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Showing posts from November, 2013

Loneliness in Dementia

I have heard that it is quite common for people with dementia to feel lonely, and it’s only recently that I have realised, just how bad it gets
Many don't understand why it is in this day and age, that people feel so lonely but there are many reasons for it, when we look at it.

When we are diagnosed as having dementia, many like myself find that our friends disappear into the woodwork, and don't want to see us again, but this is down to the stigma effect caused by ignorance and lack of education about the illness.

I have also heard many people ask if the illness is contagious, and that makes me angry.

I also feel that when you are diagnosed with an illness like dementia, you are in some cases nervous or terrified of admitting to having it because if the horrible stigma, because it’s like cancer was in the 1960s, where many felt they were being stigmatised and treated like lepers, something I always remember.

The stigma has now gone from cancer but today we see it in Dementia, and i…

New Dementia Centre

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New dementia centre welcomes first patients

Today, Monday, 25 November, sees the opening of a new £10 million state-of-the-art building which will provide in-patient dementia care for the people of Sunderland and South Tyneside.

This new dementia centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital will also work closely with community services including the Memory Protection Services, challenging behaviour and community mental health teams and day hospitals to provide an integrated pathway of care.

The first patients to use the new building were transferred to its two wards, Roker for male patients and Mowbray for female patients, which replace two 12-bed wards currently located at Cherry Knowle Hospital.

Designed by Medical Architecture and built by Laing O’Rourke, the construction also received input from the University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre, a world leader on the design of services and environments for people with dementia.

This new building is part of Northu…

Eye Hospital

I went back to the eye hospital yesterday, to have a check up after the prisms had been fitted to my glasses, and it was decided that I need more tests in a few weeks time due to changes.



This is obviously to do with my Lewy Body Dementia, but they need more results before agreeing to the next step



This has been going on now for nearly a year now, and confess that its starting to wear a little thin, so I am hoping that this next visit will be the last.



While I agree that the prisms are helping, its the temporary ones which cause distress at times due to the lines across the galls which are visible during sunny days.



So if these are making a difference, which I am sure they are then perhaps its time for them to agree, that permanent prisms have to be fitted in my glasses


Grounding in Life

I have just bought a copy of a book today,a book which I read quite a lot in my early youth, and looking at it again, I am sure that it played a Major part inshaping and making me who I am today,
The book is Scouting for Boys, by Robert Baden Powell, and I often wonder how many boys grew up with it at their sides as a boy, and then used it in one way or another in life without giving it a second thought.
It’s amazing looking back over the years to when this meant so much, to a time when we were forming a new way of life.
This period of my life was very difficult to come to terms with, but the consultant thinks that this book and its ties to the Scouting movement saved me, and got me going, into a nicer world.
Although that period of stress and torment, will probably stay with me for as long as I am alive
We all shared a common bond, and that was to become better people,sharing everything we had in life, and sharing the experience of growing up with many others, from all walks of life no …

Presentation

The other day I did a follow up presentation on Dementia and Spirituality in Newcastle.



The event was being held in a local church, something I have never done before, and the odd thing which startled me on two occasions was the number of clergy sitting in the pews listening to what was being said.



When my wife and I arrived we were welcomed by the parish priest and his wife, and were shown around the new church buildings, and really made feel like guests of honour, but at the same time it made me feel relaxed, and ready for whatever came.



However during the interval of the event, when I was unsure what the response would be from comments I had passed about Dementia in the Society and the Church, but I was amazed that many of the people said that they welcomed my comments, which had made them realise just how out of touch they were as far as dementia is concerned. Judging by the looks on some faces, not everyone in the room shared their views, but then we can not win them all over i…

Weekend again

Its Friday again, and although I don't work any more, I still look forward to weekends for some odd reason.


Every day is the same really so there is no logical reason why a weekend should be different, apart from the fact that my Son usually comes down on a Saturday with our Grandson Jacob, and we enjoy seeing them.



