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What is vascular dementia and what are the causes and treatment?

The word dementia is used to describe a group of dementia symptoms which include confusion, mood variances and memory loss. Dementia is not a disease but the name for problems with metal abilities caused by changes in the brain. These are caused by several different diseases the four most prevalent types are Alzheimer’s (named after Alois Alzhemer’s study in 1901), Vascular dementia which is the second most common up to 20 in every 100 cases. Frontotemporal and Lewy Bodies.

Causes of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia – this happens when the blood vessels in the brain are damaged. This in itself reduces blood flow to the cells in the brain, and how it works. The result is memory, problem solving and thinking processes decline. This does not always result in a diagnosis of dementia as the symptoms are not clear enough to define.

Strokes – This occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain get cut off. Resulting factors may be lack of movement, co-ordination and speech or sight impairment but this all depends on which part of the brain was effected. The diagram below labels the parts of the brain and what functions they relate to.

Some people may have several mini strokes that are in some cases too small for the person to actually notice. These are called transient ischaemic attacks, (transient means temporary and ischaemic means inadequate supply of blood) which you may have heard as the term TIA’s, these are temporary disruptions to the blood supply to the brain. This is a blockage which is generally caused by a blood clot in one of the arteries which have thickened or narrowed.

vascular dementia causes and its treatment

As we get older peoples arteries tend to harden, narrow and weaken increasing risk, these include people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, people with heart disease or diabetes, people who smoke or drink a high volume of alcohol. When a disruption occurs it deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients which are needed to keep the brain tissue healthy. TIA’s are sometimes referred to as mini strokes and can be a warning sign that the person is at risk of a stroke.

Vascular Dementia Treatment
A non-drug approach is always preferable if possible, this would be personalised activities and social interaction, which can often help. This approach should be considered before taking the Antipsychotic drugs which are prescribed for psychological symptoms such as hallucinations or aggression. Ongoing psychosocial interventions along with close monitoring have been deemed as far more beneficial for people living with dementia. In some studies analgesics were administered which seemed to have good results.

vascular dementia causes effect on brain and its treatment

Larchfield House prefers to take the non-drug route if at all possible, it is far better to understand the triggers for the behaviours, which can be as simple as I am in pain but am unable to communicate the fact.

If you require any further information on vascular dementia or dementia care please give us a call on 01628 639428, or drop in to speak of one of our staff.

Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems)

A person with Dementia may have trouble chewing food, they may have even forgotten how to chew. Foods that are difficult to chew should be avoided, such as tough meats, hard crusts, biscuits and also sweetcorn, as we all know is difficult to deconstruct. People with dentures may also struggle and it is important for these to fit properly

dementia care home - swallowing problem

Swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia) can happen as the dementia progresses. If someone is having difficulty they should be referred to the SALT Team (Speech and Language Therapists). Some signs are avoiding to eat hard foods, not swallowing and constant chewing. The inability to consume the food properly can also lead to weight loss, malnutrition and even dehydration. It is also really important the person is in a suitable position to eat because if not this will increase the inability to swallow or the likelihood of choking.

Larchfield House (a dementia care specialist) provides a well-balanced, nutritious and tasty solution with our pureed food, which is beautifully presented for our residents. The consistency of the food enables an easier swallowing option without having to struggle with chewing, fluids are also thickened, which all aid towards prevention of choking.

Residents with swallowing issues are referred by our nursing team, you can contact them directly if you are caring for your loved one or via your GP, if you need advice. Please contact us at Larchfield House, we will always try to help and support the local community. Call on 01628 639428 you may download our brochure from dementia care home

Resident Experts

Larchfield House is undertaking a case study to understand the importance of “Resident Experts” (Patient Experts) is our person-centered approach to the wellbeing of individuals who have an interest and ability in their health care.

Residents should be considered a full-fledged partner of the health care delivery team and the resident’s experiential knowledge is recognised. The aim of our ongoing study is to show how residents view their engagement with healthcare professionals regarding their direct care. Residents may describe themselves as proactively engaging in three types of practice, regardless of health professionals’ openness to their role as partners.

