Most people have heard of dementia but may not fully understand what it means.
Below is the definition from the Alzheimer’s Society:
Dementia is a general term that refers to a decline in cognitive function that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily activities.
It is a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social abilities to such an extent that it affects one’s quality of life.
Dementia is not a single disease but rather a set of symptoms that can be caused by various underlying diseases and conditions.
Types of Dementia
There are several types of dementia, though not an exhaustive or definite list, we have listed some of the common types according to the Alzheimer’s Society:
Alzheimer’s disease: This is the most common type of dementia, accounting for around 60-80% of cases. It is a progressive disease that slowly destroys memory and other important mental functions.
Vascular dementia: This type of dementia occurs as a result of reduced blood flow to the brain, typically due to a stroke or other type of blood vessel blockage.
Lewy body dementia: This type of dementia is caused by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits, known as Lewy bodies, in the brain. It can cause hallucinations, movement problems, and other cognitive impairments.
Frontotemporal dementia: This type of dementia is characterised by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to changes in behaviour, personality, and language abilities.
Myths of Dementia
There are several widespread myths around dementia that you might have heard or read about, unfortunately, these have lead to damaging misconceptions about the condition according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
We have included some of the most common myths about dementia below, but we recommend everyone to go to a trusted professional healthcare resource such as the Alzheimer’s Society or the NHS website to learn more.
Dementia is a normal part of aging: While it is true that the risk of developing dementia increases with age, it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live to an advanced age without experiencing significant cognitive decline.
Dementia is always inherited: While certain genetic factors can increase the risk of developing dementia, most cases are not directly inherited.
Dementia is only about memory loss: While memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, it is not the only one. Other symptoms can include difficulty with communication, changes in mood and behaviour, and problems with decision-making and reasoning.
Dementia can be prevented: While there are lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of developing dementia, such as exercise and a healthy diet, there is no surefire way to prevent it altogether.
Dementia is untreatable: While there is currently no cure for dementia, there are medications and therapies that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
How we support people with dementia
At Agincare, we are proud to offer personalised Alzheimer’s care. As a leading provider of dementia care, our dedicated team of highly experienced staff is committed to delivering professional and compassionate support.
One thing that may be helpful is reminiscence therapy – introduced in this video by Jacqueline Ash, Lansdowne Hill’s activities coordinator.
Reminiscence therapy for people with dementia & Alzheimer's
What Alzheimer’s care does Agincare offer?
Domiciliary (home) care: Our care workers assist you with everyday tasks, engage you in social activities, and provide personal care right in the familiar surroundings of your home.
Live-in care: We offer one-to-one, round-the-clock personalised support within the familiarity of your own home, ensuring that you receive the care and attention you need at all times.
We understand the importance of tailoring our care to meet specific requirements. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for individuals living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, by providing specialised dementia care services.
Agincare prioritises the continuous development of our staff to ensure they possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide exceptional dementia care.
To further enhance the expertise of our care teams, we have developed a Level 3 Diploma in the Principles of Dementia Care. This specialised training program, accredited by NCFE in collaboration with our training company, Training Now, expands the skills and knowledge of our staff working in Agincare care homes. By undertaking this diploma, our care workers receive comprehensive training in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, ensuring they are well-equipped to provide the highest standard of support.
We are delighted to announce that Raina Summerson, our Chief Executive at Agincare, serves as an Ambassador for John’s Campaign. This campaign embodies our strong belief in working collaboratively with family carers. We value the crucial role played by family members in the care journey and strive to establish a partnership that promotes open communication, mutual understanding, and shared decision-making.
John’s Campaign passionately emphasises that family carers/ loved ones should not just be allowed, but should be welcomed into all care settings, calling for:
The right to stay with people with dementia
The right of people with dementia to be supported by their family members
Agincare stands as a a strong advocate, and long-standing supporter, of John’s Campaign.