Having dementia presents challenges, but there are things you can do to manage the risks and still enjoy a healthy active lifestyle at home and in the community. It is sometimes hard to determine the level of risk as it can change from day to day and from minute to minute. It is important to understand some of the risks that can be associated with living with dementia. Examples of these risks include poor health, going missing, living in an unsafe environment and injury.
The Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex was founded by a group of volunteers in 1982, and they continue to be an integral part to enhancing the care we are able to deliver to families living with dementia. We currently have a team of over 240 active volunteers, and this year have decided to honour Joan Cox with our annual Jan Greene Award for Outstanding Volunteerism to celebrate her contributions to ASLM and the community.
A decrease in memory effectiveness is a normal part of aging, however when these memory issues are serious enough to interfere with everyday life it could be a sign of Mild Cognitive Impairment. ASLM offers a "Learning the ROPES For Living With MCI" program that helps to optimize cognitive health through lifestyle choices, memory training and psychosocial support.
The Cogniciti Brain Health Assessment, developed in 2014, is an online early-warning cognitive test that allows individuals to be proactive in managing their brain health. The test is geared towards adults aged 40-79 and is available for free at www.cogniciti.com.
Communication is an essential part of who we are as human beings; it’s something many of us take for granted. In terms of dementia, language and communication problems are well-recognized clinical components of the disease and are estimated to occur in almost all individuals living with it. Due to the gradual decline in language impairment, communication difficulties may lead to frustration, confusion and agitation for the individual and their caregivers. If the needs of the person with dementia (PWD) are not being met then their behaviour may be misunderstood and as a result, the PWD may begin to feel isolated due to an inability to communicate properly.
So it’s February and while the cold and dreary days seem to roll endlessly on, this month is known for more than just the winter slog we’re experiencing. February 14th is of course Valentine’s Day, a day to acknowledge affairs of the heart. But one day in February isn’t sufficiently long enough to consider ALL affairs of the heart. Which is why the entire month is designated as #HeartMonth . The month’s sustained focus gives new meaning to affairs of the heart, both from the perspective of the organ’s wellbeing and its vital connectedness to the health of the brain.
Stigma. What should be a general understanding and acceptance regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is, in reality, not that way at all. To help point a spotlight on this troubling misunderstanding, the Alzheimer Society has launched a social media campaign called #StillHere. The theme of this nation-wide campaign focuses on dispelling one of the many enduring myths of this disease by illustrating that life does not end when Alzheimer’s begins.
Each holiday season, many struggle with buying the perfect present for those they love. Will he be able to use this? Will she like this colour? Caregivers or loved ones of a person with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias might find themselves in similarly frustrating situations. Fortunately, there are many wonderful gift ideas for people with dementia that are both pleasurable and useful for the recipient.
Caregiving is often physically and emotionally stressful. In an effort to provide the best care possible, you might put your loved one's needs before your own. In turn, you could develop feelings of sadness, anger and loneliness. Sometimes, these emotions can trigger caregiver depression. It is not unusual for caregivers to develop depression as a result of the constant demands placed on them while providing care.
The concept of dementia has been acknowledged since the time of the early Egyptians and Greeks who wrote of their elders losing their memories. Alzheimer’s was not considered a disease and thus given a medical label until many centuries later (in 1910) as a result of the work of Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Today Alzheimer’s disease has become one of our most feared diseases; an illness that turns individuals to mere shadows of their former selves, severely impacts families and threatens to overwhelm our healthcare system. But what if this may not be true? Is it really a disease?