FAMILIES URGED TO LOOK OUT FOR EARLY SIGNS OF DEMENTIA THIS CHRISTMAS
Maritime charity the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, is urging friends and relatives to look out for the early signs of dementia while spending time with loved ones this Christmas. With more than 800,000 people in the UK now living with dementia, the charity, which runs a specialist care home in Surrey, is highlighting the need for support and the benefits early diagnosis can have.
Early signs of dementia include lapses in memory, struggling to find the right words, regularly forgetting names or mood changes. Spending time with elderly relatives in the holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to spot these signs as early as possible.
Anne Kasey, care home manager, said: “Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends, young and old. If you’re worried about an elderly relative and the possibility of dementia, the holiday season gives the perfect opportunity to be on the lookout for those early warning signs.”
The Society provides dedicated nursing care to those living with dementia, and has seen from direct experience that early diagnosis and subsequent treatment has a huge positive impact on the quality of life of those living with the condition. Early diagnosis is very important for referral for the correct treatment.
At the care home, activities such as music therapy and reflexology are offered to residents with dementia to help offset the feelings of isolation sufferers sometimes experience. Music, especially singing, stimulates long-forgotten memories and can have powerful effects on a person’s state of mind, helping to improve confidence and self-image.
Anne Kasey continued: “It is a very hard choice deciding whether to care for a loved one yourself or to find a home for them where they can receive care from dedicated nurses. However it is vital, whether at home or not, that families spending time with elderly relatives are being vigilant in spotting those early signs of what can be such a crippling condition. We opened our specialist dementia care unit in 2011 and through it have supported many people suffering from the condition. Since the opening of the care home we have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that early diagnosis and dementia therapies such as music and reflexology therapy, can have for sufferers.”
For more information on The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, which is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, visit: www.royalalfredseafarers.co.uk