Getting Tring talking – local care home shares dementia advice to support local families

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A care home provider in Tring is sharing helpful advice for carers of loved ones living with dementia ahead of Dementia Action Week.

Keen to share its expertise and encourage more people to talk about dementia, Care UK, which is building a new care home on Icknield Way, is getting the nation talking with The Big Dementia Conversation.

To encourage more conversations and understanding of the condition, the care home provider has created an online advice hub. Taking a closer look at some of the less-talked-about symptoms of dementia, the hub features expert advice from Care UK’s dementia specialists, who have more than 40 years of experience providing care for people living with the condition.

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Angela Zuraw, Regional Director at Care UK, said: “Here at Care UK, we’re passionate about raising awareness and reducing misconceptions around dementia. It can be challenging to know how best to support your loved one, or what not to say – which is why we launched The Big Dementia Conversation to get everyone talking. This Dementia Action Week, we’re keen to share a little of our expertise to help the community.”

Ahead of Dementia Action Week, one of Care UK's newest homes is offering expert adviceAhead of Dementia Action Week, one of Care UK's newest homes is offering expert advice
Ahead of Dementia Action Week, one of Care UK's newest homes is offering expert advice

Here are five top tips to help support a loved one living with dementia:

  1. Stay active

This doesn’t have to be a strenuous exercise class but, where possible, involving those living with dementia in daily tasks so they retain some personal independence is a great way to give people a sense of self-achievement. From helping with the food shop, to folding the laundry or feeding the dog – there are a number of ways you can help your loved one feel they have a role to play in everyday life.

  1. Take a trip down memory lane

Dealing with the loss of memories can be a very frustrating part of living with dementia. Try to ask questions about your loved one’s childhood pets, favourite hobbies, their time at school to help jog their memory and start a conversation. You could play their favourite teenage band to encourage a sense of comforting nostalgia, or perhaps take a look through a photo album together to store their memories and help with reminiscence.

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  1. Don’t stop the music

When it comes to evoking memories and bringing people together, the power of music is incredibly strong; many people living with dementia can recall favourite tunes from years ago, so gather the family and enjoy a sing-along together.

  1. Lower stress, raise the joy

Repetition may seem tedious to the rest of us, but it can often be reassuring to someone with cognitive impairment. Keeping a regular routine throughout the day can help loved ones know what to expect and continue their independence.

  1. Be at one with nature

Access to nature and animals can play a key role in unlocking memories from the past, restoring a sense of wellbeing, and providing a calming effect for people living with dementia. A relationship with nature is an integral part of an individual’s sense of identity, and how they give meaning to their experiences.

You could create a bird feeding station in the garden and top it up daily with treats to encourage local wildlife to visit. For those who can’t easily make their way outside, sitting quietly by a window with a cup of tea watching the birds come and go can provide just as much enjoyment.

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For more information about living well with dementia, and some of the more difficult topics associated with the condition, visit the Big Dementia Conversation online advice hub.

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, the new Care UK home will incorporate space for hobby and leisure activities. The layout of the building will be configured into a series of individual suites, each having a dedicated lounge/dining room to help facilitate the creation of close-knit communities.

For general information about the home, visit: careuk.com/tring