What is dementia care? What does it mean to carers?
Why do we need to learn about dementia when it has no cure? Why do we still need to seek help and why do we need the CARER tool?
Before you start using the My Dementia Companion CARER tool, it may be helpful to ask ourselves what is dementia and what does dementia care mean to YOU, as a family and friend carer?
What is dementia and its impact on you?
Dementia is a very common syndrome with over 500,000 Australians currently living with it and 1.5M Australians involved in their care. Dementia presents itself differently in everyone but early signs of dementia include loss of memory, reasoning and planning, change in language, personality and behaviours, difficulties with familiar daily tasks and more. And over time, all these symptoms and more are likely to worsen.
For a carer, this means that while dementia has no cure and is complex, there is still a lot you can do after a diagnosis of dementia to live well. This is why we do “dementia care”.
What does dementia care mean for YOU?
Because you can still live well with dementia, dementia care for a family or friend carer means:
Supporting your loved one with dementia to live a fulfilling, meaningful and independent life
Supporting yourself through the journey.
As dementia progresses, this means that as a carer, you need to learn to:
Navigate the care system to get subsidies and support to give you a hand
Adjust your life to adapt to the changes in dementia, such as driving, legal planning, falls and more
Develop care and coping strategies to manage changes in behaviours such as wandering, refusing to shower, repetition and more.
The dementia journey and the CARER tool
What is the dementia journey?
Dementia care may be easier said than done. This is because dementia touches on almost all aspects of life, so both the dementia path/ journey and the support available is often not easy to navigate and can leave many people feeling lost, confused and overwhelmed on where to go for help, what to do next etc. (similar to the tangled image below).
The volunteers at My Dementia Companion has untangled the complex journey and have made it into a much simpler journey for you to follow. This means that you are guided on what to do or where to go next, you can track your progress (so you won’t lose where you were up to), and have one central place for you to find ad hoc suggestions and solutions.
Acting as checkpoints or series of checklists, this dementia journey blueprint in the My Dementia Companion app is the foundation for the CARER tool. It maps out almost all of the key subsidies, care strategies and knowledge you and your loved one need to live well.
Note: dementia journey is also known as dementia progression, dementia path or pathway.
How does the CARER tool fit in?
As the world’s first smart digital guide, turning the whole dementia journey into bite-sized and practical checklists that are tailored for you, all in the one place! So, as you progress through each checkpoint (also known as Topics), it will point you to the subsidies you need and also care strategies that can help you.
The computer smarts also personalise different pathways just for you to guide you on what to do, where to go and how to manage challenges.
All suggestions within the CARER are from quality and reputable sources and refreshed frequently.
By knowing what to do, where to go and how to manage challenges, it can save you time, improve quality of life, reduce stress,empower you with the help and knowledge to live well whilst also making dementia simpler for you to navigate.
You can now return to the CARER tool, sign-in and let it step you through. Also don’t forget, if you have any questions, you can reach us via the “Questions?” or “Chat” icons.
Contact us if you have any questions via the “Questions?” button or the chat icon within the tool, email us or sms/call us 0406 257 729 during business hours.