Holidays can be a perfect opportunity to reconnect with a loved one, recharge your batteries and de-stress. And while holidaying with a person living with dementia can be more challenging, with some preparation, it can still be enjoyable and a time to make new, precious memories.
Admiral Nurse Vic Lyons shares why we’re launching the next burst of our brand awareness campaign, ‘I live with dementia‘, this January.
Every three minutes in the UK, someone develops dementia – and often, families are left feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and alone. We believe that every single one of these families deserves the support of our specialist dementia nurses, known as Admiral Nurses. January is always one of the busiest months on our Helpline. That’s why we’re launching the next phase of our ‘I live with dementia’ campaign now.
Why are people affected by dementia more likely to seek support in January?
Many families spend longer periods of time together over the festive season, and this means that often, people become more aware of how dementia is affecting their loved one.
You might have been struck by how the person with dementia has changed since you last saw them, or become more aware of how much support and help they need. The changes can be more obvious.
Daily routines – which many people with dementia depend on – are often very different over Christmas, and when the structure of everyday life changes, it can have a knock-on effect on their dementia symptoms, behaviour and wellbeing.
January is also a time when many of us make resolutions or plans for the year ahead. At the start of the new year, you might pause to take stock and think about how you can better support your loved one – and look after yourself, too.
What sort of questions do you hear on the Helpline in January?
In the new year, we often receive calls from people who are worried about the changes they have seen in their loved one. They may have questions about seeking a dementia diagnosis, coping with changes in symptoms and behaviour, buying equipment for their home or even moving their loved one to a care home.
People are often unsure about the next steps they need to take. Different family members might also have conflicting opinions about how to care for their loved one – these may boil over during the festive period and cause a shift in family dynamics.
We’ve timed our campaign to help people cope with these situations and raise awareness of the life-changing support our nurses can provide.
How will family members and carers benefit from the campaign?
As part of the campaign, we’ve produced a downloadable guide called ‘Living with dementia’. It’s full of practical and emotional advice, life hacks, information and top tips from our Admiral Nurses, people living with the diagnosis, and their families and friends.
Our guide covers the following eight themes:
- All about diagnosis
- Living well with dementia
- Your wellbeing
- Managing behaviour changes
- Dementia and your family
- Legal and financial issues
- Going into hospital
- Understanding your care options
Dementia is always there, but so are we.
Gary Burnham-Jones is a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse supporting families through Dementia UK’s free Helpline and phone and video appointments.
We share answers to some common questions that our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses hear on Dementia UK’s Helpline over Christmas and the New Year – and that might help you over the weeks ahead.