How does dementia affect wellbeing?
Dementia affects the brain, resulting in memory loss, behaviour changes, difficulty to communicate, loss of sight and hearing and disturbs sleep. It has also been known to cause aggressive behaviour, hallucinations, apathy, depression and anxiety.
Types of dementia include, but are not limited to:
- Young onset dementia
- Early onset dementia
- Alzheimers disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy bodies; and
Full information on all of these can be found on NHS Choices.
Looking to improve wellbeing at work?
If you are concerned you may have dementia, speak to your GP about getting an assessment.
When you have been given a diagnosis, it is important to keep up with as many normal activities as possible. While there is no cure for dementia, there are medications that can relieve some symptoms. There are also many non-drug treatments that can help you live an active and well lifestyle.
How to help others
If you are concerned a friend or family member may have dementia, encourage them to see their GP for an assessment as soon as possible. To support a friend who has dementia, use guidance available on NHS Choices and Alzheimer's Society. You could attend a support group with them to help give them confidence. Remain patient with them, remembering that dementia can cause behaviour changes as well as memory loss.
Remember there is support for you as a carer as well. It is important to take care of yourself as much as your friend or family member. See the services above for information.
A dementia diagnosis does not mean a person cannot work, depending on the extent of their condition. Most jobs do not mandate that you have to tell your employer of a diagnosis, unless it becomes a safety issue, such as driving or the armed forces.
As an employer, you must agree to reasonable adjustments to help someone continue working with a dementia diagnosis. This could be allowing them to work from home or an office nearer home, giving them longer or more breaks may help. Discuss with your employee about what would help.