Do you care for an elderly relative? Are you worried about Dementia?

 

Here’s how you can make sure that they get help as soon as they need it

 

 

 

Know the signs of dementia

If you stay in close contact with with your loved one, it becomes easier to identify changes as soon as they occur.

Get them to keep a journal or diary, and write down what they do each day.
Encourage them to go out more often for socialization.
Keep an eye on their physical health - are they sleeping well, eating properly, etc.?  
Are their symptoms getting worse over time or staying the same level of severity ?
What is the cause of these symptoms (dementia)?
Make sure you know if there's any family history of dementia.
Find out about any medications that may be causing side effects that could point towards dementia.

 

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Specific things to look out for

 

Be aware of changes in behaviour or personality.
Notice if the person has trouble remembering things they just learned.
Watch for problems with language, such as not being able to find words.
Notice any confusion about time and place.
Look out for sudden mood swings, irritability, or depression.
Check on how much sleep the person is getting (too little can be a sign) and whether they're eating well (a loss of appetite may also indicate dementia).

 

 

 

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Here’s what you need to think about

 

Know when it's time to look into other options like live-in care or nursing homes.
Be patient and understanding - this is not something that can be fixed overnight.
Don't forget about yourself - take care of yourself as well!
Remember to talk openly with friends and family members about how you're feeling too! They will likely feel just as worried as you do! 
It's okay if things get tough sometimes- we all need help from our loved ones at some point in life.

 

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Contact your GP for advice and referrals for the appropriate assessments. You can also get referrals from any professional services that you already receive. Most importantly, remember that you can’t be on hand twenty-four hours a day to help, so reach out and get the support you need.