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Dementia Action Week 2021 main87e2b455 291d 4396 9593 b689ee8e5085

This week is Dementia Action Week

Almost all of us know someone affected by dementia. People with dementia have been worst hit by the pandemic, accounting for a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the UK

Dementia Action Week is a week set out to raise awareness about dementia and for the UK public to look at taking action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.

Here at Garden House Hospice Care our Admiral Nurse, Lucy, provides specialist advice, guidance, training and support to people, their families and carers, and organisations who support them, living with dementia approaching the end of their life.

Many individuals living with dementia report feeling lonely, cut off from their community and say they have lost friendships.

Do you know someone affected by dementia?

We are encouraging everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or checking in on a neighbour. Having dementia should not mean an isolated life. Even in the later stages of dementia when having a conversation might become difficult, keeping in touch means a lot. Seeing friends and loved ones brings feelings of happiness and comfort, and the ‘emotional memory’ remains with people living with dementia long after the memory of the visit may have gone.

Future planning

Our Admiral Nurse will often get asked about the diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is a life-limiting / terminal illness and not always recognised as this. Future planning and interventions in the earlier stages of dementia can help family members, friends and healthcare professionals involved understand what is most important to the person living with dementia and let their voice be heard about their wishes and preferences. Examples include: things that are important to you, how and where you would like to be cared for, decisions about your Will, where you would prefer to die, Lasting Power of Attorney and Funeral arrangements

Guilt

Those caring for someone living with dementia will often tell our Admiral Nurse that they feel guilty. This guilt can occur for many reasons: feeling like they are not managing, feeling tired, not able to be with the person every minute, having to work or feeling guilty that they cannot continue to look after their loved one. It is really important for the carer to remember they are only human. Caring for someone for dementia can be a 24 hour job – it is important for a carer to look after themselves as well. It is a natural response for a carer to feel upset, angry or even resentful at times. Circumstances can change and new changes can affect the person living with dementia and carer in different ways. It could be helpful to talk to the person with dementia about the guilt if they are able to understand or with other family members so decisions are made together.

Pain

Pain can often be missed or not recognised in people with dementia. Some people mistakenly believe that people with dementia don’t feel pain or that they experience pain less. This is not true. People with dementia experience pain but they may not be able to recognise or manage it the same way. When pain is not treated properly, which can increase their discomfort and distress, and reduce their quality of life.

Get in touch

Anyone can refer to the Admiral Nurse as long as the referral criteria is met.* For referrals, support and advice, contact Lucy on 07377876257.

*Referral criteria includes one of the following: The person living with dementia is in their last year of life. The family carer who cares for a person with dementia requires support as there are unresolved, complex needs that cannot be met by the current caring team. The person with dementia must be registered with a GP within the geographical catchment area of Garden House Hospice Care.

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