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The Role of Family in Dementia Care: How Care Assistants Can Support

HomeWellnessThe Role of Family in Dementia Care: How Care Assistants Can Support

More than 50 million people have dementia worldwide according to the reports by WHO. Every year, there are 10 million new cases reported. This is a huge number and those people need special care. Because this condition is the seventh leading cause of death and one of the major causes of dependency among older people. Losing memory deprives one’s confidence and it may lead to depression. So, the people surrounded with those having dementia need proper training to handle them. Now, expert care assistants are available to take care of them. 

What is Dementia?

Dementia is associated with the ongoing decline of brain functioning. It is not a specific disease. It’s a general term used to describe a group of problems affecting cognitive thinking and memory. It affects daily activities. 

Symptoms of Dementia:

  • Memory loss
  • Communication issues ( trouble finding right words )
  • Issues with visual and spatial abilities
  • Poor decision making and problem solving skill 
  • Confusion and distortion of thoughts
  • Misplacing things 
  • Mood swings and other behavioral changes
  • Personality changes

Psychological Changes

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Personality changes
  • Hallucinations

Causes of Dementia:

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells, which interferes with their ability to communicate with each other. This disruption in communication affects thinking, behavior, and feelings. The specific causes of dementia can vary, and they often depend on the type of dementia. Here are some common causes:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease: The most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases. It is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, which lead to brain cell death.
  2. Vascular Dementia: Caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain, often following a stroke or a series of mini-strokes, leading to brain cell damage.
  3. Lewy Body Dementia: Associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain, known as Lewy bodies, which affect brain function.
  4. Frontotemporal Dementia: Caused by progressive damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to changes in personality, behavior, and language.
  5. Mixed Dementia: A combination of two or more types of dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
  6. Parkinson’s Disease Dementia: Occurs in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies.
  7. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A rare and fatal condition caused by abnormal prion proteins that lead to rapid brain damage.
  8. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Repeated head injuries, such as those sustained in contact sports, can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of dementia.
  9. HIV-Associated Dementia: Occurs in some people with advanced HIV infection, leading to brain damage and cognitive decline.
  10. Other Medical Conditions: Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, or long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to dementia.

Understanding the underlying cause of dementia is essential for determining appropriate treatment and management strategies.

Role of Family 

Family or the people surrounding those having Dementia play a crucial role in the condition of the patients. They need care and consideration. They are the primary care givers so that they should handle the patients with compassion and commitment. 

  • Create a space where they feel comfort and a sense of security. So emotional support is important. 
  • Observe changes in behavior, health, and cognitive abilities, ensuring timely medical intervention and adjustments to care plans.
  • Communicate with healthcare providers, make decisions about treatment options, and navigate healthcare systems.
  • Help modify the living environment to enhance safety and accessibility, reducing the risk of accidents and making daily activities easier for the person with dementia.
  • Families can encourage participation in social activities and hobbies that stimulate the mind and provide joy, helping to maintain cognitive function and quality of life.
  • Families may need to coordinate care with professional caregivers, respite care services, and other support networks to ensure comprehensive and continuous care.

The involvement of family in dementia care not only enhances the quality of life for the person with dementia but also helps manage the complexities of the condition more effectively. It is a collaborative effort that often requires balancing compassion with practical care strategies.

How Care Assistants Can Support:

Now care assistants are available everywhere to help people with health issues and also to take care of old age and children. But finding the right person is a big task. In the case of people with dementia, they need personal care and medication management. A professional Health care assistant can effectively manage the patient by creating a happy and comfortable space for them. They tailor effective plans according to the conditions and changes in conditions of the patient. There are so many nursing agencies who provide the best health care assistants in the UK.

Take care of the people with dementia carefully and be a supportive system for them.  

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pearls of wisdom
Arya Ramachandran
Arya Ramachandran
I am working as a digital marketing executive and interested to research and write.

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