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Free expert advice on spotting early signs of dementia

Published: 3rd September 2019 15:58

 STAFF from a leading Devon home care agency are offering expert advice to the public on spotting the early warning signs of dementia as part of World Alzheimer’s Month this month (September 2019).

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.

Catherine Porter who manages Guardian Homecare, which cares for people in the Exeter and Torbay areas, explains: “As part of our training we are able to recognise the early signs of dementia in a person and as part of World Alzheimer’s Month, we wanted to share this expert knowledge, so people know exactly what to look out for among their family and friends.

“Some of the early signs include:

  • Memory loss that upsets day-to-day living
  • Issues solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or work
  • Confused about the time or place
  • Trouble understanding visuals and spatial relationships
  • New problems with writing or speaking words
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgement
  • Withdrawing from work or social activities
  • Mood swings or changes in personality.

“These signs could be a one-off, but if you notice them regularly appearing during a period of time, we would advise the person seeks medical advice. It could be nothing but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“In our line of work, we are able to spot these signs in the service users we look after and our carers will alert management who will broach the subject with the service user’s family, and it will be recommended that they seek medical advice.

“Carers are also trained to manage the challenging behaviours associated with dementia including accusations, aggression, delusions, repetitive behaviour, suspicion and shouting.

“We are passionate about empowering our carers with the best possible skills and knowledge. Our training starts at the very beginning of a carer’s career and is then continued through the Social Care Institute for Excellence training, which includes a specialist dementia care training programme.”

More than 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, which is one every three minutes.

One in six people over the age of 80 have dementia and there are more than 40,000 people under the age of 65 with dementia.

Catherine added: “The main reason for the increase in people with the disease is the fact that we are living longer. Type two diabetes and obesity rates are also rising and playing a part in the rise of dementia sufferers, along with other risk factors such as smoking, drinking, high blood pressure, poor diet and lack of exercise.

“Having a diagnosis of dementia doesn’t mean a person has to lose control of their life or independence. Many people continue to live fulfilled and happy lives for many years. We’re able to provide dementia care services and support and anyone interested or needing advice, should give us a call on 01803 853198.”

Guardian Homecare employs nearly 200 domiciliary carers in south Devon to look after its service users in their own homes and it is currently searching for 100 new honest and kind-hearted individuals to help add to its teams.

Catherine continued: “We offer new a 12-week on-board programme working towards a care certificate. We also offer flexible working hours, both full and part-time, as well as competitive wages and generous holiday allocation.

“It is a great opportunity for people to achieve a recognised qualification and they’ll also be able to have access to exclusive discounts online and in-store from retailers including Tesco, Primark and Argos.”

Guardian Homecare offers training and the opportunity for internal advancement. Anyone who joins the team can create a career path using the different qualifications they achieve.

New recruits are given free uniforms, access to national staff discount scheme for many major brands, as well as 28 days paid holiday, paid travel between calls and paid mileage.

For further details, please call Guardian Homecare on 01803 853198 or drop in at its Drew Street branch in Brixham, during normal office hours for an informal chat. Alternatively, please visit www.guardianhomecare.org.uk.


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