There was a Dementia Friends Event at the Brookdale Resource Centre yesterday (Wednesday 29th April 2015). Gaynor Cliff and Rebecca Cooper from Merseycare Memory Services came to give a very informative talk.
They discussed many things regarding how Dementia affects a person’s abilities, how it changes a person’s perceptions and how it makes a person feel. One in fourteen people over sixty five years of age has Dementia at any one time, and the speaker’s aims were to turn understanding into action by their presentation. They stressed that statements such as calling people ‘Dementia sufferers’ should not be used and instead we should say ‘people living with Dementia’.
Every person is a unique individual and deal with Dementia in their own special way. Family and friends should allow them to keep their independence as long as it is safe to do so, in order that they live well with Dementia and contribute to their community. I found it interesting how it was explained that whilst memories are like lights in our brains that go out gradually one by one in different orders, the feelings stay stronger so we should concentrate to make those living with Dementia feel loved and safe.
Five things we all should know about Dementia are:
1. It is not a natural part of aging.
2. It is caused by diseases of the brain, the most common being Alzheimer’s.
3. It is not just about losing your memory, as it can also affect communicating, thinking and undertaking normal everyday tasks.
4. It is possible to live well with Dementia.
5. There is more to a person that the Dementia.
‘Dementia Friends’ rely on people learning a bit more about Dementia and turning that understanding into action.
There are all kinds of ways we can help;
Spread the understanding you have learnt to others
Spend more time with friends and family living with dementia
Fundraise for Dementia
Volunteer your time or services to help those with Dementia
Discussion was held afterwards amongst Friends of Brookdale, to see what more can be done by us to raise the profile and find the gaps still there, in the care for those living with Dementia and their families.
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