Friday 21 September 2012

· Early treatment can be key to slowing down symptoms · Saga offers its ongoing support with specialist training for 16,000 care workers · Dementia already costs £23bn a year – better awareness can save money and improve lives


Saga Homecare is supporting World Alzheimer’s Day and the Department of Health’s A Day to Remember campaign in its ongoing quest to improve the quality of life for older people in Britain. Saga has been working with the Department of Health and the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge Group to find ways of helping families to live well with dementia. One in five of us is at risk of developing some form of dementia in our lives and this costs our economy over £23 billion each year, posing a huge challenge for us all. 

Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga comments, “It is clear that many people are worried about this condition but they shouldn’t think there is nothing they can do. We want to help people understand dementia better so that they can get preparations in place for themselves and their family. As the largest provider of care in the UK, Saga has extensive first-hand experience of providing ongoing support to people with dementia and their families.  In April, the Prime Minister committed to improving the lives of those suffering with dementia and their carers in his Dementia Challenge. We have been working with and advising the Government on this policy and the importance of preventative and early treatments.

"There are preventative steps we can all take such as leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods and keeping our minds and bodies active but it is also vital to spot the early signs of dementia to seek diagnosis and treatments.

“We’re committed to providing help for families affected by dementia - from providing specialist care to people in their homes to helping people take a well deserved and much needed holiday. We also hope to encourage understanding and early diagnosis which can make all the difference to improving or slowing down the symptoms and enhancing people’s quality of life.”

Saga is dedicated to improving the lives of those dealing with dementia. Saga has pledged to provide specialist training to over 16,000 care workers to help them better identify the early signs of dementia and provide care for more complex needs associated with the condition. The Saga Respite for Carers Trust gives family carers the opportunity to take a break from their caring duties with a paid for holiday while providing respite care for their loved ones.  Last year, Saga also provided 1,000 people with dementia with travel insurance to enable them to take a much-valued family holiday.


Top five tips for communicating with someone with dementia
· Use simple short sentences and straight forward language
· Use non verbal tools such as hand gestures and facial expressions
· Be patient when waiting for a response
· Reduce the noise distraction around you, such as TV, radio
· Communicate with them at eye level

Top five tips for Carers of people with dementia
· Accept help from friends and family as often as possible and ensure you have a plan in place should you fall ill and need help
· Find out what benefits you are entitled to ask someone to do this on your behalf
· Ensure a Will and Power of Attorney is in place
· Find time for an activity you enjoy to help with your own wellbeing
· Put contact details in the dementia sufferer’s clothing so if they are found wandering someone can contact you immediately
Top five tips for families caring for someone with dementia
· Do some background research on dementia
· Keep in regular contact so the person can hear a friendly voice
· See if you can help with the care for a few hours or overnight
· See what you can do to generally make the carers life easier
· Find out what resources are available to you and your family

Saga Homecare
· Saga Homecare – part of the larger Saga group, well known for products and services for the over 50's - provides care at home for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes.
· 90% of the UK population is within half an hour of a Saga care worker. Saga Homecare provides approximately 11 million hours of care nationally each year. For more details visit:
· Saga has around 16,000 care workers across Britain
· Saga Homecare is part of the larger Saga group, well know for products and services for the over-50s

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