Dementia Awareness Week 2016 – Day One

Monday, 16th May 2016

This week is National Dementia Awareness Week – an annual event led by Alzheimer’s Society. This year the week is focussed around encouraging anybody with worries about dementia to confront their concerns by contacting Alzheimer’s Society.

In support of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week we are releasing a short article every day written by members of our home care team to give an insight into the condition and support that is available. Our local Alzheimer’s Society office is based in Yorkshire in Ripon, Harrogate and Craven and can also be contacted on 01423 813 464.

Our first post is provided by Debra Heywood who is a member of our hourly home care team in Harrogate. Debra discusses the importance of trust and relationships when supporting somebody living with dementia, and how the condition doesn’t have to change day-to-day routines:

“Dementia is a debilitating disease not only for the person but for the family. It takes away so many abilities that we use on a daily basis. The rate of deterioration is different for anyone who suffers. Therefore during this time families have to get on with their daily lives and try to make life as normal as possible for the person who is suffering. This also means that in some cases the family will need help.

One of my clients does not realise that I am her carer. This approach can be much easier when dealing with any tasks that she may have forgotten as she isn’t made to feel that she is being tested. As she thinks that I am a friend of the family she accepts my help where needed without feeling that I am taking over. When having conversations she doesn’t feel that she should remember something because I am her friend and friends accept each other’s little hiccups now and again. When administering her medication I do it quickly and quietly so it just fits into my visit as if it is the normal thing to do. I take my own lunch and this prompts her to eat as well. We have cup of tea and a chat.  It just feels as natural as can be.

I love my job and it makes me feel good inside to know that I can help.”