Understanding the Impact of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Dementia Care

Thursday 30th November 2023
Tina Westlake

Introduction: Vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient for maintaining healthy nerve cells and producing DNA and RNA, plays a significant role in the overall health and cognitive functioning of individuals, especially those with dementia. In the realm of dementia care, understanding the implications of Vitamin B12 deficiency is vital, as it can exacerbate symptoms and potentially lead to further cognitive decline. This blog explores how B12 deficiency affects individuals with dementia and the importance of addressing this often-overlooked aspect of care. The Link Between Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Health: Vitamin B12 is essential for cognitive health. It aids in the maintenance of the myelin sheath, the protective coating around nerve fibers, and is crucial for neurotransmitter signaling, which affects brain function. Deficiencies in B12…

view more »

Loved one living with Dementia not eating?

Tuesday 11th January 2022

If a person isn't eating enough, it can lead to weight loss and less muscle strength. You'll find they may also feel tired and weak, making them prone to falls. This can make them frailer and less able to recover from infections or viruses. There can be lots of reasons why your loved one isn't eating, such as; ill-fitting dentures, trouble swallowing or not recognising they feel hungry. This may take some detective work to establish before finding a suitable solution. Often the issue is simply your loved one has forgotten the steps involved in preparing food. Recently when talking to a family member about their loved one (whom we have just started supporting), we asked as she lives alone, if they…

view more »

Who are WE?

Tuesday 23rd November 2021

Who is Your Care? We are a family run introduction agency based in South Glos. We have been operating for almost 8 years now and have many happy clients and personal assistants. Your Care was established back in 2014 by Tina Westlake who was frustrated with the outdated care system decided to set up a business to offer a bespoke support service to people who wanted flexible, reliable care provided by people who like her would look after them as if they were a family member and most importantly visits would be provided by the SAME carers each time, ensuring continuity of care. Our mission was (and still is) to make requiring care and support as stress free as possible by establishing…

view more »

Sleep & Dementia

Thursday 9th September 2021

Sleep and dementia. Did you know a good night's sleep slows cognitive decline, prevents falls and injuries, improves mood and helps balance the sleep-wake cycle? So, with 7 out of 10 people living with dementia experiencing problems sleeping caused by the changes to the brain, it's no wonder it becomes a vicious cycle - dementia worsens sleep and poor sleep worsens dementia. How to spot the signs your loved one may not be sleeping... - Excessive daytime sleeping - Increased confusion or trouble finding the right words - Falling out of bed at night - Being unusually aggressive - Being awake and active during the night. Here's our top 5 tips to help improve sleep for your loved one with dementia: 1. Consider the lighting - our bodies have a built-in sleep-wake-cycle determined by daylight…

view more »

Irene's story; Having a Live-In Carer

Tuesday 31st August 2021

When we first met Irene* she was a very independent 90 year old who lived alone in a beautiful bungalow in Downend. Sadly Irene's husband Denis had passed away a few years ago and with no children to offer support and advice Irene relied on her very good friends and neighbours to help her. It was one of her neighbours that first contacted us, Irene was being discharged from hospital following a nasty fall and had lost her confidence in her ability to manage her home, after discussions with Irene a plan was made for daily visits from a team of Your Care's Personal Assistants (PA's) to help her whilst allowing her to remain as independent as possible…

view more »

Why would someone with Alzheimer’s refuse medication?

Tuesday 29th June 2021
Tina Westlake

Refusing to take medication could be a response to being confused or feeling afraid of what they're being asked to do, they might also feel like they don't have any control over their life, which could make them generally angry or resistant. Try some of these tips to see if they help - 1. Create a calm and quiet environment Make sure there aren't any loud sounds like TV or commotion like lots of people around. You could also try playing soft, soothing music. Before you start, take some deep breaths, and do your best to stay calm throughout the process. If you're agitated, frustrated, or angry, it's likely they'll be able to sense it and that can cause them to…

view more »

7 Top Tips on Showering with Dementia

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

When looking after someone with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimers or dementia completing the simplest task such as having a bath or shower can be a constant struggle, skyrocketing your stress levels. So here are our 7 top tips to make bath time a more pleasurable experience: 1. Establish a daily routine - Even if your loved one does not require a bath daily its easier to establish a regular bathroom routine at the same time every day. It then becomes part of their normal day, just like eating or sleeping and reduces their overall stress and anxiety making it more likely they will bathe without resistance.2. Use positive reinforcement and don't argue - it's no good trying to tell…

view more »

What impact has COVID-19 had on caring to you?

Thursday 9th July 2020

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty fortunate when it comes to my elderly relatives. They're all still pretty agile and active as they have grown older, either caring for grandchildren pretty much full time or even still working. I've not yet had to think about care or get involved with organising care for my elderly relatives just quite yet. That being said, Coronavirus certainly changed that. As per government advice, the elderly relatives in my life all went into lockdown and begun shielding. To me, I didn't really think this would have much impact but was I wrong! My elderly relatives could no longer go out to get their shopping. They're not online (or if they are, they wouldn't even…

view more »

Where is your loved one most safe? 💖

Monday 6th July 2020

New figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that almost 20,000 people have died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes and one in five have been infected to date. Statistics during 10th Apr - 19 Jun show there were 6,523 deaths in total within the domiciliary care sector with 819 of those deaths due to COVID-19. This compares to a total of 57,588 total deaths during 2nd Mar - 12 Jun in care homes with 14,519 deaths due to COVID-19. Here at Your Care we're proud to say we have had ZERO confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our clients and carers. How many other care providers can say that? Why? We understand the need for continuity of care, this means regular…

view more »

Are you planning a summer holiday?