I have been struggling this week with the dregs of the chest infection, which feels like its on its way out at long last, so I am hoping that things will pick up over the next few days, so that I can get back out with my camera, and take some pictures of the wildlife down at our local riverside park.





Meaningful Dementia Care

Dementia care is led these days by professionals from various backgrounds, all with vastly different ideas, as to what is needed as far as carers and people with dementia are concerned.

Yet I do wonder whether they actually ask those with the illness what they really want, or do they as we all know, just take it for granted that they know best, something that is well wide of the mark

I get tired of hearing these people say, that we need this or that, when in many cases it’s all down to what they want themselves and not people with the illness.

We have to fit into their, one size fits all group, and if we don't then they say we are being stubborn or awkward.

I know that if they bothered to ask us, the people with dementia, they would get a different answer all together.

I do feel that their ideas are being pushed on to us because they cost less, and take up less time

Dementia care these days is big money, but the money does not go into the care or staff training, it goes on the sharehol…

Not a good start

I felt fine when I got up this morning, but I feel a bit rough it present.

I did a presentation yesterday at Northumbria University, and I am wondering if I pushed myself too soon after being to the doctors last week with a chest infection.

I confess that I am not a good that as my wife says, I am not a good patient and hate sitting doing nothing, so this does not help at all.

At least i can do things like my blog while sitting in an armchair.

Here's hoping this goes away, and leaves my alone so I can think clearly again

Much better day

I am starting to feel much better today after the chest infection which hit me last weekend, and I am now starting to look forward to giving my presentation on Spirituality in Dementia tomorrow, for Northumbria University.

I never realised just how hard life could become when these infections hit, a person with dementia or any other Neurological disease, but today I was starting to feel more like my old self again.



Coupled with this I have had a couple of really horrible nights with very graphic nightmares, something I have not had for a while, and that hit me hard, because I was terrified to go back to sleep again.



Last night was a reasonable night, although I had a bit of a temperature, so I am hopeful that things are turning out for the best again.



I have not done a presentation for a couple of months, so I was worried that tomorrow would not happen, at all.



Its taken me a few weeks to go over the the last presentation about Spirituality in Dementia, and then  update and rewrite …

Dementia Care Training

I read this this in the press this morning and confess it made me angry, simply because its something that has been said on many occasions, yet no one takes any notice of us. I know from experience that People with dementia and carers are often asked as a way of ticking the correct box's as far as establishment is concerned, but generally they are not in the slightest interested in our views, and that goes for government groups as well, I as I found out to my horror. These people are more interested in the Commissioners of these services and not our experiences, simply because they don't understand dementia, and think that because they have seen one person with it that we are all the same  At one large Government Clinical group, we were all ignored because the commissioners had to say what they wanted, and that left many disguised and a few in tears, wondering why they had even bothered to turn up. So experience is never considered, as carers and people with dementia are tota…

Dementia and Religious beliefs

Many like myself start out in life with a strong belief in their religion which ever one that may be depending on where they live and perhaps where they were brought up.



However over the years they may well let these beliefs slide into the back ground either because, of a busy life style, or because their faith is sliding away from them.



I think I fall into the second section, and that is because, I struggled to hang on to my religious beliefs when I was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, partly because I lost control over my life as it was, and partly because there was little if any support from our religion, the Church of England.



Today I don't think things are any better, simply because as many have said, the Church is either not geared up to support people with this illness or memory problems, or they simply don't care these days.



Yet many of these people are elderly, the same people who keep many parish churches in funds on a regular basis, and once they give up the chu…

Scotland has first Dementia-friendly bank

This is marvellous news and may this be the first of many THE Bank of Scotland has been named Scotland's first official Dementia Friendly Bank after working to raise awareness of the disease among its staff. THE Bank of Scotland has been named Scotland's first official Dementia Friendly Bank after working to raise awareness of the disease among its staff. Through a partnership with the charity Alzheimer Scotland, the bank has trained staff to help them provide a better service to people with the disease and their families and carers and has also said it will work to improve practices on an on-going basis.



