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Family Radio 1 Are very pleased to promote this amazing song and video. We feel this song portrays the real feelings of those left behind. SOMETIMES by Charlie McGettigan - a song about Alzheimer's/Dementia. If you like this, please show your support and appreciation by clicking the iTunes Link below and purchasing this very special song.
A film on the subject you may be interested in watching is: “Away from Her” (featuring Julie Christie)
Alzheimer’s / Dementia This page will not blind you facts, but purely give simple information, advice, ideas. There are organisations that can give you facts, figures and further information: http://alzheimers.org.uk/ http://www.dementiauk.org/
These are two words that we have all heard. But do you really understand them? Most people will use the word – Dementia when talking about a loved one or a friend, but when asked they do not actually know the difference between the two words. It’s very simple really Alzheimer’s = The Disease Dementia = The Symptoms I believe in treating ALL with Dignity and respect Within my career I have heard many different terminologies for people suffering from this disease, Their crazy, their just old, their nuts, their stupid. – all off which are totally disrespectfully and wrong. The Brain is a powerful tool that we all have, but at some point in all of our lives we start to forget, this may due to trauma, it may down to illness or injury, or it could down to everyday stress and strain. Memories do start to fade over time. I know in my case, I’m 42 years old and my memory is not as sharp as it used to be, I walk into a room and forget what I went in there for. My memory will work on the basis that if something hurts me, I block it out. I can sit for ages trying to remember how to do the simplest things, before suddenly starting to remember – Does this mean I’m suffering from Alzheimer’s? Not that I’m aware of, as for many of us I put this down to daily stresses and strains of life. There are currently 800,000 people in the UK who suffer; this is set to grow to over 1 million by 2021. Sadly only 44% of suffers get a diagnosis.  There used to be a taboo on the word “cancer” and people used to shy away from those who had it….this changed. It now seems that dementia has taken its place. Everyone needs to remember the word dementia is just that “A word” it does not mean you immediately loose the person, life does not have to stop for them or for you. Don’t shy away from people young or old who has this, Embrace them and their condition.
On many occasions I have been asked to explain how it feels for someone who is a sufferer, to family members/ colleagues/ friends etc. The images I put forward are: 1. Imagine a book case with 3 shelves full of books on different subjects (these books represent a memory) now every day I will remove a book and throw it away without you knowing. You will for a short while wonder where the book has gone, but soon enough you will forget it, and have no memory of it. Every day I will remove another book, until you have an empty shelf. At this point I will remove the shelf and we will start again. 2. Take a newspaper , read a short story, then remove some of the words, (cut   them out) and then try to read the story again – It will not make any sense, you think you know what it should say, but it isn’t reading that way, very frustrating isn’t it. Maintaining Dignity for Dementia Suffers Remember, that the person with dementia no longer has control of their reasoning, speech, or memory. It becomes our responsibility, as the well person without dementia, to make adjustments to help them navigate their days. Tone of Voice:  It’s common to revert to a parental role - sometimes without even realizing it. This can come across as condescending, disrespectful, or make the person you are looking after feel like a child. Listen to your tone when you speak - are you talking down to them? Communication Are you setting them up for success? Asking open-ended questions can often be intimidating if the person does not know the answers, but knows they should. A way of setting someone up for success is to ask the question in a way that leads them to the answer. See the examples below: The WRONG way: Mum, tell Kathy how many children you have. The RIGHT way: Mum, tell Kathy how much you enjoyed raising your ten children. Informing This varies in each situation. Some people do well with advance notice of an event, while others will only grow anxious and ask repeatedly when an event is happening. Some will not remember the event, no matter how many times you remind them. Use your best judgment about what your loved one is able to handle. Tips for those who benefit from advance notice of events: Have a calendar with events written on it well in advance with reminders as the event nears. Whether the outing is a doctor's appointment or lunch with a friend, allow plenty of time to get ready and out the door.   Practical tips for all Keep a diary and write down things you want to remember Pin a weekly timetable to the wall Put keys in an obvious place such as a large bowl in the hall Have a daily newspaper delivered to remind you of the date and day Put labels on cupboards or drawers Place helpful telephone numbers by the phone Write reminders to yourself – for example, put a note on the front door to take your keys Programme people’s names and numbers into your phone Install safety devices, such as gas detectors and smoke alarms Put bills on direct debit so you don't forget to pay them A dosset box can be helpful for remembering which medications to take and when Living well Living a healthy lifestyle is important for people with dementia, eating well and exercising are important. Changes in eating habits can occur, particularly if someone with dementia is struggling to find the words to ask for food, which can result in weight loss and poor nutrition. It’s easy to feel isolated and alone if you or someone you care for has dementia. Keeping in contact with others is good for people with dementia because it helps them to keep active and stimulated. Some people find it difficult to talk about their own or a family member’s dementia, or want to help but don’t know how. If a friend or a family member finds it hard to talk to you, don’t lose touch. Make the first move, explain that you still need to see them and tell them how they can help you. People with dementia can experience mood swings. They can feel sad or angry at times, or scared and frustrated as the disease progresses. If you or a family member has dementia, you may find it difficult to stay positive. Remember that you are not alone and that help and support are available. Talk to someone about your worries. This could be a family member or friend, a member of your local dementia support group or your GP, who can refer you to a counsellor in your area. People with dementia should continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests. These activities are enjoyable and keep people alert and stimulated so they maintain an interest in life. Do not rule out an activity simply because you or your family member have dementia. Activities may change as the illness gets worse, but people with dementia can and should continue to enjoy their spare time. Various activities for people with dementia Art – Painting, drawing, visiting art galleries Music & singing – Music is a wonderful way to evoke memories, singing encourages social activity, and both have a feel good factor. Exercise – simple chair based exercises not only keep joints nimble but if done within a small group can encourage friendships. Multi sensory – Gardening, Baking, doing puzzles For people who have advanced dementia - bright colours, interesting sounds and tactile objects can all catch their attention in a way that other activities, such as making conversation or reading, may not any more. Quizzes – it is amazing how much is remembered, you will be amazed. Outings – could be a trip to the local shops, day out, weekend away or holidays aboard – just remember to plan well try to stick within the persons limitations, but most of all ENJOY. I would just like to finish by saying
To all the carers out there paid and unpaid – you are the unsung heroes you do a great job, and society shouldn’t be allowed to forget about you.                                   Michelle Keane