Dementia is a complex condition and every person’s journey along it is unique, but familiarity is a common trigger for providing reassurance and enjoyment, however that journey unfolds. Supporting someone to stay in their own home can play a central part in providing the reassurance of familiarity.
The progress of dementia has been described using the metaphor of a photo album: we each have our personal photo album of memories with the events that happen to us every day, filling a new page each day. Each photo has two layers to it: the facts of what happened and the emotions we felt at the time. All our memories are stored in our personal album: we look back at some stand out ones more regularly than others, but we can flip back through them all if we need to.
When someone has dementia, some of the facts associated with some of the photos become erased, leaving only the emotions. At first this happens with one or two memories, but as the disease progresses, more and more facts are wiped from more and more memories. The memories that remain in tact – with both facts and emotions– are usually the events that happened repeatedly, or significant events. These might be the annual summer holiday on the Devon coast as a child, the birthday that was always celebrated with a garden party, walking the dog every afternoon in the park, or a stand out event such as watching TV for the first time to see the Queen being crowned.
Enabling people with dementia to access these ‘complete’ memories is hugely reassuring for them. Staying in their own home can help promote that reassurance as their familiar surroundings provide triggers and hooks for these complete memories.
To find out more about our tailored care packages to support enjoy independent living
for people in the Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge areas
call 01892 529429 or request a callback.