  1. The first is, the process of continuous learning that allows them to acquire experiential knowledge about their health, as well as scientific information and technical know-how.

  2. The second involves their assessment of the healthcare they receive, in terms of its quality and how it aligns with their personal preferences. It includes their assessment of the quality of their relationship with the health professional and of the latter’s scientific knowledge and technical know-how.

  3. The third type, adaptation practices, builds on residents learning and assessments to compensate for and adapt to what has been perceived as optimal or non-optimal health or healthcare circumstances. Residents appear to play a more active and less docile role in their own direct care if the partnership or the degree to which the health professional seeks to encourage patient engagement.

Note: Capacity does play a part in this study and a cautious professional approach will always be taken to ensure all outcomes are considered and safe.

For more details visit our dementia care home website or visit Dementia Symptoms page.

Dementia Umbrella

dementia vascular frontotemporal lewy bodies

The word dementia comes from Latin, De means apart and mens meaning mind. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affects mental cognitive tasks, such as memory and reasoning. Dementia is an umbrella term that the specific types of Dementia fall under. There are four main types of dementia listed above which were statistics of under 65’s, but there are many more.

Alizheimers was named after Alois Alzheimer who was a psychiatrist who identified the abnormalities in behavior and the brain tissue of a lady called Augusta D she was 50. The study was from 1901 to 1906, when Augusta passed away. They discovered unusual plaques in the brain. Alzheimer died at the age of 55. But this was the forerunner to understanding dementia.

The word dementia has Latin origins, de meaning apart and ment meaning brain. Also in 1822 the praecox meaning for dementia was what we now call schizophrenia.

If you would like to know more about dementia please click on the website, What is Dementia section on our dementia care website or pick up a brochure from our reception at:

Larchfield House, Larchfield Road,
Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2SJ
Tel: 01628 639428
Email: info@larchfield.care

The Decision – placing your loved one in a care home

care home funding or package pricing

This is something that is very hard to decide. If you have been living with someone for many years and now you are not able to cope with their care and you have to decide to move them into a care home, the end of your home life relationship.

There are feelings of loss, finality, grief, guilt, a turning point which none of us want to reach. Guilt is a major player in the feelings people experience but we have to understand that the needs of the person we are caring for are paramount. Everyone is different but as Dementia or Alzheimer’s progresses, continence, eating issues and behaviour can be a 24hr care situation. We need to remember to look after ourselves as mentioned in a previous article Molly who looks after Jack, who is doubly incontinent and also quite a big man, Molly is exhausted all the time and struggles to cope but feels duty bound to soldier on. So who is this best for, I would say neither as Molly’s health is suffering and because she is so tired she struggles to keep an even temper with Jack, so is this good care for Jack?

If you have the peace of mind that your loved one is being well looked after and you are able to visit as often as you like and have quality time rather than from an overwhelmed aspect. At Larchfield there are no restrictions on visiting your loved ones, we also understand that family members need support and we are here to listen and help in whatever way possible. We have a relative’s gateway so family are able to look at the care notes and see pictures of what their loved ones have been doing. Staff are always available to help and answer your questions. We always ask when we have a new resident that their family put together a Life History, this can be a key to unlocking memories and getting to know the likes and dislikes of a person. We take pride in our approach which is person centred and we remember at all times that this is our resident’s home. Contact Larchfield House – dementia care home for more details.

Finding a care home and sorting out the funding issues can also be stressful, doing research and visiting homes, so you can be reassured that your loved one will be well looked after. Understanding how the funding or payment system works can be found on the care home website  https://www.carehome.co.uk/fees/feesadvice.cfm

Dignity Action Day


Dignity Action Day gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to upholding people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people receiving care. Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.
Dame Joan Bakewell, Dignity in Care Ambassador said:
“Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn’t do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit.”

At Larchfield House we believe that dignity is at the heart of everything we do and we celebrate the importance of dignity to all every day. Visit our website or visit us and see the inspirational things we do every day to ensure we always put the dignity into everything we do. www.larchfield.care  or call 01628639428