Over 413,000 Australians live with Dementia.
Whether you or someone you know is living with dementia, the important thing to know is that there is help through the support of in-home care services.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks.
It is not one, specific disease. Instead, it describes a collection of symptoms, caused by disorders that affect the brain and is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities (such as memory, judgement, thinking, language).
There are more than 100 different causes of dementia. The most common are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and Lewy body disease. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of all types of dementia.
Who gets dementia?
Dementia is more common in people aged 65 or over with around one in four Australians over 85 years have dementia. However, people under 65 can develop what is called, younger onset dementia.
Early symptoms and signs
The early signs of dementia can vary between people and are not always obvious. Some symptoms might include:
- Memory problems (such as trying to recall recent events)
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Changes in personality
- Difficulty performing day-to-day tasks
- Getting lost or having trouble with directions
- Being repetitive
- Loss of interest in and withdrawal
- Problems controlling emotions and behaving appropriately in social situations
If you suspect any of these symptoms, then visit your doctor as soon as possible as early diagnosis is important.
There are a number of helpful online resources including www.healthdirect.gov.au/dementia, www.myagedcare.gov.au/getting-started/health-conditions/dementia and www.fightdementia.org.au.
What help is available?
The good news is there are various resources and services available. While there is no prevention or cure at this time for most forms of dementia, some medications have been found to reduce some symptoms.
There are also Government-subsidised Home Care Package available for those living independently in their own home who could use some help with day-to-day activities such as: bathing, showering, toileting, dressing, assistance with preparing meals, occupational or physiotherapy services, assistance with shopping, visiting health practitioners, attending social activities, home maintenance and many other activities.
A Government-subsidised Home Care Package is not only beneficial to those with dementia, but can also give some much needed relief and comfort to family and carers.
If you would like to know more about how the Government-subsidised Home Care Packages work and what sort of dementia support is available for a loved one, call Sue Mann Nursing and Community Care on 1300 241 300.
They’ve been helping people since 1984 and have a wonderful team of Registered Nurses and care staff who are here to help and based in your local area – from the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Hunter and Sydney.