Dementia Symptoms are shown through behaviour, memory thought processes and the ability to perform everyday tasks can be affected. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a number of neurological conditions, of which the main symptom is cognitive decline.
Early signs of dementia can be subtle and vague. They can include:
- Progressive and frequent memory loss
- Personality changes
- Apathy and withdrawal
- Difficulty motivating to engage in tasks they usually enjoy
- Unusual level of difficulty performing everyday tasks
Types of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Frontotemporal Dementia
Dementia is also associated with other conditions such as AIDS, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, chronic alcohol abuse, Down Syndrome, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Older people are more likely to have dementia, and it is common, but not everyone gets dementia. If you or a loved one are concerned this may be a possibility, a consultation with your regular GP is recommended. There is no cure, but getting early intervention and following a healthy lifestyle can help delay progression of symptoms.
Physiotherapists use movement of the body to promote physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
Goals of physiotherapy for people with dementia:
- Avoiding joint stiffness or immobility and associated aches and pains
- Reducing burden on carers/family
- Maintaining independence
- Improving quality of life
- Reduce risk of falls
There are a range of services that can be delivered within the home through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or an Australian Government-subsidised Home Care Package. These services aim to assist you with the things you value most, or need the most help with. This can include day-to-day activities such as dressing or grooming, household tasks like cleaning and washing, or even home maintenance such as changing light bulbs or keeping your lawn mowed. Allied health services like physiotherapy, remedial massage, hydrotherapy or occupational therapy are also options to help you achieve your individual goals. To find out your eligibility for these subsidised packages/programmes, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website. https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/home-assessment
Written By Melissa Paton