents reported that they have had to work harder than usual since the first wave of pandemic broke out in the country.
On the other end of the spectrum are carers, who found a silver lining in the pandemic. They said the lockdown allowed them more time to try and understand the condition of their relative, which they think wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Another startling fact to come from the research is that at least one in three people are caring for their relatives completely alone without taking help from other specialists or services. And that’s what we will be focussing on in the rest of the article.
As with other mental illnesses, early diagnosis holds the key. But most people mistake dementia symptoms for something else or simply brush it aside as stress taking its toll on them or them going through midlife crisis. They end up getting diagnosed at a later stage, however, when the disorder has made further inroads and done serious damage to their decision-making ability, grasp of language, problem solving, concentration, empathy among other things.
This condition can deteriorate quickly and make Dementia patients find it extremely difficult adapting to their new way of living. Caught in between a state of denial and acceptance, people with dementia become easily grumpy and irritable and start throwing tantrums or simply go into a shell. In either case, they typically refuse to cooperate, posing a serious problem to carers.
What’s worse is the challenge becomes harder as the disease progresses. Patients are resistant to help and become too hard to handle, getting easily agitated and upset when the carer offers to help them. Most patients who give their caregivers a tough time believe that they don’t need help and that they can manage their daily needs on their own, while it’s not true.
And when things go south, it usually leaves the carer wondering how to get the dementia patient to work better with them, affecting their peace and ability to live well. They feel all alone and helpless at times, which is why it’s important that they can access support.
If you’re caring for one, don’t ignore your prompts to seek further help. It isn’t going to make the situation better one bit. A large number of carers who sought support from specialists think that it was a great decision, one that has had an enormous impact on their quality of life and on their loved ones. Reach out to specialist caregivers and trained professionals who know how to handle people with needs.
There are trained nurses and caregivers that can deliver excellent service to people suffering from dementia in the UK. They are required to go through different programmes in adult social care and take up an extensive course with a training provider before they can extend any kind of support to people looking for help. Training providers like CBAT take a professional approach to providing these people with thorough dementia training awareness courses. They’re quite flexible enough to tailor these courses down to individual needs if that’s what you’re after. Tutors having a breadth of work experience in this line of work are involved in these high-quality training courses which are delivered online through virtual classrooms in these pandemic times. If you’re looking for training courses on caring for dementia patients, speak to their team today about your needs, find out more information about their course and get your questions answered.
Dementia can be really challenging, for individuals and more so for their loved ones. As a caregiver, we can do different things to support people with dementia. Set up their room to be ‘dementia-friendly’ with lists, reminders, and labels that they can read from when their memory fails them. Make them do puzzles, play games, and read them excerpts from their favourite book just to keep their mind active.
The cognitive ability of people living with dementia may continue to decline as the disease progresses, severely impacting memory, communication, and their quality of life overall. As their condition worsens, it may be really worth getting support from a trained adult care worker to make sure they get good support on their worst days.
The aforementioned research study pointed out a few serious challenges faced by people caring for relatives with dementia. But it’s not looking grim and grey for carers, though. Some respondents thought that understanding what was going on with the person they’re caring for and feeling empathetic helped them deal with the situation better. Some people said seeing their relatives grapple with the condition has given them a fresh perspective on what’s really important in life and helped them figure out what matters the most to them.
Remember, irrespective of how bad their dementia is, they will always be the same people we know and love. This is the most fundamental aspect of dementia care, something that carers and other people providing support need to fully internalise. Understanding this will certainly make things a lot easier for themselves and the people they’re looking after.