Sunday, 28 April 2013

Long weekend

Its been a very long week with many problems, and the weekend dragged a little as I was trying to write a talk about Dementia and spirituality.

I had problems getting my head round it because of the title, then it gradually sank in what it all meant, so I am now getting on with the writing.

Spirituality makes us think of many things, including religion and its a topic which seems to cause a lot of problems around places like the UK, where people are against anything religious, or it seems that way having read many articles, about this topic on the Internet. However religion is very personal and we must take care never to upset anyone.

However I do think our spirituality is also about our way of life and what we believe in, as I was always brought up to have a strong belief in everything I did in life, whether at work, home or in pastimes and hobbies. I was also brought up top have a strong Christian religion, and it has stuck, but I would never dream of thrusting my ideas down someone else's throat. I think we all have vastly different ideas about what we want from life, including our quality of life either now or in the future, and to me this is also part of our spiritual life.

This could also take in things like our life story, which will include, who we are, where we came from, our families and friends, as well as things like, our pets, likes and dislikes.

I have changed quite a bit since my diagnosis, and have taken to liking things that would never be tolerated before such as curries and rock music, but why this has happened I really don't understand.

My tastes in music were always on the conservative side I suppose, as while I liked  pop music I also like classical something which raised a few eyebrows at home when I was a teenager. I never liked rock music of any sort , but now I love Freddie Mercury and Queen along with a few other rock bands. My tastes in foods changed to the state where if I get the chance of a curry I will jump at it, and the hotter the better, yet no one knows why this change has happened.

My choice of food depends what is on offer but these days I have been known to try anything to see what its like, while my wife looks on. I know that there are things that I will not go near to, but eventually that may change.

But spirituality takes on all of these things in dementia, and its all got to be looked at, so that those looking after us can tell what we like doing in life, including hobbies, such as art, dancing, walking and many other things.

I am hoping this week in going to get better than the last, but as with all things in dementia, you just have to take it as it comes

Friday, 26 April 2013

Assistive Technology


I was once told that it was very wrong and against the civil liberties of people with dementia to use assistive technology, and that was when I was trialing a Buddy System devise, which made me feel safe when I was out walking on my own, something I enjoy.

My answer to this was this, as far as I was concerned my civil liberties went out of the window when
I got the diagnosis of early onset Lewy Body Dementia, so anything which helps me remain free to do my own thing for a little bit longer, without my dear wife tagging on, is a very good idea.

Yet why is it so wrong for us to use it when everyone else does these days.

Some of us use assistive technology to allow us to carry on with life after a diagnosis of a neurological illness like dementia, and it allows us to have that bit of extra freedom for a bit longer.

But I often wonder how the modern society would managed without it if everything went down one week or just a weekend, no mobile phones or Internet..

Everywhere you go someone has a mobile phone clamped firmly to their ear, and in some cases I have been on a train and seen people with two or three mobile phones each?

Sometimes these days people cannot switch them off when doing things like, buying a bus ticket or train ticket, so they are having a three way conversation.

I was always brought up to switch the radio or television off if someone rang us up at home, but these days people don't care, it seems that there is no respect for others anymore.

I know it is important to get on in business these days but I do wonder how much damage it does to the brain and the eyes.

My eyes sometimes struggle  I am using the computer, so I have to be selective when I use it, but I have noticed that my ear sometimes gets very warm when using my smart phone, and this makes me wonder what is going on, as I don't hold tight to my ear.

 Has technology gone too far these days when we cannot go anywhere without it.


Monday, 22 April 2013

There are times when I hate this illness

I knew last week was bad, but it was this morning when I realised just how bad it had got.

Last Thursday I decided to upgrade my life story as some pages were out of date, and I had added other information, so I printed the new sheets off, and then for some reason, only my brain knows why. 

 I went off to shred the old copies, but realised halfway through that I had actually shredded the originals and the new copies.

I had mixed them all up.

After this I was close to tears, and there was no one at home to talk to. So I started all over again from copies I had stored on discs.
Needless to say its now all up to date, and out of my way, with a large note in the front saying, DO NOT TOUCH ON BAD DAYS.
Will it work or will I not understand it next time round  


My wife reminded me this morning, that I was giving a talk at Northumbria University next week, something I had totally forgotten about, so I went to the computer to find the talk and read it through, to see if there were any mistakes, as I don't always see them.

However when I got there I could not find it anywhere and realised that I had deleted the shortcuts and the talk by mistake.

So I set too and started to rewrite it again from notes on sheets of paper left beside the computer.

Then I remembered that I had changed to title of the talk, and eventually found it in the wrong folder on my computer. 


 
 Dementia is so unpredictable at times

Can Dementia lead to eyesight problems

Dementia and Eyesight problems
 I noticed some time ago, that my eyesight was giving me problems when trying to read and concentrate on things like my blog, but when I got my eyes tested I was told there is nothing wrong.

