Monday, 10 June 2013

Dementia and Health and Safety

As someone who was trained as an Engineer, I was always safety conscious, as I always thought that accidents could happen at any time of the day or night



I spent many hours doing Risk Assessments and health and safety reports, looking at where accidents could happen etc.



Yet here I am today, another statistic with Dementia, and I often wonder who anyone can write a risk assessment etc, for people with dementia, as many like myself just switch off and do something which was not planned or thought of.



Last week I decided that the garage windows needed to have the painted burnt off so they could be painted properly from scratch.


 I have not done this job for many years ago, and even though I planned things out, so that  I knew what I was supposed to do, it did not work as planned.



The first day went well and there was no damage to anything including myself.



The second day things went from bad to worse as my co-ordination went out of the window and I kept crossing my hands for some odd reason, and this meant the I kept putting one hand in front of the blow lamp.



I later sat down and thought about it, and my answer was this, I think I had meant to have changed hands with the tools, but instead my hands would cross, and got rather hot in the process.



I can hear people saying that I should not have even tried to do this job as I have dementia, but like it or not we all try to hang on the jobs we have done in the past even though they may be becoming slightly dangerous.



Since then this job has been stuck off as something I will ever attempt to do again, but I had to learn this the hard way, as I was convinced that on most good days nothing would have happened.



I was lucky that I did not get any serious burns, and I guess that I learnt the hard way.

But just how can someone else tell me what I should and should not do as we all have different capabilities and problems.



No one can tell me that they understand this illness  well enough to be able to write a risk assessment for me to follow, because they don't understand me or my problems.



Yes they may have a basic understanding of this illness, but as we are all vastly different and there are so many variations where do you start.



Another problem is that many care staff etc are under trained in dementia, if they are trained at all, so how are they going to do these tests



To say we are all the same and react in the same way would be an insult to us all.



In this day of the sue culture where a lot of the public do stupid things, and then sue someone else
simply because they are too lazy to look what they are doing, and think it is fine to sue others because they are too stupid to look first.



With this in mind you have to look at this subject, and put it into context.



Unlike the rest we are not stupid, we just happen to be inflicted with dementia, which stops us thinking clearly.



Yes we make mistakes but these mistakes are on the whole genuine and unplanned.



I don't want to sit back and give in the this illness, but intend fighting it as much as I can.


Elderly and driving

After the news in the media during the last few days, I think it's time that elderly people had their eyes etc tested on a regular basis...