What is Dementia?
The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.
The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.
If you've met one person with dementia, you've only met one person. That is, each individual will talk, act, remember and behave differently. Not simply because of what stage of dementia they are in, but because of who they are.
What Support Is Available?
If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about dementia, we are here for you.
Below is a list of websites which you may find useful. All quotes used here are from people living with dementia using the platform Dementia Diaries to record their thoughts and emotions day to day.
"Since I found the page on the Alzheimer’s Society website offering to send out free leaflets and books about a whole range of subjects on dementia, more and more have been arriving for me each day. I’d gone through the whole checklist, ticking every box in my desire for information – any information – that might tell me more. I rip open each envelope when he’s gone, flicking through the titles: Keeping Safe At Home, Talking To Children About Your Illness, Planning Ahead. I put them in a pile on my coffee table; right now it’s enough to have them nearby. A comfort blanket for darker days." - Wendy Mitchell
"After diagnosis, people living with dementia are left in a wilderness of fear, bereavement and loneliness. Until they reach later stages, perhaps up to ten or more years later, there is little or no support. And what people living with dementia say they want is mostly to be able to go on living as they choose, and to meet and talk to others in their position. However, many withdraw from social contact for fear of getting lost, forgetting why they went somewhere, or being unable to carry on a fluent conversation with someone who doesn’t know them." - George Rook
"Everybody in my support network is aware of my wishes, including type of funeral what kind of medical intervention if any even how i want my life celebrated. I think it’s worth noting if you intended attending my funeral you will have to come dressed as a star wars character." - Nigel Hullah
"I thought I should report on that so how talking about it and showing people that you still can live a happy life and work your way around the challenges that it’s so worthwhile." - Dory
Our ongoing commitment is to ensure...
Fairness, respect, equality, identity, dignity, autonomy.
Our commitment to these principles is ongoing and we are continuing to ensure that the work we do will ensure these principles are being promoted across all of our developments. Watch the videos below that help highlight the rights of people living with dementia...All the videos above are from an organisation called SURF.
You can find more details by visiting the SURF website.
Our Dementia Strategy
One person develops dementia every three minutes, yet too many face it alone. We're calling on everyone to take action to improve the everyday lives of people affected by dementia across our developments.
How are we committed to improving the everyday lives of people with dementia?
Dementia Friendly Housing Charter 2017/2018/2019
This dementia-friendly housing charter seeks to make the housing sector including housing organisations, corporate bodies and sector professionals aware of the challenges of living with dementia so that it can improve home environments for people with the condition. McCarthy Stone and Your Life were part of the co-design group to help shape the housing charter that has been published openly. It highlights strongly our commitment to people living with dementia and ensures our processes, places and people will continue to stand at the forefront of our work. DFHC.
Dementia Action Alliance - National Member
Our organisation has ensured that we are make certain that are staff teams are encouraged to become dementia friends. We also make Dementia Friends sessions available to all of our homeowners and sales teams in your developments. This initiative has also been rolled out to a number of our head office staff to ensure they understand the impact of dementia and how it can affect their job roles. What is a Dementia Friend?
Employed a Health and Wellbeing Advisor to specifically support people living with dementia
A champion in the organisation who providesleadership, promotes dementia awareness,keeps staff up to date with resources, and actsas a support and sounding board for staff.Dementia Voices
We have recently started our 'Dementia Voices' groups that are being run across the country at a selection of our developments. This is a group for people living with dementia, family members and loved ones affected by dementia that will give you a voice to help shape our services and policies to help us achieve a better quality of life for both the person and the people around them who are affected by dementia.
Update - Our first Dementia Voices group was run in Sheffield in March 2018. Feedback from the group has helped shape this carers portal you using today which helped provide more clarity and openness about our attitude towards dementia.
Dementia Words Matter
We have joined a selection of signatories that it is going to take collective action to fundamentally change the choice of words that are used to describe dementia and its day to day experiences.
National Dementia Action Alliance
The National Dementia Action Alliance brings together health & social care professionals, organisations & businesses to take action on dementia.
Dementia & Housing Working Group
The Dementia and Housing Working Group (D&HWG), originally set up by the National Housing Federation in 2008, aims to promote the contribution of the housing sector to improving the health and wellbeing and quality of life for people living with dementia.