5 Simple things you can do every day to reduce the risk
Dementia cannot be prevented completely, but these small changes will go a long way to improve your overall health and may help to reduce the risk of lots of other diseases too.
Every September Alzheimer associations across the world take part in an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma faced by older people living with dementia. Last September you may have seen us marching through Ibadan to raise awareness about dementia in our country.
This year at Rossetti Care, we are working with the theme to inform people of ways to reduce the risk of getting dementia as well as raising awareness about how we could better care for our loved ones living with dementia.
The programme starts with a Communion Service followed by discussions, singing, music, dancing and good food at our main building in Tose, near Moniya. Please join us at 3pm on Sunday September 21st at Rossetti Care, Wahabi Olayiwola Layout, Tose, Moniya, Ibadan.
We do not have to look far to see that Nigeria’s aging population is growing. As our baby boomers get older and approach retirement it is vital that we start to understand and plan for their, and our, care needs as well as the already aged people with we live with. Part of this is to reduce the risk of getting dementia as we age. Research shows that there are five main drivers to reducing the risk of developing dementia. They are good care of your heart, keeping physically active, having a healthy diet, keeping mentally active and being in good company taking part in social activities.
We all know a mischievous Uncle, Auntie or grandparent and we love them. Old people, and especially old people with dementia, can be a challenge but they can also be great fun and they still have the capacity to enjoy themselves heartily. Come and see this for yourself by joining us on 21st September 2014 to celebrate our older people, learn more about how best to care for them and get information about how help reduce our risk of developing dementia with brain healthy lifestyles. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org
10 September 2014
Sandra Harper, a photographer living in England, has kindly given permission for us to reproduce some of her mother’s personal story. Sandra’s mother, Hestelle, cared for her husband Alexander as he developed dementia in his later years. Hestelle’s story and Sandra’s photographic representation of it is inspiring and shows how we can care for our loved ones with family support.
To read Hestelle’s story see: http://www.sandra-harper.com/story/
To view Sandra’s moving slideshow see: http://www.sandra-harper.com/hestelle-the-carers-story/
Respiridone is a drug that is commonly used for patients living with dementia in Nigeria. The drug can have positive effects for people exhibiting persistent aggression who may put themselves or others at risk of harm but it should only be used as a short-term measure due to other risks associated.
Clinical trials have proven a link between the use of Respiridone and stroke in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Respiridone should therefore only be used for a short period, say three weeks, whilst other means are found to manage persistent aggression.
Antipsychotic drugs should never be used to pacify people who are not psychotic.
Advice for healthcare professionals:
There is a clear increased risk of stroke and a small increased risk of death when antipsychotics (typical or atypical) are used in elderly people with dementia
The balance of risks and benefits associated with risperidone treatment should be carefully assessed for every patient, taking into consideration the known increased mortality rate associated with antipsychotic treatment in the elderly. Prescribers should carefully consider the risk of cerebrovascular events before treating with risperidone any patient who has a previous history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack. Consideration should also be given to other risk factors for cerebrovascular disease including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and atrial fibrillation.
Leading scientists highlighted the possibility for breakthroughs in the hunt for a dementia drug to provide an effective “cure” for dementia for the G8 summit on 11 December 2013. The G8 summit committed member nations to sign up to “The ambition to identify a cure or a disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025 and to increase collectively and significantly the amount of funding for dementia research to reach that goal”.
As the health ministers of G8 nations met in London for a landmark dementia summit in December 2013, senior British researchers spearheading efforts to find a dementia cure said that research had entered “a new era”. “I am more encouraged for the future now, than I have ever been,” said Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “We now understand far better, that the pathology of this disease starts early on, maybe 10 years before we see any symptoms. We now have the tools to image that pathology…that will enable us to investigate drugs that will affect it. I am full of hope that we are going to have a breakthrough in the next five years”.
Clinical trials of a new Alzheimer’s drug had already shown the potential for it to be effective in mild cases, he said, adding that the manufacturer was now working on further trials to investigate its effect on patients with mild symptoms of dementia. If successful, the drug could eventually be prescribed as a preventive before symptoms of dementia begin to show, delaying or halting the onset of the disease, in the same way that statins are currently prescribed to people at high risk of heart disease or stroke.
“As soon as we get efficacy in one drug that will unlock so many other things,” Dr Karran added. “We’ll then have an understanding of the biomarkers that will help us bring through other drugs far more rapidly.”
Highlighting the urgency of scientists’ efforts to combat the disease, the Alzheimer’s Society published new figures revealing that the global burden of dementia has increased by 22 per cent in just three years. 44 million people worldwide now have the disease, a figure which is projected to rise to 76 million by 2030. In western Europe, incidence rates are on track to double by 2050.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society said that dementia was becoming “the biggest health and social care challenge of this generation.”
The G8 is our once in a generation chance to conquer this condition and we must see meaningful action after the talking is over.
We live in hope that the same international effort taken to eradicate diseases such as smallpox can now be brought to bear on dementia within our lifetime so that our generation can be the first to not have to be a burden on our children as we get older. Let us also hope that our generation can step forward to give the care and love required for those presently living with dementia to not have to suffer unnecessarily.
