Did you know that September is Dementia Awareness Month?
Dementia Awareness Month is a campaign conducted by Dementia Australia National that’s all about encouraging Australians to become aware of dementia and to have a greater understanding of what it’s like for a person to live with dementia.
The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Small actions, big difference’. There are many small actions people can take to create a big difference for people impacted by dementia, their families and carers.
So, what exactly is dementia?
Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It isn’t one specific disease, according to Dementia Australia National. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability of a person to perform everyday tasks and can interfere with a person’s ability to work and function in society.
Most people who have dementia are older, but not all older people have dementia. According to Dementia Australia National, it is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia can happen to anyone, but it is more common to occur after the age of 65. However, people in their 40’s and 50’s can also have dementia. Dementia is the greatest cause of disability in people aged over 65.
The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration, Huntington’s Disease, Alcohol related Dementia (Korsakoff’s syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, according to Alzheimer’s Australia.
It’s essential that a medical diagnosis is received when symptoms of dementia first appear, to ensure that the correct medical treatment is given and that appropriate support and information are provided.
What are the early signs of dementia?
They can be subtle and vague and may not be obvious to you, but can include:
- Progressive and frequent memory loss
- Personality change
- Apathy and withdrawal
- Loss of ability to perform everyday tasks
What can you do if you discover you or a family member has dementia?
If you are living with early stage dementia or are a carer for someone with dementia, you can join Dementia Australia’s early intervention program, where you will receive information and support with a small group of other people in a similar situation. Such a program can reduce the sense of isolation, distress and depression resulting from diagnosis and increase the self-esteem of people with or caring for someone with dementia. More information can be found at: https://www.fightdementia.org.au/
Understanding dementia symptoms and working with them can mean better quality of life at home.
How Oxley Home Care can help those living with dementia
Oxley Home Care provides individual essential support services for people with dementia and their carers, including:
- Personal care, showering, dressing, grooming, dental hygiene and denture care
- Early intervention and health and lifestyle coaching for people with dementia
- Preparing and serving of meals
- Daily living support, including domestic assistance
- Transport to social events
- Shopping and errands
- Companionship and leisure activities
In addition, Oxley Home Care’s respite support allows carers to rest and re-energise with peace of mind, on a regular basis.
To find out more about getting the right support and care for a family member with dementia, contact Oxley Home Care on 1800 221 039.
If you would like more information on dementia or Dementia Awareness Month, contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit their website, www.fightdementia.org.au