As being diagnosed with dementia can have a huge impact on a person’s life, the longer they are able to stay in their own home the safer and more independent they will feel.
Research shows that there are currently over 525,000 people in the UK living at home with dementia, representing a significant proportion of the 850,000 people thought to be living with the disease overall.
Most people living with dementia will want to stay as independent as possible and will continue to live alone in their own home for some time.
As their condition progresses they may find that they need extra support to help them cope in their own home and it’s better to get this in place early. Those looking for extra help and guidance are encouraged to talk to friends, family and health professionals about how they can help them stay independent in their own home.
Professionals and Occupational Therapists will be able to advise on how to cope with daily practical tasks such as cleaning, shopping and bathing. They can also give access to support services that help with home management, including supervising meals or carrying out daily cleaning tasks.
For more information on the types of help and support someone living with dementia can receive, visit the NHS website.
Dementia and Falls at Home
In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to look after themselves in their own homes in the same way as before their diagnosis. However, as their dementia worsens their home may need to be adapted to enable them to stay safe, mobile and independent.
Each year 3.4m elderly people are treated for a fall that can cause serious injury, costing the NHS and social care industry an estimated £6m a day when combined. On top of that there are around 700,000 unnecessary Ambulance call outs for falls per year, costing the emergency services on average £300 each time.
Research shows that of the 3.4m people being treated for a fall, 12,000 of them are admitted to hospital for falls when trying to get out of their chair. The impact of this can be extremely detrimental to someone living at home with dementia, affecting them mentally and physically in the following ways:
- They could suffer from an injury i.e. broken bones, bruising or an open wound.
- Repeat sliding or falling while getting out of a chair could result in pressure ulcers.
- Injuries from falls could affect the rehabilitation of a patient and increase the amount of time spent on bed rest.
- When a patient experiences a fall it can really damage their confidence and they will be less likely to move as much. This could mean they become more immobile and depend on others for assistance and help.
- If someone at home requires a healthcare assistant to help them stand up from a chair or to help reposition them to prevent them from sliding down their chair, it means there is an increase in staff time and the overall costs to the NHS.
While living at home with dementia there are a number of factors to be considered when trying to prevent falling while standing up from a chair. These include:
- Shuffle to the edge of the chair and place both feet firmly on the floor.
- Grasp the armrests or put both hands on your thighs and slowly push yourself up.
- Use lifting devices to help aid you when standing up, such as the Raiser Lifting Cushion.
The Raiser Lifting Cushion
The Raiser is an innovative assisted living aid, perfect for those living at home that may struggle to get up when seated, as it allows people to safely lift themselves out of a chair in a dignified way. This method is considered a great alternative to a riser recliner, especially as the Raiser is designed to easily fit the shape of any standard household armchair.
Safe Patient Lifting
For those living at home with dementia that have a high propensity to fall, it is important that they have the equipment in place to be lifted safely and with dignity. Someone living with dementia may find it distressing to be lifted off the floor after they have fallen, especially if it is a friend or relative who may not be medically trained.
The Camel Lifting Cushion is a dementia-friendly aid that is ideal for a home setting as it is suitable for those not professionally medically trained. Its size means it is suitable for lifting someone who may tend to move around during a lift, making it a dignified and safe choice for those living with dementia.
If you would like more information about aids designed to support those living at home with dementia please do not hesitate to contact us.