From today branches of Bank of Scotland will start to display Dementia Friendly Bank window stickers to let customers and other people in that area know that their local branch is involved in the initiative.



Robin Bulloch, managing director of Bank of Scotland Community Bank, said: "Bank of Scotland wants to lead the way to help customers affected by dementia.



"B…

Northumbria University and Dementia friendly Staus

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Northumbria University has announced plans to gain “dementia-friendly” status
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Northumbria University
Northumbria University has announced plans to gain “dementia-friendly” status.


The university has been working with the Alzheimer’s Society to train 70 people to become “dementia friends”.



Sue Tiplady, senior lecturer in adult nursing said: “A lot of nursing students, when they first come to us, don’t realise just how many people are affected by dementia so that’s why we invest time teaching awareness about the condition. We stress the importance of giving a positive image of people living with dementia.



“We invite people who have cared for people with dementia and those living with the condition come in to the University to speak to students so that they have a greater appreciation of the condition and how best to deal with those living with it.”



Caroline Burden, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for the North East, said: “We’re delighted Northumbr…

Sunderlands, New Dementia care unit opens

The North East’s first £10million dementia care unit is almost ready to open its doors to Sunderland’s most vulnerable patients.


 The 24-bed unit, at Monkwearmouth Hospital, has been specially designed and built over the last five years to give state of the art, pioneering care of those suffering with the debilitating disease.

 Two wards – Roker, for men, and Mowbray, for women – will officially start taking in patients from Cherry Knowle Hospital, Ryhope, on Monday.



The unit was developed as part of the £60million, Northumbria, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation

Trust Pride Project, which aims to improve mental health care in Sunderland, and staff are hoping it will provide the highest quality treatment.



Project director Tony Rainton said the opening of the centre was a “pivotol moment”.


“It is one of the biggest and boldest directions the trust has taken in dementia care,” he said. “It is the first attempt at the dementia care ideal in the North East.



“We have been working with the Demen…

University of Salford working to become Dementia Friendly

Salford to become dementia-friendly university
The University of Salford is working with Alzheimer’s Society to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia by working towards becoming ‘dementia-friendly’.



There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and the number is set to double over the next 40 years. The associated cost to the UK economy is £23 billion a year, which is expected to reach over £50 billion by 2040.



One of the ways Alzheimer’s Society is responding to this challenge is to work with key partners and the people affected by dementia to develop ‘dementia-friendly communities’.



This involves raising general awareness about dementia; encouraging carers and people with dementia to seek help and support; and helping people to maintain independence and control over their lives through community inclusion.



Academics from the health and social care, built environment, arts, media and robotics professions are collaborating across the University to share their…

Politicians and Dementia

I have been involved in many government plans for Dementia, and I confess, that I have little or no confidence in what they do. To me its all down to them looking good, without doing very much.



In one notable occasion, the launch of the National Dementia Strategy. After the launch, I asked the minister who was there, about the amount of NEW MONEY, being put into the strategy.



He said NONE, as its already in the system, "and only needs to be better spent".



Yet they had publicly said that money would be available to get the Strategy off the ground, and at a meeting the other day people were genuinely asking if the strategy had actually done anything positive in the UK, when we see all of the sad cases of people with dementia being abused, in hospitals and care homes.



We should have had mandatory training for all care staff, whether the care home owners liked it or not.



We then saw councils like Durham, getting money to grit roads all courtesy of the National Health Service a…

Dementia and chest infections

I had never realised until recently just how much a chest infection changes a person with a neurological illness like dementia.



I had a bad one three weeks ago and realised that I was going up the wall, and was doing and saying things that hurt my wife, or at least I did after I did it.



I honestly do not know how this happens but it is hurtful to everyone around, at the time, as we do things which are totally out of character.

I have been diagnosed as having another yesterday, so that must be about the sixth one this year, and its getting me down.



