Understanding dementia

A diagnosis of dementia brings with it a range of concerns, considerations and emotions. Uniting AgeWell supports people and their families to live well with choice and peace of mind along their dementia journey.

What is dementia?

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. There are a number of types of diseases that all sit under the umbrella of ‘dementia’, and each type can present with different features.

Some of the diseases that fall under the diagnosis of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease, this is the most common.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Younger-Onset Dementia, and more.
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What does dementia look like in everyday life?

How dementia presents in everyday life depends on the type of dementia someone is diagnosed with, but common signs include:

  • Increasingly impaired short term memory
  • Difficulty physically moving around
  • Forgetting words or how to complete simple tasks like making a cup of tea or getting dressed
  • A change in personality, disinhibition (doing things you wouldn’t normally do), and apathy or withdrawal.
Dementia and everyday life

How to cope with the behavioural changes of dementia?

As a family carer, there are a few key coping strategies that can help you to move through difficult behviours presented by someone with dementia, these include:

  • Distraction: sharing a cup of tea, reading a magazine or going for a walk together
  • Avoidance of triggers: for example a loud tv or bright lights
  • Validate their emotions and experience: enter their reality and ‘go along’ with what they are saying. A person with dementia cannot be in denial about reality because they do not have the ability to comprehend reality like they used to.
  • Redirect the conversation: focus on things you know they enjoy and feel good about, such as happy memories or hobbies.
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Uniting AgeWell dementia care

Uniting AgeWell provides a range of dementia care programs both in the community and at our residential care communities. Learn more about how we support our residents and clients with dementia below.

Home care services

We offer a range of home care services to support you to live safely and independently with dementia.

Our home care services include:

  • Personal care
  • Medication reminders
  • Companionship
  • Domestic assistance
  • Check-in visits.
Find a Uniting AgeWell home care service near you
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Music For David: music therapy program

Music For David is Uniting AgeWell's music therapy program that aims to provide our clients with dementia short-term relief through music.

Participants in the program are provided with individually curated playlists that may help to ease symptoms of dementia, including restlessness and agitation.

Learn more about Music For David
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Beautifully landscaped, safe outdoor spaces

At Uniting AgeWell, many of our residential care communities are brightened by safe and secure outdoor spaces to support the mental health of our residents with dementia.

Sensory gardens offer a calming outdoor area that is designed to stimulate the senses. Ongoing research continues to indicate sensory gardens offer a positive impact on people with dementia reducing symptoms such as anxiety and agitation.

Explore our residential care communities
Residents enjoy beautifully landscaped gardens and an indoor courtyard where they can sit and enjoy their day.

Need help navigating the transition to residential care?

Sharing the Care is our support kit for families and carers new to residential care.

Designed to help family carers and the person they care for make the transition to residential care a little easier.

Our comprehensive support kit guides you through what to expect and how to cope with this significant life change, from emotional responses and personal wellbeing to settling the resident into their new home. It provides practical advice and easy access to the information and supports you might need during this time of transition.

Learn more about our Sharing the Care
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Access further support and information

For further support and information regarding dementia or caring for a person with dementia, contact Dementia Australia.
Phone: 1800 100 500
Email: [email protected]

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