Monday 24th February 2020

I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say 'I CANNOT WAIT FOR SUMMER'! As the days get lighter, I get more and more excited for some sunshine! I spend pretty much all my spare time on the hunt for a holiday where I can relax, sip cocktails on the beach and just generally get away from daily life. For some, it's not as simple as just booking the holiday and jet setting off into the sun. You have elderly family members, neighbours, or even people you kindly help out week in, week out to think about. A lot of people like you have the same thoughts, 'Who makes sure Dad has got out of bed this morning?', 'Who checks Mum…

view more »

Random Act of Kindness Day

Monday 17th February 2020

It's Monday lunchtime and I'm in the queue at the local supermarket, when I notice the elderly person behind me who has only three items in their basket. Sound familiar? What do you do? How do you act? Do you turn away oblivious to the fact that this person may pop out daily just to have human interaction? Me being me and working in the care industry, I tend to chat to everyone but especially older people, as I'm very aware I may be the only person they talk to all day. So, I usually smile and ask if I can help with their shopping or if they would like to go in front of me as they…

view more »

The 'Sandwich Generation'

Friday 24th January 2020

Last week I proudly became the grand parent of a wonderful baby girl and now find myself part of the growing sandwich generation. For those of you who do not know what this is, let me explain. The Sandwich Generation are those of us who are torn between helping look after our grandchildren and our ageing parents, usually in our 50's-60's so still working, often full time. We are cash rich (I wish!) and time poor and are busy working and juggling our own household chores and that of our family members. Phew that's exhausting just typing all that we do, we are in fact Superheroes! I feel as though I'm on a loop - work full time, help with family,…

view more »

Keeping Warm this Winter

Monday 20th January 2020

After a surprisingly warm Christmas period, the cold has decided to set itself upon us. Over the last week, I've definitely felt the temperature drop (BRrrRRrr) and have almost gone an absolute flyer whilst walking down the garden path!! On my way to work this morning, I couldn't help but have a chuckle seeing the children sliding across the pavements making their way to school, whilst their parents watched in horror shouting at them to stop near a road. When I arrived at work, I made sure to send my Nan a little text, to warn her about going out today with the icy pavements and if possible, to avoid going out (or at least until the sun had melted the pavements).…

view more »

See the person, not the condition!

Friday 24th May 2019

How our children continue to teach us life lessons every day. It's interesting really. When we understand Dementia and the stigma that it comes with, we only seem to see the person with their illness at the front of our mind. But why is that? These people are full of character, personality and incredible stories. They each have individual needs and wants, just like everyone else. We all love the same, each walk the same earth, each breathes the same air and drink the same water. And still, we are all guilty of seeing their vulnerability first. What happens if we see their strength first? Their courage? Their memories and their tales? Just like the youth of today, we can do our best to really…

view more »

The power of music

Tuesday 16th April 2019

People respond to music from a very early age, even before words and language are developed. This continues even towards the end of our lives, when verbal abilities may be lost. Music accesses different parts of the brain to language, so it can be used to communicate or engage with someone who has been diagnosed with dementia, even if they no longer speak or respond to words. Music can also be a useful way to change somebody's mood, especially during personal care. If a person diagnosed with dementia resists efforts to help them get dressed, playing soothing music or a favourite song can help lessen any distress. Playlists offer a great way of capturing all the songs or pieces…

view more »

A grandchild for a day keeps dementia at bay!

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Are you watching that Channel 4 programme, Old People's Home for 4 Year-Olds? I always make time to see it because I love the interaction between the kids and the pensioners. But it's not all about the entertainment. There are other reasons I watch. A study by the Journal of North America's Menopause Society followed 376 grandparents and 340 children for 19 years and they found that there really are benefits to babysitting the grandkids... The Society identified that the closer the relationship between the ageing grandparents and the children, the less likely either party was to suffer from depression. Just think about that for a moment. The damaging effects of social isolation can be overcome by spending time with…

view more »

Staying safe this Halloween

Monday 29th October 2018

Halloween can be a treat-filled time for many, but also tricky for some. For people living with dementia or physical limitations, Halloween can hold fears that lead to distress. At Your Care, we've put together some pointers to make Halloween enjoyable for all. For relatives of vulnerable people: Always put the door chain on and look out of the window or spy hole to see who is there before opening the door. Take particular care if there is more than one person on your doorstep Ensure the walkway is kept clear to avoid falls and have lights on. Don't answer the door in the dark If you don't feel safe opening the door, then don't. Only open the door if you feel…

view more »

Getting through winter with dementia

Saturday 27th October 2018

Twice a year, we all get to be time travellers. Not quite like Marty McFly in Back To The Future, (although I would like to visit 1955), but this weekend we get to relive an hour. And it's for this reason that I ask you to spare a thought for those caring for an individual living with dementia. Dementia causes visuospatial problems which become worse during the darker days and nights, leading to disorientation and frustration. Those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can have depressive episodes due to the lack of daylight; especially during winter. Similarly, people living with sun downing (a condition that occurs towards the end of the day) can become agitated, distressed or irritated and longer evenings…

view more »