Hestelle – The Carer’s Story

hestelleSandra 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/

 

G8 Leaders pledge to find Dementia cure by 2025

g8dementiasummit_1-in-3Leading 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.

Memory Walk on Thursday, 26 September 2013

adi_logoMemory Walk on Thursday, 26 September 2013

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, Ibada starting 1pm where you will have the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding dementia and meet professionals working in the field of elderly care.

Memory Walk on Thursday, 26 September 2013

Memory Walk on Thursday, 26 September 2013

adi_logoThe 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.

Respect people with dementia

See the person, not just the condition

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.

Dementia awareness workshops

Dementia Awareness Workshops

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.

Topics covered

  • What is dementia?
  • The experience of dementia
  • Supporting people with dementia

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.

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.