Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil), a Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science, wrote the following interesting article on the national changes in nursing training in South Africa.
For care for someone with dementia offers many challenges. There are certain tools that one can use to help the carer cope and manage the patient.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a deterioration in brain functioning. This deterioration can include the loss of ability to judge, to reason, the loss of memory, your communication and your behaviour. Dementia is a broad term and Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia. As people get older their risk of developing dementia will increase. It is however not a normal consequence of getting older.
There are certain medications that can improve cognitive functioning and thereby slow down the rate of dementia.
One can also try the non-medication route e.g. maintain a daily routine, exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. These could also help to reduce developing Alzheimers and other forms of dementia. The types of food one should eat are greens (kale and broccoli), in other words, leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, wholegrains, fish, poultry, lean meat, olive oil and a glass of red wine per day is recommended. Nuts are also excellent for a healthy mind. They contain fats, fibre and antioxidants. Blueberries are the most potent protectors of the brain. Berries should be eaten at least twice a week. Strawberries are also an excellent source of fibre and are low in carbohydrates.
There can come a time when a house becomes an unfriendly place. Rugs can cause tripping, prescription medication bottles can get mixed up, stairs become barriers, most of all we want to be able to continue to live independently but without all hazards or safety issues. By making these improvements to your house one can live comfortably and safely.
Areas that one needs to check when assessing a home for safety concerns:
In all areas of your home, check all electrical cords and telephone cords, rugs, runners and mats; telephone areas; smoke detectors; electrical outlets and switches; light bulbs; area heaters; wood burning stoves and your emergency exit plan.
Recommendations to ensure that the above areas of concern are made safe:
All cods must either be tied up and far away from any traffic areas, which in turn prevents anybody from falling or tripping. All telephone cords must be glued to wall or length kept to a minimum, this will minimize any chance of falling or better yet install cordless telephones. All loose mats should either be fastened to the surface upon which they lay on or permanently removed. Loose mats are one of the most dangerous icon in an elderly senior’s household. All electrical outlets and switches must be easily accessible and wired properly and thoroughly checked by a qualified electrician. All slippery surfaces need to be clearly marked or coated with a non-slippery surface coating. An emergency exit plan must be easy to execute and effective. One must also make sure that there are zero obstructions in emergency exit route.