The Onset of Dementia – How Nursing Care Can Help
Sadly, over 650,000 adults in the UK are affected by dementia – it’s most common in adults over the age of 65, with more women being affected than men. If you’re over 80, the chances of you developing dementia are one in six, with one in three people experiencing it before they die. It’s a frightening reality that many of us will suffer from this condition at some point in our lives.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease, and is a slow decline in the functioning of your brain. Damaged brain tissue builds up, causing surrounding cells in your brain to die, affecting your memory and behaviour. It’s still not known what causes the condition, although risks increase with age, and those with a family history of Alzheimer’s are thought to be most at risk. Symptoms of the condition can include:
- Changes in behaviour and personality – this can include depression and anxiety
- Memory loss
- Struggling to find words when speaking
Whilst there’s no cure for the condition, there is medication available which works to slow down the onset of the disease in some individuals.
You can cut your risks of dementia or slow the onset of the disease by leading a healthy lifestyle – the following steps will help:
- Eat a nutritious, well balanced diet
- Quit smoking
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
- Take up an exercise regime to maintain your physical fitness
- Stay mentally active – crossword puzzles, reading and other brain activities can help
- Attend regular health checks with your GP
Those suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may require nursing care in Oxford, which can be provided in their own homes. A carer can assist with daily tasks such as personal care, including washing, dressing and toileting, or jobs around the home, such as preparing meals, housework or running errands. The level of care which an individual requires depends on their symptoms, and this is usually assessed by the care agency, which will carry out a free consultation and prepare a Care Plan for the client. For those who suffer from changes in behaviour and personality, or severe memory loss, more continuous nursing care in Oxford may be needed – for example, accompanying clients on shopping trips, to ensure they remember what they need to buy, and how to get home again afterwards.
Whilst research into the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is an on-going process, home nursing care in Oxford can help sufferers to maintain their independence and quality of life, by caring for them in familiar surroundings and providing them with the consistency of their everyday routine.