Supporting a person living with dementia
Living with dementia can be unsettling and frustrating, but independence and quality of life can still be achieved with the right support and a few changes.
With almost half a million people living with dementia in Australia, and another 1.6 million people involved in their care, it is likely that we are all impacted in some way.
Recently it was Dementia Action week, putting a spotlight on how to support a person living with dementia as well as support for the carers. Understanding the experience of dementia, and making a few changes can have a beneficial impact on the person’s quality of life and help them to live more independently.
When we think of dementia, we think of a person’s loss of memory and the confusion this may cause with identifying loved ones or timeframes. But people living with dementia may also have different sensory perceptions, which makes them see things differently.
Dementia Australia has a range of useful tools and tips for creating a dementia-friendly environment so that the home remains familiar, but is more accessible and safer.
Some of the top tips include:
· Consider colour contrasts between doors and walls and between doors and architraves
· Perhaps have a different colour door for the toilet
· Put up signs (in Arial or Helvetica font) or photos to indicate the function of a room
· Use larger size light and power switches
· Set up a whiteboard or calendar to post notes and reminders.
Sometimes, the home environment is not safe enough and a move into residential care may be needed. When selecting the right provider, ask lots of questions to determine how the provider can meet the needs of a person with dementia.
If you are impacted by dementia or you are worried about a family member or friend, take a look at the range of information and tools at Dementia Australia’s website www.dementia.org.au. And call us on 02 6583 2211 to make an appointment to talk about the support available with Home Care Packages or residential care, what it will cost and how to manage your cashflow to pay for the care you need.