Our Top Tips To Help You Improve Communication With People Living With Dementia

Are you caring for someone living with Dementia? If so, we want you to know that you’re not alone and we understand the challenges you’re facing.

Our MD Jo Bonser has lived experience helping to support her Mum for over six years living at home with Vascular Dementia.

Jo told us:

‘You may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted and you don’t know where to turn for help and support, and I know, only too well, just how that feels. You need to know that there can be a meaningful life after a dementia diagnosis and I firmly believe that for people living with dementia:

Behind every behaviour, there is a feeling.

And beneath each feeling is a need.

And when we meet the need rather than focusing on the behaviour, we begin to deal with the cause and not the symptom’

In our latest blog, we look at the challenges that surround communication for people who live with dementia

Dementia can affect a  person’s ability to remember and understand basic everyday facts,  such as names,  dates and places. The ability to process information may deteriorate over time,  so a  response to questions can be delayed.  Eventually,  they may struggle to convey what they want to say or to understand others.

living-with-dementiaCommunication  problems  may  arise  because  of:

  • Impaired  speech
  • Comprehension
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Physical  sensation

This  can  lead  to: 

  • Challenging  behaviour,
  •  frustration,
  •  increased  risk  of  malnutrition  and  dehydration,
  •  incidents of incontinence.

Our  top  tips  to  manage  communication  with  a  person  with  dementia: 

  • Stand or sit where the person can see and hear you as clearly as possible.
  • Speak clearly and calmly.
  • Use short simple sentences.
  • Allow time between sentences for the person to process the information and respond.
  •   Include the person in conversations with others,  don’t speak as though they’re not there. This was one of my Mum’s pet hates!
  •  Prompts can help,  ie pointing at a  photo or encouraging the person to hold and interact with an object.

Helping a  person with dementia with communication problems can be challenging.

Here are our  top  recommended dementia enabling  product solutions that will  help  with  communication  are:

Orientation boards are a  great way to display information people need  –  the time,  day and date,  the time of the year,  what the weather is like and any noteworthy birthdays or events.

Communication books with clear concise images of day to day life or common scenarios for when communication is difficult.

Dementia clocks are extremely easy to understand and will help to prevent some of the serious issues caused by disorientation.

Communication is just one of the topics we cover in our brand new resource Living Well with Dementia, a holistic guide to help make life more meaningful for people living with dementia.

Jo wanted to write a guide to help others also caring for someone living with dementia, based on her personal experience and having also been asked many times by care professionals for a guide following the success of her Dignified Dining Solutions Guide – to help people with dementia eat better.

Our latest guide includes helpful information on the main symptoms of dementia, recognition of challenges you could be facing and best practice advice, hints, tips and our dementia enabling product solutions which will help you to meet the needs of a  person living with dementia.

Always remember:

‘Don’t approach the challenges that come along with dementia with dread. Instead, think positive and find a solution.’ – Bob DeMarco

living-with-dementia

Image Source: Unsplash


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As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

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As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

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VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.

 

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