La Vie Care

Dementia is a life-changing condition both for those living with it and their loved ones. While there’s currently no cure, there are ways to optimise healthcare and improve quality of life. Here are 5 key things to know:


1. Dementia is an umbrella term: While Alzheimer’s is the most common, dementia encompasses various conditions. Vascular dementia, caused by restricted blood flow to the brain, has different symptoms and treatment approaches. Lewy body dementia can involve hallucinations and movement disorders. Early diagnosis through brain scans and cognitive tests helps differentiate types and personalise care.


2. Early Detection: The Power of Proactive Care: Early signs of dementia can be subtle – forgetting appointments, struggling with familiar tasks, or experiencing personality changes. If you notice these in yourself or a loved one, speak to a doctor. Early intervention allows for medication to manage symptoms, exploration of support systems, and legal and financial planning while the person is still capable.


3. Treatment Beyond Medication: While medication plays a role, a holistic approach is crucial. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve cognitive function. Regular exercise, including walks or gentle aerobics, promotes brain health. Social interaction through clubs, volunteering, or spending time with loved ones can combat isolation and keep the mind stimulated.


4. Communication Strategies for Connection: As dementia progresses, communication can become challenging. Here are some tips:

  • Speak simply and slowly: Use short sentences and avoid complex vocabulary. Focus on one topic at a time: Break down tasks and instructions into smaller steps.
  • Maintain eye contact and use a calm tone: A soothing voice and facial expressions can be reassuring.
  • Validate their feelings: Acknowledge their emotions and avoid arguing.


5. Supporting the Caregiver: Caring for someone with dementia is a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s how to prioritise your well-being:

  • Join a support group: Connect with others facing similar challenges, share experiences, and learn coping mechanisms.
  • Educate yourself: The more you know about dementia, the more confident you’ll feel managing the condition.
  • Seek respite care: Allow yourself time to recharge by arranging for temporary care for your loved one.


Remember, dementia care is a team effort. By working with healthcare professionals, social workers, and support groups, you can create a care plan that optimises the well-being of the person with dementia and empowers you as a caregiver.