Being diagnosed with dementia will have a big impact on a person’s life. Even if it has been suspected for some time that there may be a problem, the diagnosis can still come as a shock.
People with dementia can remain independent for some time, but will need support from their family, friends and community.
Living with dementia does not mean a person has to stop doing everything they enjoy in life; instead they should try to remain as independent as possible and continue to enjoy their usual activities.
It is easy to feel isolated and alone if you care for someone who has dementia. Keeping in touch with others is good for carers as well as people with dementia, because it helps both keep positive and stimulated.
It may help to join a local group of people who are in a similar situation like Honiton Memory Café. Not everyone is naturally inclined to join a group but being a part of a community of people who are also living with dementia can be helpful in many ways.
People with dementia should continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests as far as possible. These activities help keep a person with dementia alert and stimulated, so they maintain an interest in life.
Activities may change as the illness progresses but people with dementia should continue to enjoy leisure time.
Honiton Dementia Action Alliance have worked with Leisure East Devon “Walking for Health” to set up a walking group in Honiton for people with dementia and their families and carers. This popular group meets each month walks for about 45minutes to an hour and then ends with tea chat and cake. To find our more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07789 104601.
Living at home when you have dementia
In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to look after their homes in the same way as before their diagnosis. However, as the illness gets worse, it is likely that someone who has dementia will find it difficult to look after their home and they may need help with daily activities, such as housework and shopping. The home of a person with dementia may also need to be adapted to enable them to stay safe, mobile and independent.
Assistive technology for people with dementia
Assistive technology is available for people with dementia or other conditions that affect memory.
TRIP in Honiton is a community organisation that provides access to technology aimed specifically at people with dementia, including:
- daily living aids – to help with everyday tasks and orientation
- stand-alone devices – aids that can be used without being linked to a monitoring centre or carer
Trip Community Transport and Non-Profit Organisation
29 New Street Honiton EX14 1HA
Working when you have dementia
Coping at work can be worrying for people with dementia. You should speak to your employer as soon as you feel ready. You can also get advice from the disability employment adviser at our local Job Centre in the high street or our local Citizens Advice Bureau at the library. If you are thinking of leaving work, before you do so seek advice about your pensions and benefits.
Some people with dementia prefer to give up driving because they find it stressful, but others continue driving for some time. To continue driving, you must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that you have dementia.
The DVLA will ask for medical reports and possibly a special driving assessment to decide whether you can continue driving.
Read more about driving and dementia on the Alzheimer’s Society website.
People with dementia must give up driving when their symptoms become bad enough to make them unsafe on the road. This is to protect themselves, their passengers and other road users.