Tips on caring for people with Dementia

May 15, 2017

Chelsea Court Place, the UK’s first premium memory care residence with 24-hour nursing and memory day club, has observed some very positive and encouraging results with members and residents through the innovative care techniques employed.

The industry-leading team of Dementia trained carers and nurses at Chelsea Court Place understand that each case of dementia is different, as is the person and therefore the approach to caring for each individual cannot be one-size- fits-all.

The care team at Chelsea Court Place comprises highly experienced and compassionate dementia- trained sta , handpicked by the industry-leading senior management team for their ability and excellence in their field.

To follow, the experts at Chelsea Court Place share their tops tips to help people care for their loved ones:

1 Dr Christine Valentine-Bunce, General Manager on speaking and engaging

Be engaging and speak at the same level as the person with dementia; if they are sitting, kneel down to them so you can make eye contact. Use short, non-complex sentences that are easy for the individual to process and understand. To improve their self-worth, it’s always good to include them in daily activities such as meal preparation, decision making and light chores such as folding washing or setting the table.

2 Mwaya Siwale, Head of Memory Care on tailoring care

Always observe the person living with dementia so you can understand the reasoning for their behaviour as well as their care requirements. By keeping a record of their changing symptoms you will have valuable information to discuss with your healthcare team. Also, ensure that activities and hobbies the individual enjoyed in their past are included within their daily routine, but also introduce new activities to further stimulate the individual.

3 Matt Dodge- Executive Chef on serving food

Losing the ability to distinguish colour is a symptom of dementia and it deteriorates as the disease progresses. To help the individual recognise food, it’s best to serve food from bright coloured plates such as blue and red. Red is a particularly good colour as it also stimulates appetite. There are many adaptive dinnerware options that are designed to help people with dementia, such as cutlery, mugs and crockery. Be considerate when purchasing these products; many items are similar to children’s products, which can a ect con dence and dignity. If purchasing adaptive products, ensure they are good replicas.

ccp dementia tips4 Alex Morte- Head Chef on improving appetite

As dementia progresses, individuals often experience problems with eating and drinking and also may have a loss of appetite. To improve this, make the meal a social occasion, prepare appealing looking (and smelling) food, serve smaller portions so they remain hot and don’t look too overwhelming for the individual, don’t force them to eat – they can always come back to it later. In addition to water, o er other drinks including juice, squash and hot drinks to maintain good hydration levels.

5 Dr Christine Valentine-Bunce on planning for care

Don’t act in a crisis. Moving a loved one into a care home is a very emotional and often stressful event for all parties involved. There never seems to be the right time, however making the move in a time of crisis, such as poor health, a medical emergency or sudden disease deterioration is most commonly the worst time. It’s good to plan in advance as much as possible, visit care homes and assess your options to ensure the transition, if and when it comes, is as smooth as possible.

6 Mwaya Siwale on exercise

Exercise plays an integral part of health and wellbeing, helping to strengthen the muscles and joints and improve confidence. Daily gentle exercise, whether it’s a short walk, stretching or chair yoga can improve cardio fitness as well as psychical strength.

Equally it’s important to continue to exercise the brain and engage the individuals in meaningful conversation. Reading the papers with them and debating current a airs and playing board games and quizzes are a fun way to challenge the brain.

7 Marissa Lawingco Head of Wellness Services on promoting sleep

Rest is really important for people with dementia as they tend to tire more easily. To help ensure they get adequate sleep, you should:

• Monitor the level of caffeine and alcohol the individual has within the day as these can both a ect sleep

• Don’t pack too many activities into the one day, it can be tiring as well as over-stimulating so try to minimise to one or two activities

• Build adequate rest and sleep times into the daily schedule.

8 Christine Valentine-Bunce on supporting independence

People with dementia may not like asking questions, the disease is as frustrating for them as it can be
to those caring for them and they can often feel embarrassed about not knowing answers to seemingly simple questions. To help elongate independence, it’s a good idea to create signs around their home. Pictures of the toilet, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom can be helpful and will save embarrassment for the individual who doesn’t like to ask. Also, instructions for making tea and co ee or preparing a meal can be beneficial.

9 Mwaya Siwale on helping with colour and vision

Vision problems such as the ability to see contrast and depth as well as colour perception are prevalent in people with dementia, especially as
the illness advances. These obstacles are managed using brighter colours to support with distinguishing different objects, and for way finding, for example, red especially, has proven to support with distinguishing colours and increasing the colour contrast within
a room. Also, ensure there is adequate lighting within the rooms and between rooms (e.g. hallways and corridors) as the change in light can be really disconcerting especially when going from very bright to very dull.

10 Mwaya Siwale on Reminiscence

Instigating memories through music, food and conversation is a great way to stimulate conversation and promote happiness. It can increase confidence for the individual with Dementia and give them a sense of worth as they become the leader in conversation, rather than the receiver.

ABOUT CHELSEA COURT PLACE

Chelsea Court Place is a residential home and day club specialising in senior and dementia care. Located on the King’s Road in Chelsea, the boutique residence features 15 luxury suites with 24hour bespoke nursing care, practiced by a friendly team of compassionate, industry-leading professionals.

Chelsea Court Place fuses cutting edge dementia- friendly interior design with state of the art technology and employs the latest research and techniques. The home is designed to support and improve the quality of life for its residents and day club members.

www.innovative-agedcare.com

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