Elderly Abuse

Have You Got What It Takes to Provide Dementia Care?

Being a carer is a rewarding and challenging career path that is sadly not for everyone. It’s certainly true that being a dementia carer brings with it even more challenges. If you already work in home care or are thinking of making that move and are looking at live in care jobs, you might be asking you self if you have what it takes to be able to provide dementia care and what indeed it takes to become a good carer. We have put together some information that might help you with that decision, so read on to find out more.

What is dementia

First of all, dementia is not a specific illness, it is a general term that is used to describe a number of conditions where the individual suffers with a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to affect their day to day life. This includes things like memory loss. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for between 60 to 8 percent of all dementia cases. Vascular dementia which occurs following a stroke, is the second most common form of dementia. There are other conditions which can cause symptoms of dementia and in some cases these symptoms can be reversible.

Dementia brings with it a range of symptoms; these symptoms can vary greatly in their severity, but a person diagnosed with dementia will suffer with at least two of the following:

  • Memory loss – this can be simple things like forgetting where they have put everyday items to more severe issues such as being confused about those people around them, it is not uncommon for them to think that younger family members are their own children and to not recognise their adult children
  • Communication and language issues
  • The ability to pay attention and focus on things
  • Issues with reasoning and judgement
  • Issues with visual perception

In some cases, the person with dementia can be very timid, easy to deal with and cause very few issues. However, it is not uncommon for people suffering with dementia to become angry and lash out; they are aware that things are not as they should be but cannot understand fully and this can be distressing causing them to lash out, shout and even swear at people.

The sooner a person is diagnosed with dementia the easier it is to get the maximum benefit from the available treatments.

Could you be a dementia carer?

Working with people who have dementia is not an easy career path, but it does have its rewards. Being able to help someone who is struggling with the symptoms of dementia can be a great motivation and can provide a good sense of doing something worthwhile for someone else.

The right carer will need to be very patient, it is not uncommon for dementia patients to ask the same questions repeatedly as they will forget they have already asked things. In addition to patience, the right carer needs to be able to remain calm and professional and have a good deal of compassion for the person they are caring for.

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