What is dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease; it is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life and independent cognitive functioning. Common types of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.
Living with dementia
Witnessing the decline of a loved one due to dementia is heartbreaking. We understand that living with dementia can be a challenging and complex experience, for you and your loved one.
Some aspects of everyday life that are affected by dementia include memory loss, cognitive function decline, communication difficulties, behavioural and mood changes, decline in self-care abilities, disorientation, spatial awareness issues and an increase in dependence on others.
Despite the many challenges, it is important to remember that there are many therapies and support systems available to help manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and provide support to both the individuals with dementia and their families. One of these support systems is social prescribing.
What is social prescribing?
Social prescribing is a non-medical approach designed to improve the wellbeing and mental health of those with dementia. GPs in the UK recognise the importance of addressing social, emotional, and practical needs, in addition to medical treatments. Activities, groups and services are prescribed in the community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs of people who have dementia.
Social prescribing aims to provide holistic care by considering the broader factors that influence health. According to Cambridge University, people who are prone to social isolation can be susceptible to a 26 percent increased risk of dementia.
Taking part in meaningful activities, such as fitness or exercise classes, walking groups, arts and crafts groups, cooking sessions, gardening projects, befriending schemes or local events, can help people living with dementia to socialise and enjoy spending time with others. This sense of community can curb feelings of isolation and loneliness, and can also provide respite for their loved ones.
One example of how socially prescribed activities can help those living with dementia are memory cafés. The Alzheimer’s Society runs memory cafés, also known as dementia cafés, across the UK. Click here for a list of memory café locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and here for those in Scotland. These cafes provide a safe space free from judgement where you can have a cup of tea with someone who understands the disease. Highly skilled staff are on hand with information and advice. These cafés aim to help dementia patients and their families keep active, make new friends and feel more confident.
The aim of social prescribing is to empower people with dementia, their families and Carers to take an active role in managing their mental health and wellbeing, increase their social connections and improve their overall quality of life.
Live-in dementia care
The care team at Bright Care are specialists in providing Carers for dementia for patients in their own home, where you can choose from daily home care or live-in dementia care for your loved one. Our tailored care and companionship services offer you peace of mind, by knowing that our specialist Care Assistants are fully-trained at our Bright Care Training Academy in caring for your loved ones affected by dementia.
Get in touch
If you would like to join our team of Carers providing live-in dementia care, please apply now.
If you would like to know more about the at-home dementia care we offer, our team can talk you through the options available, so please get in touch.