I recently attended a talk on Dementia. I thought I knew what it was. It turns out I had no idea of how it destroys the brain bit by bit causing nerve cell death and tissue loss. Sounds frightening doesn’t it?
I listened to Eula, the speaker, talk of her experience of working with Alzheimers and Dementia. She is passionate about raising awareness of the illness so it will no longer be stigmatised and to highlight the amazing work that carers and caregivers do.
I have never been through so many emotions in an hour of listening to someone speak, she had very funny stories about 70 year olds who now believe they are 20 and want to go out sowing their wild oats all over again, to extremely sad tales of elderly parents not remembering they had children and wanting to go home to their Mothers.
A fabulous speaker, she had us laughing our heads off to then sitting in sad silence, it was a roller coaster of emotions to emphasise what a carer will go through looking after someone with dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that cause the brain to fail, Alzheimer’s disease represents the majority of cases.
This is how a person with dementia sees a clock face
People with dementia often experience problems with memory and thinking. Because they often cannot store new information efficiently, they use past experiences to make sense of the present. Music, photos and objects can help enhance memory gathering.
Libraries have a collection of Memory bags that can be borrowed. The bags contain local photographs, books, replicas of posters, labels and pictures plus smell bottles, music CDs and objects of the time.
Different themes include war, childhood, women, men, sporting life, housework, schooldays, leisure time and special events, holidays and working life.
Precise causes of Alzheimer’s or other dementia are not known. Most experts agree it is a combination of factors rather than a single cause. Individuals may be able to lower the odds of developing dementia by eating well, staying socially active and using the brain regularly.
If you would like to know more about dementia, it’s causes and how to spot the signs you can find more information here.
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