Living Well With Dementia: Carers Week 2018
Caring For A Person With Dementia
Here at How Do I? we want to draw attention the work of carers and the important contribution they make to families and communities across the UK. We recognise that as we age, we develop changes in our cognition and this is most obviously highlighted in people living with Dementia. Caring for a person with Dementia is as much about the wider impact on family members as it is for the person that is directly affected by the condition. Dementia can develop at a fast rate leaving loved ones unable to mentally prepare themselves for rapid changes in behaviours and personal relationships.
It is necessary to generate a wider conversation about Dementia and the people it affects, Carers Week takes place this week from Monday 11th – Sunday 17th June 2018, the purpose of which being to raise awareness of the challenges facing carers in the UK through an annual campaign. Throughout the week there are lots of events for people with Dementia and their relatives including Dementia Cafes which allow carers a chance to relax and discuss tips about caring for a loved one and ‘Dance with Dementia’ giving caregivers the opportunity to learn more about support that is available to them.
How Do I? partnered with Humanly and BAM mobile we used a grant given to us by Innovate UK Design Foundations to find out if assistive technology can enable older adults to live richer lives, more specifically to enable people with Dementia to live independently for longer. To find out more about the project please visit our ‘Living Well’ page http://wearehowdoi.com/livingwell/. Dementia can have a significant impact on wider family dynamics as caring for loved ones is considered as a duty or obligation which is unpaid and can come with senses of guilt when it all becomes too much. A person can develop the condition in a relatively short space of time with the condition progressing fast meaning that organising care or acting as caregiver can be complicated, stressful and in essence it becomes a full time job. Developments in technology and design mean that organisations and companies are becoming more innovative about how to enable a person to ‘Live well with Dementia’.
As a result of our work focusing on how human-centred design leads us to consider how technology might support people living with Dementia to live independently for longer, How Do I? was amongst nine other projects to be shortlisted for Essex County County’s ‘Challenge Dementia Prize’. We hope that raising awareness of the role of technology in caring for people with Dementia during Carers Week (11th-17th June 2018) will allow a person with Dementia to live safely and independently for as long as possible.
Keep informed and in the know during Carers Week by following the hashtag #CarersWeek2018, there are also a number of helplines and local council organisations that provide support to those directly affected by Dementia, including the Alzheimers Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 11 22. To find out about events during Carers Week in your local area visit https://www.carersweek.org/get-involved/events-near-you