Dementia Care at our Ilminster Care Home
What is Dementia
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a number of diseases and conditions of the brain, sharing the characteristics of decreasing brain function, which are usually progressive and eventually severe. The common initial symptoms of dementia are memory loss, confusion and challenges with understanding and speech. Some of the well-known diseases include Alzheimer's, Pick's, Vascular Dementia, Huntingdon's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Parkinson's.
As dementia is usually progressive, initial symptoms become more severe and additional symptoms may appear, such as gradual loss of mobility, weight loss, incontinence and an increasing severity of behavioural issues (restlessness, hallucinations, agitation, wandering, suspicion and aggression).
Effects of Dementia in the Family
Experiencing the changes in a loved one, who has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, is extremely difficult. Real challenges come as a dementia sufferer starts to lose their memory, followed by their speech and faculties. In many cases, family members find themselves in a strange type of bereavement, coping with the loss of the personality of their relative, while still physically caring for them.
We believe our individualised programme of activities enhances a person's sense of dignity and self-esteem by giving purpose and meaning to his or her life. Activities give our residents a purpose, make them feel valued and enhance their lives.
Our planned, individualised, activities focus on the structure of time appropriate to the person and reflecting his or her interests. We have dedicated staff to ensure this approach is followed through in practice and we believe well-planned activities can improve the quality of life for our service users with dementia.
Finding Suitable Activities
We spend time finding out what a person's favourite hobbies and interests are, then, as their dementia progresses, we develop imaginative ways to adapt service users’ preferred activities to their changing capabilities and moods. We constantly encourage a person to try 'new' activities which often brings about a sense of excitement and gratification.
We openly encourage and facilitate opportunities for our residents to exercise and enjoy everyday activities. The opportunities we provide promote feelings of happiness which helps them relax and increase their sense of well-being and fitness. Exercise helps develop a healthy appetite, increases energy levels and promotes a better night's sleep. Our activities include:
- Shopping trips
- Organised group outings
- Ball games
- Ten Pin Bowling
- Exercise Equipment
We know that dementia is a real challenge which will not go away, and support for people with dementia requires our professional support which helps to prevent excessive stress. We have over 25 years of experience caring effectively for people with dementia and can provide you with the very best specialised care, giving you peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for by experienced, trained and qualified carers.
Our staff are dedicated to helping each person maintain an active and independent life, by focusing on current abilities, interests and needs. They are experienced in the special challenges related to dementia, including behavioural and communication difficulties.
Our monthly carers’ support group meeting gives you the chance to have your say and share ideas with other carers within a relaxed, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.
The carers' support group offers advice, information, and an opportunity to have your voice heard in a relaxed friendly and informal setting.
The carers' support group is for:
- Carers and relatives of people who use Hazelwell Lodge
- Carers and relatives of people who are thinking of using care services
- People who use care services
- Meetings are held monthly at Hazelwell Lodge.
If you would like more information about the carers meetings please contact Claire Kingdon on 01460 52760.