Loveday was delighted to host our third instalment of the Loveday Webinar Q&A Series, "Living Well with Dementia."
This informative session delves into the significance of maintaining a high quality of life for individuals living with dementia.
Dr. Chichi Menakaya, CEO of Annomo Health moderated this webinar alongside a distinguished panel of experts in dementia and senior care, including:
Dementia is a condition that can be daunting, both for those diagnosed and their loved ones. The panel discussed the fear most people have in receiving such a diagnosis, which often leads people to delay an assessment, which hinders early intervention.
Key insights from the webinar are shared below, offering hope, guidance and practical tips for those living with dementia. The full webinar is available to view above.
One of the webinar's key messages was the importance of understanding dementia in all its forms, from Alzheimer's disease to vascular dementia. Early diagnosis is crucial, as it paves the way for effective management strategies tailored to the specific type of dementia.
Caregivers play an essential role in the lives of those with dementia. The webinar emphasised the need for caregiver support networks and self-care. Taking time for oneself and staying informed about dementia care techniques are vital.
Effective communication can significantly improve the lives of individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Tips such as speaking slowly, using visual aids and maintaining patience were highlighted.
Fostering mental and emotional wellbeing is a priority for everyone involved in the care as well as the individual living with dementia. Engaging in stimulating activities, establishing routines and exploring therapies like art and music can boost cognitive functions and emotional resilience. They can be a bonding experience, offering benefits to all.
Community involvement is vital for both individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Local support groups, dementia-friendly events, and resources for companionship are highly beneficial.
The digital age offers valuable tools for those with dementia. Smartphone apps, reminders and assistive devices can assist with daily tasks and memory support.
Adapting the physical environment, such as removing clutter and installing handrails, is essential to ensure safety and comfort around the home.
The importance of future planning cannot be overstated. Advance care directives and financial plans are essential to ensure a smooth transition of care as the disease progresses.
Encouraging individuals with dementia to continue pursuing their hobbies and interests helps maintain their sense of identity and joy.
One significant barrier to early diagnosis is the misconception that memory loss is a normal part of ageing. The webinar clarified that memory loss is not a natural aspect of growing older and an early diagnosis is crucial to initiate appropriate interventions including the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, testing new-generation medications to slow down or ideally stop the disease progression.
Education is a key tool in understanding dementia's various causes, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Identifying the specific pathology is essential to tailor care effectively.
Access to the right clinicians at the right time is crucial. Identifying and addressing issues early is vital for effective management.
Caregivers often experience fatigue and need support. Understanding their concerns and providing resources and respite care are vital components of dementia care. The panel stressed the importance of carers taking time out for themselves and enlisting their own support network.
Holistic approaches, such as becoming a dementia champion, engaging in activities, and accessing non-pharmacological interventions, are integral to comprehensive dementia care.
Dementia is perceived differently across cultures, emphasising the importance of personalising care around the individual, so they can continue to enjoy a meaningful life, being cared for in the way they wish to be.
Understanding expectations and preferences, whether living at home or in a care facility, is essential for a person-centered approach. It’s important to plan in advance to avoid any care crisis.
Optimising vision and hearing, maintaining physical health and ensuring continuity of care are key to a fulfilling life with dementia.
While dementia presents challenges, it is a condition that can be managed with understanding, support and the right resources. Seeking an early diagnosis, personalising care and embracing a holistic approach are all integral steps on the journey to living well with dementia. The power of hope, education and community support can light the way toward a fulfilling and meaningful life despite the challenges that dementia may bring.
Watch the full webinar above.
Published: 19th of October 2023 by Loveday & Co
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