Dementia and farming

Types of dementia

Dementia is a word used to describe a set of symptoms. Symptoms between the different forms of dementia can vary a great deal and can include memory loss, confusion and mood changes.

Dementia can be caused by a number of different diseases – Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known and the most common, causing about two thirds of cases.

Other diseases that cause dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. Often, dementia is caused by both Alzheimer’s disease and either vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies, sometimes known as mixed dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society have lots more useful information on the various types of dementia: Dementia friendly downloadable sign-up

Angels in Gumboots

‘Angels in Gumboots’ has been developed by Dorset farmer Jennifer Evans in association with FCN.

It is designed for families who are caring for people with memory loss and has been written for those in rural communities and on farms.

Jennifer’s husband Patrick developed dementia and she found during this difficult time that managing both her caring responsibilities whilst running the farm and prioritising which tasks needed to be done was a significant challenge.

While Jennifer had access to a wide range of information and support, she found there was a lack of farm-specific information to help her.  

The booklet contains useful information drawing from Jennifer’s experiences, including support she received from FCN, as well as her ideas for visits to the care home and a checklist which could be useful to other people on farms caring for people with dementia and memory loss.

Dementia-friendly rural community guide

  • When a person is living with a dementia-related condition it can have a significant effect on the ability to farm successfully. 
  • Dementia can seriously alter behaviour and has an impact on working patterns.  
  • There is also a safety concern on farms as they can be filled with hazards for the person living with dementia.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society have provided a sign up document in downloading a guide to coping with dementia in rural communities: Dementia friendly rural community guide.

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