Supporting People with Dementia

Many people with dementia are now choosing to live longer in their own homes, where they are able to do so.  However, many people, and their families need additional support and care to help manage this, and to have a good quality of life in this setting.  Natural social networks can tend to diminish as dementia symptoms progress, and so additional support can also help reduce isolation.

Birchwood Highland offers person centered care, tailored to the needs of the service user in each case, and that is flexible to accommodate changing needs over time.  


Dementia Support at Birchwood Highland

We support people with dementia in their own homes in the community with a combination of housing support and personal care and that we can work with people wishing support, and the family members and professionals who support them to tailor packages of care around their individual needs through SDS (Self Directed Support).  Find out how we helped on of our service users, Mrs M, through a Celtic Connections event here.


What is Dementia?

Dementia is a broad term that describes a range of progressive neurological disorders. Each person with dementia will experience it in their own way. There are many types of dementia that people can be affected by and some people can experience a combination of types of dementia. Symptoms can include:

Memory/Cognitive Issues - Difficulty in making new memories and retaining information. People with dementia can get lost in familiar surroundings and have trouble recalling names and faces. Tasks that require concentration can be very difficult. 

Communication - Dementia can affect communication by causing people to have mood swings , anxiety, depression, and personality changes. Words may be difficult to recall and social interest can be lost. Conversations can be tiring and difficult and extroverted people can become more introverted and quiet. 

These symptoms can get progressively worse over time and harder to explain away. 


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and mainly affects memory, cognitive ability, insight, language and spatial awareness. 

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia occurs due to small strokes which damage the brain. This type of dementia progresses differently from Alzheimer's disease as the strokes cause periods of damage followed by periods of recovery, whereas Alzheimer's disease get worse from gradually and progressively. Mixed dementia occurs in people with both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Frontotemporal dementia

This is a progressive condition affecting mostly behaviour and personality and is also known as frontal lobe or Pick’s disease. This commonly affects younger people between ages 45 and 65 and is relatively uncommon. Symptoms can include changes in eating, inappropriate behaviour in public, depression, OCD and psychosis. 

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

This cognitive impairment mostly affects people's movements and motor control. Walking may have a shuffling gait and falls happen more frequently. Tremors may also be experienced similar to people with Parkinson's disease.

Young onset dementia

This type of dementia can be particularly problematic as the diagnosis can come unexpectedly and interfere with a person's ability to look after young children and earn a living. 


Feedback on Support Provided at our Inverness Support Service

Please note names and places removed or changed to protect confidentiality.

"As I am sure you are aware, we have been really struggling with our dad lately & his rapid decline into what is probably now advanced stages of Dementia & Alzheimer’s.

I am just writing to give you such positive feedback on “Support Worker A”.  He has been an absolute rock to the whole family since you/he/Birchwood got involved with my dad’s care, but especially to my mum.  It may only be 2 half days a week but this has been a lifeline to my mum & especially knowing that my dad is in such good, solid hands with “A” – who does everything he possibly can to engage my dad & also ensure he is always clean & comfortable.

As you know, today my dad went into a care home  & “A” accompanied my husband there.  He has said he would have been a bit lost without “A” there today, things like speaking/understanding the terminology of the Care Home environment/medication etc  & was very grateful “A” was there with him. …. Birchwood can be very proud if all their employees are of the same calibre."


Want to Find Out More?

Please contact the Community Support Service Team for your area, or the team at Head Office for further information.  If you wish, the appropriate Team Manager can arrange to meet with you to discuss your particular support needs and your particular situation in confidence, to enable you to make an informed decision about the services that Birchwood Highland may be able to offer.  

You may also find it helpful to speak with your GP (family doctor), or another relevant health or social care professional to discuss what help may be available to assist you or a person you are caring for. It may be appropriate to request an assessment of needs, which everyone is entitled to. Depending on individual circumstances, and a financial assessment, some or all of the costs of support and care may be met through statutory agencies, while some people we support pay privately for some or all of the costs.

Please contact us at:

Email enquiries can be made to: and will be passed to the relevant team.

Or contact your local team:

Easter Ross Housing Support and Care at Home Team

108b High Street
Invergordon. IV18 0DR
Tel: 01349 853 153

Team Manager: Jennifer Scott

Inverness Housing Support and Care at Home Team

59 Tomnahurich Street

Tel: 01463 241 009

Team Manager: June Jeffrey


Lochaber Housing Support and Care at Home Team

Flat 5, Meall na Mara
Alma Road
Fort William, PH33 6HD
Tel: 01397 700 944

Team Manager: Johnan Cameron


Caithness Housing Support and Care at Home Team

Office Suite 6
10 Harbour Terrace

Tel: 01955 602 953

Team Manager: Julie Calder


Birchwood Highland Head Office

59 Tomnahurich Street
Tel: 01463 236 507

Head Office switchboard hours
Monday – Friday, 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m