What does living with dementia feel like, and how can a care home help?

Dementia is a complex and challenging condition describing a range of cognitive impairments that impact memory, thinking and the ability to perform daily activities. While we often hear about the clinical aspects of dementia, it is equally important to understand the lived experience of those grappling with this condition. 

In this blogpost, we explore what living with dementia feels like, how the support needs of individuals may change over time, and the role dementia care in Chadwell Heath, Romford plays in providing the necessary care and assistance to continue living well.

Different types of dementia

There are several types of dementia, each with its own characteristics. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, characterised by memory loss and difficulties in problem-solving and communication. Vascular dementia results from reduced blood flow to the brain, is often caused by strokes and may lead to difficulties in thinking and walking. Lewy body dementia involves visual hallucinations, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, and fluctuating cognitive abilities. Frontotemporal dementia primarily affects personality and behaviour, leading to changes in social conduct and emotional responses.

What does dementia feel like?

Living with dementia can be a bewildering and frightening experience. As the disease progresses, individuals may feel like they are losing a part of themselves. Memory loss is one of the most pronounced and distressing symptoms. Imagine not being able to recall the name of a loved one, the way back home or even the events of the past hour. It can lead to feelings of confusion, frustration and sadness.

Dementia can also result in difficulty expressing oneself verbally. Finding the right words becomes a struggle, leading to feelings of isolation and frustration. The inability to communicate effectively can leave individuals feeling trapped in their own minds.

Moreover, the loss of independence is a common and emotionally challenging aspect of dementia. Tasks once taken for granted, such as dressing, cooking or even using the bathroom, become increasingly difficult. The need for constant support and assistance can lead to feelings of helplessness and a loss of self-esteem.

The emotional impact

Dementia does not just affect cognitive abilities but also has a profound emotional impact. Anxiety and depression are common in individuals living with dementia due to the frustration of memory loss and the awareness of their declining abilities. These emotions can intensify feelings of isolation and sadness.

As the disease progresses, individuals may also experience personality changes. This can be distressing not only for the person with dementia but also for their loved ones, who may find it challenging to connect with the altered personality of their family member.

How a care home can help

One of the most crucial aspects of dementia care is understanding that support needs evolve over time. In the early stages, individuals may be able to live independently with some assistance and supervision. However, as the disease progresses, more intensive care becomes necessary. Here are some ways we can help: 

  • Specialised Care – our staff is specifically trained in dementia care, ensuring that individuals receive the appropriate support, medication and therapies tailored to their specific needs
  • Safety and Security – our home is designed to provide a safe and secure environment for residents, minimising the risk of accidents or wandering
  • Social Engagement – we regularly run reminiscence and recall sessions and have a designated sensory room to encourage social interaction and mental stimulation
  • 24/7 Assistance – dementia care requires round-the-clock support, which we can provide; ensuring that individuals receive help with their daily activities and medical needs at any time.

Get in touch 

To get support for dementia, please do not hesitate to get in touch or give us a call on either 0800 999 8499 or 0208 597 4175. Our friendly staff would be happy to answer any of your questions or provide more information.