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Help for hundreds with dementia

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Published by CarolineP for Riverside in Care and Support and also in Health

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are currently 800,000 people living with dementia and roughly two thirds of them live in the community.   That this is possible is down the work of growing army of carers as well as teams like Riverside’s Careline, and some ingenious technology.

Careline enables people living with dementia to live independently and helps give loved ones peace of mind. 

Jayne Grant, Careline team leader explains “For someone experiencing forgetfulness moving can be distressing, so enabling them to remain in the familiarity of their own home makes an enormous difference.   We help over 400 people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s to keep their independence.

“We are called out daily to visit a woman in her 90s who has advanced dementia and lives on her own.  This is a lady who had a good job and regularly contributed to her community.  Now she has little memory of that life.

“We’ve fitted her home with a door sensor, bed sensor and smoke alarm – all connected to our 24/7 control room.   If she leaves her house the door sensor is activated and that alerts us.  We’re returning this lady to her home on a daily basis.   When this happens it’s important she’s met by a trained member of staff.   Suddenly finding yourself on the street, maybe not recognising where you are and rarely recognising the people that are trying to help you can be extremely distressing so it’s important to handle these situations with the utmost care.   Calling the police is our last resort as, for someone living with dementia, being approached by a person in police uniform can be scary.   It’s like a bad dream.”

“Just making a cup of tea can be potentially hazardous so some of our clients’ kitchens are fitted with devices that detect sudden rises in temperature.   It’s not unknown for someone to put an electric kettle on a gas hob.

“Bed monitors and chair monitors are particularly useful for dementia patients.   If someone isn’t in bed by a time chosen by them or their loved ones we will call and gently remind them it’s bed time.  Monitors also allow us to check someone is up and ok in the mornings.  Spouses and partners can sleep easier at night as they don’t have to constantly check on their loved one.  We do that for them.”

The Alzheimers Society believes that there will be over a million people with dementia by 2021, meaning the work of organisations such as Careline will become increasingly important.

Careline charges a small fee for their services, the cost of a monitor service being £1.44 per week.

If you are worried about forgetfulness and would like to talk to someone at Careline you can contact us on 01228 511064 or 01228 511061

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