I thought I was alright in the morning apart from being chesty, having a horrendous headache and coughing up loads of rubbish. We then we went out shopping where I went dizzy and ended up hanging on to the shop shelves for security


After a while my wife rang the doctors to get an appointment before they closed for the weekend.

But these people seem to have vastly different ideas, each time you see the doctor that is in the clinic when we …

Edinburgh to be dementia friendly

Capital in bid to help people with dementia EDINBURGH City Council has approved a plan which city leaders hope will help the capital become a dementia-friendly city. EDINBURGH City Council has approved a plan which city leaders hope will help the capital become a dementia-friendly city. There are currently around 7142 people with dementia in Edinburgh and it is expected that this number will increase by 62% over the next 20 years.


A report to the council's health, social care and housing committee outlines the need to increase awareness of the issues that affect people with dementia and to challenge some of the stigmas attached to the condition.


As part of efforts to become dementia-friendly the council is to talk to retailers, public transport firms and health and voluntary bodies to provide advice about how to help people with the condition. Shops, for example, will be given advice and information about how to help customers who become confused or agitated, who struggle to r…

New research into Dementia with Lewy Bodies

A research team at the University of Bath has found clues to treating patients with dementia and Parkinson’s.



Work by the team has identified a possible target to reduce the levels of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which is linked to both Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.




Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia thought to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK, with symptoms including memory loss, fluctuations in attention and alertness, hallucinations, sleep disturbances and movement problems.



Research has already linked changes in the brain in people with dementia with Lewy bodies to those happening in the brain in Parkinson’s disease.



Now the team at the University of Bath has found another common link between the two - a protein called alpha-synuclein.



Professor David Brown from the department of Biology and Biochemistry said: “We know that alpha-synuclein forms abnormal clumps in the brain in dementia with Lewy bodies and in Parkinson’s d…

A brilliant tool for people with memory problems

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Do you know someone with memory problems ? I've just put a video on YouTube which shows a 4-minute demonstration of our new simplified tablet computer to help people with memory loss or learning disabilities.

If you have time to click on the YouTube link you can see Co-Pilot in action. Co-Pilot helps people who have difficulties with daily life to gain more independence, and aids their carers at the same time. You can see more information at our website, and keep in touch with our news with Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Twitter. Even if you don't know anyone who could benefit from Co-Pilot, it would help us reach those who do if you could let your friends know about it. Thanks (and of course apologies if I've wasted your time!) Ray Broadbridge





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I have trialled this and it was brilliant, well worth the effort.
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Living with dementia

As some one living with dementia, I have realised that life is an up hill struggle at times. When I was first diagnosed, I did not think it possible to do so much and have so much fun, after what to many is the diagnosis from hell. But I guess I was stubborn enough to fight it, when my wife and daughter said, that they were not going to let my give in to the illness. To many people this diagnosis gives you a  label, and from then on you feel pidgeon holed, but its up to the person with the illness, and then family to fight all the way if they can, and if the person who has the illness is fit and young enough to do it. There are many charities and organisation's today, where people with dementia can go for support and help, although many don't offer the type if practical suport that they used to give, However by spending time with someone on line it is possible ti find support of line kind or another, I have enjoyed a few extra years doing things I would never have thought pos…

Call for national dementia database

I read this today and was shocked that the police want a data base of people with dementia, and I started to wonder why they really need this. I know that many of us have said publicly that as people with dementia, we would gladly carry gps devices, which could help, if we got lost or in trouble, but is this a step too far.  It is my belief that the police are stretched to the limit now, and are missing out on many cases of crime, simply because they don't have the officers on the ground to deal with it. So who is going to deal with this.   While I agree that there should be a data base of people with dementia, so that unpaid bills etc,  are picked up and noted, and they can be looked at to see if the person is alright or in need of medical treatment. I do feel that this would be better dealt with by the local councils and not the police. Many people with dementia are terrified of anyone in uniform, and to be honest some of these police officers today frighten me, even though …