The increasing diagnosed cases of dementia in Nigeria especially in old age necessitates the creation of awareness and sensitization through intensive campaign among healthcare professionals, formal and informal caregivers, and the general public.
To commemorate the World Alzheimer’s Month 2013 the Alzheimer’s Disease International Oyo State branch have organized a Walk to sensitize the society on the theme “Dementia: a journey of caring”
Join in with the walk to show your support for improving hte well-being for people living with dementia.
The walk starts from The Secretariat, Ministry of Health, Ibadan from 10am on Thursday 26 September 2013.
It will be followed by a lunch hosted by Rossetti Care in Tose, Moniya, Ibadan starting 1pm where you will have the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding dementia and meet professionals working in the field of elderly care.
On 11 December 2013 the UK will host the first G8 dementia summi making the fight against dementia global by challenging the G8 to pursue international coordination and an effective response to tackling the condition.
Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledges that dementia is fast becoming one of the greatest pressures on families, carers and health systems around the world.
The UK government is inviting health ministers from G8 countries to discuss how they can coordinate efforts and shape an effective international solution to dementia.
The summit will aim to identify and agree a new international approach to dementia research, to help break down barriers within and between companies, researchers and clinicians and secure a new level of cooperation needed to reach shared goals faster than nations acting alone.
They will draw on the expertise and experience of the OECD, World Health Organisation, industry, national research organisations, key opinion leaders, researchers and physicians.
Read the UKGov Press Release
How you care for someone will often depend on your relationship with them and your intuition. If it’s a family member or loved one you will know them well and you should not underestimate the value of your understanding and insight into their life. More than anything else it is essential that you continue to see the person as they are inside and not just the external display of their dementia.
It’s very important that people with dementia are treated with respect. It is important to remember that a person with dementia is still a unique and valuable human being, despite their illness. We should all do what we can to help our elderly loved ones retain their sense of identity and feeling of self-worth.
They are still the same person they were before they had dementia. They also need to be respected and valued for who they are now, as well as for who they were in the past. There are many things people can do to help such as making time to listen, talking with them regularly, showing affection in a way they feel comfortable with and finding things to do together, enjoy being with them.
Remember to always address an older person with respect and courtesy. If it is your custom to bow before an elderly person then bow to someone with dementia in the same way when greeting them. Continue to address them by the name and title they have earned. If you are discussing something whilst they are in the room you should involve them as much as you can. Never talk over their heads or talk about them as if they were not there. Try to imagine how you would like to be treated if you were their age.
Continue to respect their privacy. Make sure you and others adopt simple habits like always knocking on their door before entering. If helping with intimate personal activities, such as washing or using the toilet, do this sensitively and make sure the door is kept closed if other people are around.
Dementia affects people’s thinking, reasoning and memory, but their feelings remain intact. Like most of us, a person with dementia will probably be sad or upset at times. Make time to listen to what they have to say in a way that they can see you are paying attention.
As the condition progresses, dementia will affect the person’s ability to carry out tasks in everyday life that they would have found easy before. That does not mean that you should do everything for them. On the contrary it is easier for you, and better for them, if you support and encourage them to continue to do as much as they can for themselves. When you do help out, try to do things with them, not for them. This can help the person retain their independence as well as improve their wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.
Dementia is nothing to be ashamed of. It is no one’s fault.
In support of World Alzheimer’s Month our sponsor, Rossetti Care, is hosting workshops designed to benefit professionals who come into contact with people with dementia, family members of people with dementia and carers in order to increase understanding of dementia. Workshops will be held in Ibadan, Nigeria during September 2013.
It will increase understanding of dementia, enabling professionals and carers to better meet the needs of those living with dementia.
Using interactive and engaging exercises the workshops offer an insight into the everyday experience of dementia, exploring signs, symptoms and the potential impact.
Participants will reflect on what it may be like to live with dementia, recognising that people with dementia have unique needs and preferences, and considering how best to support those living with the condition.
Anyone who comes into contact with people with dementia will benefit from this informative and inspiring workshop.
This workshop is aimed at all levels regardless of role or responsibility. It is particularly suitable for those who have occasional or regular contact with dementia and can be tailored to meet the needs of those working in a variety of settings.
Participants who have completed this workshop can go on to sit the Alzheimer’s Society Foundation Certificate in Dementia Awareness.
At the end of the workshop participants have the option to sit the Alzheimer’s Society Foundation Certificate in Dementia Awareness examination. If successful candidates receive a certificate and a badge to demonstrate their achievement. The Foundation Certificate in Dementia Awareness is externally accredited and test papers have to be bought in advance.
The workshops are free however there is a charge for the examination should you wish to take it. If you would like to participate please contact using the form below for details.
Your memory often changes as you grow older. But memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of dementia. Dementia is a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-highmerz) disease, a fatal disorder that results in the loss of brain cells and function.
It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, if the person was never good at balancing a checkbook, struggling with this task is probably not a warning sign. But if their ability to balance a checkbook has recently changed, it is something to share with a doctor.
To help, the Alzheimer’s Association has created this list of warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Individuals may experience one or more signs in different degrees.
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Vision changes related to cataracts.
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).
What’s a typical age-related change? – Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Making a bad decision once in a while.
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
What’s a typical age-related change? – Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.
This article adapted from a publication by the Alzheimer’s Association.