Supporting people with dementia

May 4, 2015
Dementia doesn't have to mean the end of independent living.

 

When it comes to dementia, everyone’s experience will be highly individualistic. According to Alzheimer’s Australia, dementia is believed to affect over 340,000 Australians, with that number expected to rise to 400,000 over the course of the next decade.

Dementia is the term used to describe a group of conditions which involve the gradual decline in cognitive functioning, including intellect, physical control and memory as well as social skills and rationality. It is also the leading cause of disability in Australians over 65, with dementia affecting almost one in ten people in this age bracket.

Alzheimer’s Australia estimates that there are over 1.2 million people involved in caring for someone with dementia.

Eating to support health for dementia patients 

While there is no way to entirely prevent dementia, there are measures that everyone can take to help reduce the risk of developing some kinds of dementia, starting with a healthy diet.

According to the UK National Health Service, a diet low in fat and high in fibre, with ample fresh fruit and vegetables, can help to reduce the risk of dementia. As higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also put patients at risk of developing dementia, it’s important to limit salt as well as alcohol intake and avoid foods high in saturated fat.

For those caring for someone already living with dementia, it’s extremely important to support good nutrition, as a client’s relationship with food is subject to change with the onset of dementia. Meal times or eating with others can become a source of distress, especially if someone experiences difficulty or discomfort chewing or swallowing.

As a loss of appetite is also associated with dementia patients, Alzheimer’s Australia recommends trying familiar or favourite foods, as well as small, easy-to-manage food which can be eaten with your fingers.

Supporting independence with telecare 

While those with dementia may find some aspects of daily life frustrating, not everyone will want to move to a high-care facility. Tunstall can provide a range of solutions to support those wishing to continue to live independent lives, whilst allowing carers or family members to be aware of any situation which might require their assistance.

Telecare sensors are a discreet way of monitoring the activity and wellbeing of those with dementia without intruding too much into their daily lives.

Telecare solutions for dementia include:

If you would like to learn more about how telecare devices can support independent living, read our dementia case study.

William Grant, Senior Business Development Manager

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