If you or a family member has been diagnosed with dementia you may be filled with a range of emotions. This is absolutely normal and it is important not to dismiss those feelings. However, we are here to help guide you through the process of how to deal with Dementia and find the right care path to suit you and your family.
Dementia services and support
There are lots of local services that are available and these can range from home care services to equipment and adaptations for your home. The best thing to do is contact your local hospital consultant or GP for details.
There are a host of charities who can also help with services, information and even support groups and lunch clubs. These include Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK.
Make a Will and organise your paperwork
Although this is an aspect we don’t like think about, it is really important that a will is prepared now. Although a person with dementia can still make or change a will, your solicitor can guide you through this carefully to ensure the person with dementia is fully protected. You can also discuss the importance of an LPA.
Now is also the time to start ensuring all your important documents can be found easily. It may be important to organise this with your chosen future LPA so they can easily keep your affairs in order if necessary.
You must also inform the DVLA immediately as well as your car insurance company. Here is a useful factsheet for this.
Check your eligibility for benefits
You may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, your carer may also claim a Carer’s Allowance. Age UK has a useful guide for claiming the right benefits.
Advance Care Planning
Ensuring you have a carefully considered care plan is vital. If you or your family member have recently been diagnosed with dementia, it is important they feel involved in their future care plans.
Understanding the difference between Care Homes, Nursing Homes and Dementia Care Homes is vital. Here is a useful guide on the varying levels of care. We have a very useful blog on how to choose the right care home.
Take a tour of your shortlisted care facilities and think about what your future needs will be. We have a handy checklist of questions to ask on your tours to ensure that you have as much information as possible.
Take Care of Your Health
It is vital to think about your physical health as well as your mental health when you are diagnosed with dementia.
The emotions you are facing will at certain times be overwhelming and it is important to understand that depression is very common for those suffering with dementia. Your GP can guide you through a range of treatments and there are plenty of places to seek help including the Time to Talk service.
Eating a healthy diet is essential and studies show that eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals with a low red meat and sugar intake can help reduce dementia risks as well as slow it’s progression.
Further, a healthy diet is likely to improve your quality of life and prevent other problems such as fatigue, infection risks and muscle strength. Consuming plenty of water is essential in order to prevent increased confusion as well as urinary tract infections and constipation.
Create a life story
One of the things we love to see when residents enter into our dementia facilities is the presence of a memory book which they have created. This book can include pictures, notes, keep sakes from childhood to the present and can serve as a fantastic connection to distant memories. Including a playlist of your favourite music is also a lovely way to ensure your favourite tunes are available for all stages of your life.