Friday, October 10, 2014

How we might be more thoughtful about those living with Dementia and life is a walk in the park

Dementia is a challenge to society as more people live longer in developed countries it is likely that we will see more people living with the condition.
Why not?

Yesterday evening I went to  listen to a talk about being a Dementia Friend given by Kate Moffatt, from Dementia Friends.

The introduction was useful for me in demystifying (a little) the disease and how we might better behave with respect to those living with Dementia.

Kate used analogies that were indicative of the challenges that the condition creates - if we imagine the brain, physically  in 3 dimensions  with fairy lights indicating activity those with Dementia will have some of their lights unlit or dim as the disease impacts the brain and some areas of functionality are impacted.

Five important messages were given:- 

1) Dementia is not a normal part of ageing.

2) Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.

3) Dementia is not just about the loss of  memory.

4) It is possible to live well with Dementia.

5) We should remember that there is more to the person than the Dementia.

There are several different types of Dementia chief amongst them is Alzheimer's disease named after the German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer who  diagnosed it one of his patients  in 1901.

Other types include Vascular (which is linked to strokes) and posterior cortical atrophy (known as PCA, the variant that Terry Pratchett has).

It was good to have a presentation that sought to provide better understanding and create change in our behaviour rather than just be about raising funds, we should all do something to widen understanding of the topic it is likely that we will be impacted in one way or another by Dementia

Having been a participant in the information session I am now one of over 460,000 people who are registered Dementia Friends.

You can become a friend  too by making a pledge, these can be simple things like avoiding labelling those who live with the disease as 'sufferers' or using your social media account to help highlight the  importance of treating people with dignity and compassion.

Parks in Autumn

Autumn might have only just started but already the trees are showing hues and leaves are falling -here are some pictures from Pitshanger Park in Ealing. 
A view towards Horsenden Hill
Trees are not just green

Having Fun!

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