I know that my brain fluctuates quite regularly during the day, through my Lewy Body Dementia, and I go from being active to not being able to work things out, so I am now wondering whether this has some effect on my eyesight as well as this also fluctuates, and after a while it becomes annoying.
I sometimes get blurred vision and other times I see double. I had double vision problems many years ago and it was corrected, but that was before the Lewy Body dementia started. 

I confess that I am starting to wonder if the dementia is behind this, especially as it’s intermittent and not there all of the time.
I try to keep myself active but when this starts it causes upset as I cannot do the things I want to do, or cannot see properly to concentrate.
 
 
   

 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Benefits of brain training for dementia uncertain


Benefits of brain training for dementia uncertain

Wednesday April 17 2013

The brain exercises used were more demanding than crosswords

"Forget popping pills – the best way to boost your brainpower is a crossword or sudoku," the Mail Online website states. The website reports that fish oils and ginkgo supplements won’t prevent cognitive decline, but that brain training games might.

The story is based on a well-conducted review of previous research that looked at prevention of cognitive decline. Researchers found 32 relevant studies investigating the use of different treatments, including drug treatments, supplements, physical activity and cognitive exercises, for preventing cognitive decline.

Interestingly, there was no firm evidence that pharmacological treatments (such as cholinesterase inhibitors and vitamin pills) were of any benefit for preventing cognitive decline. In fact, the available research suggested that certain treatments, such as hormonal therapies, may worsen memory.

The researchers also found inconsistent evidence for the supposed benefits of physical activity for preventing cognitive problems.

However, they did find some evidence (from three studies) that brain training exercises could help prevent cognitive decline. It is important to note that none of the research looked at sudoku or crosswords and that the ‘brain training’ involved was of a more intensive and long-lasting nature.

The bad news is that most things that have been tried to prevent cognitive decline don’t appear to work (or are even harmful), while the probable benefits of cognitive training are also uncertain. However, further research into ways to improve or maintain cognitive function may well change this view.

 Where did the story come from?

This was a systematic review that looked at a total of 32 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that studied treatments for cognitive decline. It was carried out by researchers from the Divisions of Geriatric Medicine and General Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto. No competing interests or sources of financial support were reported.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

The Mail Online’s reporting generally represented this research well. However, the headline that you should "forget popping pills – the best way to boost your brainpower is a crossword or sudoku" is misleading. The studies included in the review did not use puzzles of this nature. They instead used cognitive exercises that were described by the researchers as “labour and resource intensive” – less laid back than completing a crossword puzzle or sudoku grid.

What’s more, there are currently no pills you can “pop” to “boost your brainpower”.

What kind of research was this?

The researchers say that, as the population as a whole is ageing, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways of preventing or limiting cognitive decline in healthy older adults. In this review they looked at evidence on how effective drug treatments and non-pharmacological interventions might be.

Because this was a well-conducted systematic review we can be fairly sure that the researchers identified all available RCTs that have evaluated the effectiveness of different interventions for preventing cognitive decline. However, the quality of the individual studies is likely to vary, which limits the strength of any conclusions that can be made.  

What did the research involve?

The researchers searched four literature databases up to October 2011 using search terms such as ‘cognitive decline’, ‘dementia’ and ‘mild cognitive impairment’ to find relevant RCTs. They defined these as RCTs looking at pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions in people aged 65 years or older who had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study.

Studies were eligible if they looked at the effect of the intervention on any form of cognitive decline, including the development of mild cognitive impairment (if the person had normal cognition at study start), worsening cognitive function on cognitive testing, or progression to dementia. The focus of their review, however, was on people with normal cognition at study start.

A total of 5,205 articles were initially identified but, when reviewed, only 32 were eligible for inclusion. The researchers assessed the quality of these studies using valid criteria.

What were the basic results?

The researchers found 26 studies on pharmacological interventions for cognitive problems. These were:

  • Three studies on cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonists, which included 89 people and lasted between three and 15 months. These drugs are sometimes used to treat people with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. From these studies they found no evidence of an overall effect on memory.
  • Thirteen studies on various hormonal therapies. Seven studies were on oestrogen therapies and included a total of 10,792 women. These studies lasted between two weeks and five years. These studies overall showed that oestrogen treatments actually worsened memory. Three studies were on testosterone therapies. These studies lasted between three months and three years and included 144 men. These studies provided inconsistent evidence of any effect of testosterone on memory. Three studies were on DHEA (a synthetically produced version of a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands). These studies lasted between six weeks and one year and included 317 people. These studies provided inconsistent evidence of any effect of DHEA on memory.
  • Two studies on ginkgo (a type of herb found in China), including 348 people and lasting between six weeks and 3.5 years. These studies provided no evidence of any effect on memory.
  • Four studies of vitamins and fatty acids, including 6,779 people and lasting between four weeks and 9.6 years. These studies provided no evidence of any effect on memory.
  • Four studies of miscellaneous pharmacological interventions (including various anti-inflammatories and heart drugs), including 7,530 people and lasting between four weeks and 3.7 years. These studies provided inconsistent evidence of an effect on memory.

