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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsAlthough, 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 secondsSo 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 secondsI 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.

Daily living and Dementia

Dementia involves the progressive loss of a number of skills. Since age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, it is likely that someone living with dementia will also be living with other health conditions that impact on daily living.

The Lawton-Brody measure takes into account things that impact on a person’s ability for independent living, such as:

  • ability to use the telephone
  • go shopping
  • deal with laundry
  • use different forms of transport
  • prepare food
  • monitor own medication use
  • manage household maintenance
  • 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:

  • bathing
  • getting dressed
  • going to the toilet
  • transferring from chairs and beds
  • eating

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.

Whether we are supporting a person with these activities in our own homes, or advising staff in care homes who care for our loved ones, we can support wellbeing by paying attention to principles of good communication.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

Newcastle University

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