Caring for someone living with dementia
Whether you’re living with dementia yourself or caring for a loved one who is impacted, we know the concern or fear that may come with not knowing what’s likely to happen in the future.
We recognise that every person living with dementia is different and every carer’s experience is different.
Caring for people living with dementia, and trying to see the individual, not the condition, can be extremely challenging.
Dementia support services can help you and your loved one during this time. What’s equally important is that you reach out and take time for yourself as a carer.
Our Person First approach to caring for people living with dementia
Living at Bupa, you are at the centre of everything we do for you, and the dementia care we offer reflects this.
Person-centred care is a phrase used a lot in the field of dementia care. It's an evidence-based model of care that informs best practice care of people living with dementia, particularly in residential or care home settings.
Person First is our approach to care, developed from the principles of person-centred care. Person First puts you, the individual person, first when considering your needs.
Your experiences, wellbeing, needs and feelings are at the centre of your care and support. For those living with dementia in our aged care homes, we consider their lifestyle activities, hobbies and interests, and tailor our support to their specific needs.
More than 50% of people in long-term residential aged care live with dementia. To provide dedicated dementia support services including respite care, Bupa teams complete specialist dementia training, including learning strategies to enhance your quality of life.
We want to help residents feel as independent as possible
This personalised care includes:
access to a registered nurse rostered 24 hours a day
an easy call assistance system
CCTV for peace of mind.
Some care homes offer sensory spaces or experiences, including raised garden beds suitable for those with dementia and fiddle boards. For those with more advanced care needs, there are also secure dementia support communities within selected care homes.
Care homes with a secure dementia support community
The following Bupa care homes (listed in alphabetical order) have a secure dementia support community:
Your day, your way
At Bupa Aged Care being cared for in a Person First way means we will seek to get to know you. Using tools like “My day my way” will help us to ask you about your life, your values and history, family and how you like things to be done.
If you can’t share this information because you have difficulties with communication and memory, then we will try to get to know you through your family’s experience. We also do this through observing your actions and reactions, what you enjoy, when you enjoy it – even if you can’t tell us directly.
Finding out about you helps us to communicate and try to understand your experience of living with dementia. Valuing you as a unique individual and seeking to understand your perspective and experience of life now, is a Person First approach to dementia care and support.
Person First uses the knowledge of you to inform “how” we care for you. The “how” means listening to and thinking about you and who you are first, to ensure we meet your needs in keeping with the way you like things done and how you want things to be.
Watch the video to see how we care for every resident in a Person First way.
Dementia care during COVID-19
Living with dementia and providing any level of dementia care is difficult enough, without the added complexities of COVID-19. We’ve created a COVID-19 information plan to outline the steps we’ve taken for our residents and carers.
Dementia Australia has also released help sheets for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends. The resources include tips to remain active and engaged while in self-isolation and where to go for help.
Helpsheet - Tips for Carers, Families and Friends of People Living with Dementia (PDF)
Helpsheet - Tips for people living with dementia (PDF)
The National Dementia Helpline is a free and confidential service where you can chat with caring and experienced professionals about dementia and memory loss concerns for yourself or others. It can be reached on 1800 100 500 and is available 24/7.
Frequently Asked Questions on dementia
What is dementia?
Dementia is the term used to describe the deterioration of brain function that impacts and disables a person in the following ways:
Memory loss. Having difficulty remembering recent events. Over time, this will also impact longer-term memory.
Difficulties with communication. People may have trouble with word finding, and naming people and objects. They might find it difficult to understand others and being understood, which can be very frustrating for the person as well as their family and friends.
Difficulties with reasoning and rationale. Often a person will have trouble making sense of what is happening around them and may not be accepting of others’ explanations, as they cannot perceive things the way they used to.
Loss of daily living skills over time. Many long-held skills and abilities may remain, but the person needs support to maintain these and negotiate unfamiliar places and activities in daily life. They may need help or prompting to initiate or complete activities, like getting dressed.
What types of dementia are there?
Dementia is not one specific disease. In fact, there are over 100 different types of dementia, with the most common being:
Dementia with lewy bodies
This video can give you an understanding of key questions like:
What is dementia?
Is dementia hereditary?
What should I do if I notice potential signs of dementia?
Why is an early diagnosis of dementia important?
If you’re caring for someone who you think may have dementia, an early dementia diagnosis can be incredibly helpful, by:
Enabling you to identify sources of dementia support and advice
Supporting you to cope with caring for the person living with dementia
Allowing the individual to benefit from the current dementia care treatments available Helping you both plan ahead
How is dementia diagnosed?
Getting a dementia diagnosis can sometimes take a little time. Physical and neurological examinations may also be undertaken to rule out other illnesses or conditions.
For example, blood and urine tests can help exclude other causes of confusion and memory loss.
If a doctor believes that an individual may have dementia, they'll refer the person to a specialist (e.g., a neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist) for diagnosis. This diagnosis is usually made based on various procedures, including the assessment of cognitive abilities with tests that measure memory, language and concentration.