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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Although, we think of dementia as a brain disease or the cause of dementia– brain disease as I should say– it does affect the whole body, it affects the whole person. And so more obviously with dementia with Lewy body where the parkinsonism affects very visibly the body, they’re less physically capable of doing some things as well. And also the ability to use their muscles and coordinate their muscles can be impaired by the dementia as well. So as the dementia progresses it gets more difficult for them to do these physical activities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds So yes, early on with people with milder dementia, it’s very good to encourage them to engage in activities they’ve enjoyed, take part in those keep fit classes, or to get out to places they like walking or whatever. But later on, it’s more difficult. Definitely. And of course, age is the biggest risk factor for dementia. So by the very nature of that many people who are experiencing dementia as well as the symptoms of the actual dementia may also have other conditions as well that stop doing that. But I guess it’s still really important to continue as much as you can to take an interest. It is. And get somebody out.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds I mean, they might not be able to walk so far, but at least if they can get out of the house and get to a place where there are other people or somewhere outside that they like and can have some memory of because it’s familiar, then yes. That’s all to the good.

Communication to support activities of daily living

Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, so it is likely that a person will also be living with other health conditions alongside the symptoms of dementia which may impact on their ability to perform some key activities of daily life.

The Lawton-Brody measure takes into account things that impact on a person’s ability for independent living, such as the ability to use the telephone, go shopping or manage finances.

The Katz - ‘Activity of Daily Living Index’, measures whether a person can perform basic tasks independently or needs assistance. These measures include needing assistance with personal tasks such as bathing, eating or going to the toilet.

As dementia progresses, it is likely that dependency will increase. This may lead to a decision to enter residential care, which we know is something many people wish to delay or avoid.

Good communication can help us to support someone with these activities of daily living, whether we are supporting a person in our own homes, or advising staff in care homes.

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Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

Newcastle University

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