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Blog

 

 

Could Creativity Help Stave off Dementia?

Sharon Kaye

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A new study in Neurology has pointed towards creative activities helping to reduce memory issues if they are carried out into old age. They found that people who regularly engage in artistic hobbies, such as painting, sculpting or knitting, were less likely to have memory problems that can lead onto dementia further down the line. It’s good to know that there are things we can do to prevent dementia as it currently cannot be cured, once a person has it.

Often people stop prioritising time for their passions or hobbies once they have graduated because they are trying to focus on their careers and are having to work long hours. However, it is important for the brain to be carrying out different types of activities as well as the things we are doing in our day job, because this helps to stimulate the different parts of our brain.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote about the ‘Flow Theory’ being the key to happiness. He believed that taking part in hobbies that you enjoy takes your mind into a state of ‘flow’, which means that you can only focus on the activity that you are engaged in, thus keeping at bay any thoughts of worry or anxiety. Make sure you try to put time aside at least once a week for those things that get your blood flowing and wake up your brain! Click here for more information on this study.

Contented Dementia

Sharon Kaye

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The SPECAL method is a way of working and interacting with people who have dementia that looks at the condition as a lifelong disability that we can work positively with, rather than trying to resist or defeat it. The method was created by an independent charitable trust called Contented Dementia Trust who hold an innovative approach to caring for people with dementia.

The method is about finding a better understanding of what dementia is by looking at it from the point of view of the person with the condition. It is personalised around the type of dementia that the individual suffers from and can be accessible to anyone in their lives that they have regular contact with.

The method aims to bring back a state of wellbeing for the person, one which they can maintain for the rest of their lives. The trust has a vision to create a world where the diagnosis of dementia is no longer misunderstood or feared and that people with dementia can live a life as close to that of the life they would have lived before their diagnosis. Click here to find out more.

 

How to Combat Isolation

Sharon Kaye

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Isolation is becoming an increasing problem that the elderly in the UK are facing. As people grow older their support network or community can start to dwindle as friends pass away or move and families start their own busy lives that they can get sucked into.

Along with deteriorating mobility which can lead to facing challenges when it comes to getting out in the community and maybe a lack of transport, support or even motivation; these people are becoming trapped at home with no human connection at all.

All these factors can lead to a decline in their mental and also physical health and can eventually lead to loneliness or depression. There are, however, solutions to tackling loneliness in these older people’s lives and most of the time it is just a matter of discovering all the many services that are available out there to help them.

Merely connecting with a new community of friends or being able to reach out to a family member could be the key to eliminating isolation from their life. Click here for more advice on how to put these solutions into practice.

Understanding and Minimizing Sundowner's Syndrome

Sharon Kaye

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Someone you care for may Sundowner's Syndrome. Dementia can have a huge effect on a person’s mood and behaviour and one of the most difficult, yet very common side effects of this condition might be happening to the person at the same time each day. This includes things like anxiety, agitation and hallucinations and will occur at the end of each day as the sun goes down, hence the term ‘Sundowners Syndrome’ or ‘sundowning’.

This regular occurrence can be very distressing for the person suffering as well as the person supporting them as it can put them at a higher risk if they start wandering or start to experience extreme confusion.

There are other symptoms to look out for when trying to diagnose this condition, for example the person following their support giver around and asking many questions or even losing the ability to communicate coherently. But there are also ways to minimise these symptoms if dealt with in the correct way. Click here to find out what these are.

How to prioritise your own self care

Sharon Kaye

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In the field of Adult Social Care it is very easy to get bogged down with the stress of work. Carers can get easily sucked into the lives of the people they are helping and forget to help themsleves in the process. 

If you are a carer then it is most likely that you know full well how to carry out the act of self-care but it may be more the fact that you don't have the time or headspace to fit it into your daily routine. If we approach this matter from a different angle and try to address the barriers that are stopping us from doing this then we may well be able to build it into our lives as second nature. An article in the 'Happiful Magazine' has some great tips on how to do this, click here to take a look

We can also help the people we support to take responsibility for their own health and well-being by making available to them the tools they need to do so. Skills For Care has lots of information on how to support people to carry out self care.

9 ways to help you live to 100

Sharon Kaye

Author Dan Buettner has created a project in which he has researched the areas of the world that hold the greatest longevity. He has then complied together common factors between the ways in which the people in these places live their lives. 

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