This month sees the latest push to get more people talking and learning about dementia.  It is estimated that dementia could affect two million of us by 2050.  Today, it is estimated that 850,000 people are already sufferers.  There is still no cure and organisations such as Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society continue to spread the word and encourage people to fight for more funding for research.

A little known fact is that dementia can affect the young as well as the old, the fit and not so fit, and it is important to recognise early onset dementia (early-onset or young-onset can affect people in their 40s, 50s and early 60s).  It is not all about memory loss – it can affect the way we think, speak, perceive and behave.  Symptoms can include problems with concentration, judging distances, or controlling emotions.

People suffering from dementia can stay independent for many years, but often this is with the support of a loved one.  Living with dementia can be very stressful for all involved.

For anyone who has found themselves caring or just looking out for someone suffering from dementia, charities such as Dementia UK or the Alzheimer’s Society offer lots of help and advice to help minimise the difficulties that can be encountered, including how to make a home more dementia friendly.  Here are our top tips:

Declutter – everything should have a purpose

Lighting – natural light is good for positive mood, darkness in the bedroom is important for sleep

Patterns – keep things simple and plain.  Swirls, spots and patterns can be confusing

Colour – use contrasting colours for soft furnishings rather than ones that clash

Flooring – avoid anything that could cause a trip, be mistaken for a step or indeed a hole.  For example, a black mat on a brown floor could be mistaken for a hole by someone suffering from dementia

Wallcoverings and dressings – avoid cluttering walls with lots of different images, shapes and mirrors which could be upsetting and disturbing

Furniture – label draws and cupboards with bright pictures of what’s inside

Reflections – can be confusing so make sure that as the day darkens, curtains are drawn

Making changes – avoid making lots of changes in one area all together – too many changes at once in a single room could cause confusion.

At Otus Live-in Care our core aim is to give families peace of mind and confidence that their loved ones are being cared for by fully qualified and carefully matched carers.  Over 65% of our clients suffer from some form of dementia.  Co-ordinated from our head office in West Sussex, Otus registered carers have been delivering person centred care, either full time or as respite for family carers for over five years across the UK.  If you would like to know more about our services, just call the Otus team on 01403 710119 or send us an email at [email protected]  We would be happy to talk to you, without obligation.

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