Saga Backs Prime Minister’s ‘Dementia Challenge’
by Dr. Ros Altmann
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Saga Homecare is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Society for national Dementia Awareness WeekTM (20- 26 May) in its ongoing campaign to improve the quality of life for older people in Britain. One in five people will develop some form of dementia in their lives and this costs our economy over £23 billion each year, posing a huge challenge for us all.
Throughout Dementia Awareness WeekTM Saga is urging people to find out more about dementia. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to reducing symptoms and learning how to live with the condition. Saga Homecare will be hosting fundraising and awareness events across the country this week (in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society) as well as helping its customer base and the 1.6 million readers of the Saga Magazine to better understand the condition.
Saga is dedicated to improving the lives of those dealing with dementia. Last year, for example, it provided 1,000 people with dementia with travel insurance to enable them to take a much-valued family holiday. Saga has also pledged to provide specialist training to over 16,000 carers to help them better identify the early signs of dementia and provide care for more complex needs associated with the condition.
Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga comments, “As the largest provider of care in the UK, Saga has extensive first-hand experience of providing ongoing support to people with dementia and their families. In April, the Prime Minister committed to improving the lives of those suffering with dementia and their carers in his Dementia Challenge. We have been working with and advising the Government on this policy and the importance of preventative and early treatments.
It is clear that many people are worried about this condition but they shouldn’t think there is nothing they can do. We want to help people understand dementia better so that they can get preparations in place for them and their family. There are preventative steps we can all take such as leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods and keeping our minds and bodies active but it is also vital to spot the early signs of dementia to seek diagnosis and treatments.
“We’re committed to helping the lives of people living with dementia and their families – from providing specialist care to people in their homes to helping people take a well deserved and much needed holiday. This Dementia Awareness Week, we also hope to encourage understanding and early diagnoses which can make all the difference to improving or slowing down the symptoms and improving the so many people’s quality of life.”
Top five tips for communicating with someone with dementia
- Use simple short sentences and straight forward language
- Use non verbal tools such as hand gestures and facial expressions
- Be patient when waiting for a response
- Reduce the noise distraction around you, such as TV, radio
- Communicate with them at eye level
Top five tips for Carers of people with dementia
- Accept help from friends and family as often as possible and ensure you have a plan in place should you fall ill and need help
- Find out what benefits you are entitled to ask someone to do this on your behalf
- Ensure a Will and Power of Attorney is in place
- Find time for an activity you enjoy to help with your own wellbeing
- Put contact details in the dementia sufferer’s clothing so if they are found wandering someone can contact you immediately
Top five tips for families caring for someone with dementia
- Do some background research on dementia
- Keep in regular contact so the person can hear a friendly voice
- See if you can help with the care for a few hours or overnight
- See what you can do to generally make the carers life easier
- Find out what resources are available to you and your family
Notes to editors:
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4276 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 16th April 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
- Dementia Awareness Week 2012 is sponsored by Saga Homecare. Together Alzheimer’s Society and Saga Homecare hope to maximise awareness and understanding of dementia across the UK
- You can find out more about Dementia Awareness WeekTM at alzheimers.org.uk/remembertheperson
- Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In just 15 years a million people will be living with dementia
- Saga Homecare – part of the larger Saga group, well known for products and services for the over 50’s – provides care at home for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes.
- Saga Homecare has around 100 branches across the UK and provides approximately 11 million hours of care nationally each year. For more details visit: saga.co.uk/home-care
- Saga has around 16,000 care workers across Britain
- Saga Homecare is part of the larger Saga group, well know for products and services for the over-50s
- Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them.
- Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Alzheimer’s Society needs to raise money to help people live well with dementia today and for research to find a cure for tomorrow
- You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
- Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline. The number is 0845 300 0336 or 028 9066 4100 in Northern Ireland, or visit alzheimers.org.uk
Dementia Awareness WeekTM is trademarked