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Living with dementia

In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to look after themselves and their homes in the same way as before their diagnosis.

As the illness gets worse, they may find this difficult and will need help with things like housework and shopping. People with dementia may also need changes to their home to keep themselves safe, mobile and independent.

Some people with dementia give up driving because they find it stressful, while others continue driving for some time. If they continue driving, they must tell the licensing authority that they have dementia. People with dementia must give up driving when their symptoms have become bad enough to make them unsafe drivers.

Keeping in contact with others is good for people with dementia, and they should continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests. These activities also help to keep people alert and stimulated so they maintain an interest in life.

People with dementia may also need to take new medicines prescribed by their doctor. Because of the possibility of side effects and drug interactions, it is very important to consult with the person's doctor if they are considering taking any other medicines, including alternative medicines.

There are also a number of non-drug alternative therapies that may help improve the quality of life for people with dementia. These include therapies to improve understanding and communication, and therapies aimed at managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Australia website to find information about these therapies and dementia care research.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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Alzheimer's Australia | Preparing your home

Creating a safe and comfortableenvironment Creating a safe and comfortable home environment, plays an important role in ensuringbetter quality of life for people with dementia. The fundamental purpose of a dementia friendlyhome is to compensate for the effects of dementia and to support retained function and skills. Maintenance of quality of life for the individual person with dementia is the desired outcome. The quality of life of people with dementia is expressed through their response to their environment.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Dementia: problems with sleeping - myDr.com.au

Problems with sleeping are common for people with dementia. Here are some strategies to help carers cope with them.

Read more on myDr website

Alzheimer's Australia | Living With Dementia series

Offered ina range of formats to meet peoples individual needs, attendees will be given the opportunity to: Obtain information Have questions answered Meet and talk confidentially with others in a similar situation Discuss experiences and express feelings in a safe environment Focus on maintaining and enhancing skills and abilities Explore ways of managing now and into the future

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Problem solving

There are a number of behaviour changes that sometimes accompany dementia. These behaviours can include resistance, wandering, agitation, anxiety and aggression. What causes these behaviours? There are many reasons why behaviours change. Every person with dementia is an individual who will react to circumstances in their own way. Sometimes the behaviour may be related to changes taking place in the brain. In other instances, there may be events or factors in the environment triggering the behaviour.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Safety in and around the home

Dementia affects each person differently. However symptoms such as confusion, memory loss and disorientation are usually present, and problems with mobility and co-ordination may also affect safety. It is important that family, carers, friends and health professionals assist the person with dementia to feel and be as secure as possible.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Behaviour changes

Common behaviour changes that may occur when a person has dementia, why do these changes occur? Answers to this and some general guidelines for coping with them. Changes in the behaviour of a person with dementia are very common. This may place enormous stress on families and carers. It can be particularly upsetting when someone previously gentle and loving behaves in a strange or aggressive way.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Aggressive behaviours

What are aggressive behaviours? Changes in the behaviour of people with dementia are very common. Sometimes this can include aggressive behaviours such as verbal abuse, verbal threats, hitting out, damaging property or physical violence towards another person.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Wandering

Families and carers of people with dementia may be faced at some time with the problem of what to do if the person begins to wander. Wandering is quite common amongst people with dementia and can be very worrying for those concerned for their safety and well-being. The persons failing memory and declining ability to communicate may make it impossible for them to remember or explain the reason they wandered.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Sleeping

Causes of sleeping problems Other considerations Who can help? Problems with sleeping are a common occurrence for people with dementia. Some people sleep during the day and are awake and restless at night. Some are no longer able to tell the difference between night and day, while others are simply not as active as they used to be and consequently need less sleep.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | What is good care?

Important aspects of good care An effective approach to care Culturally appropriate care Involvement of relatives and friends Effective pain management Using minimal restraint

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

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