The following studies of non-pharmacological interventions were identified:

  • Three studies on physical exercise, including 244 people and lasting between six months and one year. These studies provided inconsistent evidence on exercise.
  • Three studies on cognitive training (mental exercises), including 3,321 people and lasting between three weeks and five years. These studies showed significant improvements in auditory memory (processing spoken information) and attention.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that there is no consistent evidence that any pharmacological treatment is beneficial in preventing cognitive decline in healthy older adults. Furthermore, studies investigating oestrogen therapies have suggested that these treatments may actually cause a decline in memory.

They also said that there is weak evidence to suggest that physical activity can have an effect in preventing cognitive decline and that formal cognitive training exercises may have some potential benefit in preventing cognitive decline.
Conclusion

As the researchers say, there are various products on the market that claim to prevent cognitive decline. These range from physical and mental activities to prescription and non-prescription medications.

However, as the researchers mention, the evidence supporting the benefits of these interventions can be limited, and studies into these types of intervention are often of poor quality.

This review usefully clarifies what scientific evidence is available for these interventions, and what this evidence shows.

Researchers found no firm evidence that any pharmacological interventions would be of benefit in preventing cognitive decline. In fact, certain treatments including oestrogen therapies may even worsen memory.

Looking at exercise, there was evidence from one study on resistance training that this may improve memory, but in a study of resistance and balance training and another of aerobic exercise there was no effect. However, three studies on cognitive training or mental exercises did suggest that these may be beneficial.

The studies in the review used labour- and resource-intensive cognitive training exercises. They did not assess more readily available puzzles such as crosswords or sudoku, as the headlines suggest. The studies in question appear to involve the level of cognition and memory equivalent to learning a foreign language, rather than simply filling out a crossword. So the headline that the “best way to boost your brainpower is a crossword or sudoku” is not accurate.

This may have been extrapolated from the suggestion by the researchers that further research is needed to address the potential impact of more readily accessible puzzles, such as crosswords.

While this research shows the state of the current evidence on the effects of treatments to prevent cognitive decline in older people, uncertainties remain. Further, high-quality evidence may well change our understanding of what can and cannot help prevent cognitive decline.

 

doctor warns against dementia screening


Doctor warns against dementia screening

A couple of months ago I wrote this article, and have decided to revisit it because it has caused so much upset by its misuse by the press.
I like everyone else with this illness read press articles and assume that they are correct, but its only later that the truth comes out

However from what I understand it was a piece of research to see whether it was feasible and in fact cost effective to do dementia screening and what the implications would be.
 
 

Wednesday 17 April 2013

The routine screening of all elderly patients for dementia would be a “disaster” as the stigma and anxiety caused by being diagnosed before symptoms appear could greatly outweigh any benefits, an expert  has warned.

Screening is pointless in any case, because there is no treatment for dementia and no prospect of an imminent breakthrough,  says Dr Chris Fox from the University of East Anglia’s medical school.

At present, routine screening does not take place in the UK, but some have called for it. A diagnosis can be made following cognitive tests and a brain-imaging referral.

But Dr Fox, who will speak at the TEDMED Live healthcare conference in Bristol later today, believes the risk of misdiagnosis is too high. “World figures for dementia are skyrocketing towards a predicted 60 million in around 10 years,” he will say. “We are experiencing a dementia tsunami, with the crest of the wave yet to come. But rolling out routine dementia screening will be an even worse disaster. People who are diagnosed with very early-stage dementia will be worse off than people who are not diagnosed until their dementia is more apparent.”

Dr Fox adds: “Current tests are not particularly robust and there is a relatively high risk of misdiagnosis so all of this turmoil could be even more unnecessary. It is unfair to cause fear and concern when treatments are not available, the chances of the condition actually progressing are not clear, and when symptoms may never take hold in the patient’s lifetime.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “There is currently no benefit in trying to diagnose people with dementia before they show clear symptoms. We do, nonetheless, encourage an early diagnosis and referral for those who show symptoms.”


I read this article and wondered what the Doctor was trying to say, and I confess that at the time, I thought that he was wrong to say it.

 But on reflection, I am not sure whether this is all factual or whether it’s all down to the press writing their own version of events.
I am more inclined to wait to see what the Research Doctor has said, rather than believe the press, because as we all know the press always write things to suit themselves, true or not.

 In many cases a dramatic headline does a lot of damage, especially when it’s been taken out of context

But as someone with Lewy Body Dementia, I know that we may all show signs of dementia in one form or another when we get diagnosed , but as I understand it there are many illness which mimic the illness, and until we get further into it we don't really know whether our diagnosis was right first time.

 I think I understand that many people have been diagnosed at an early stage, and this could lead to accusations of misdiagnosis, if it was done in a hurry as screening could be.

 I say that because cancer screening is not perfect, as we are always hearing of problems in the news.

When we consider that there are going to be many thousands more being diagnosed in the future, in fact the facts state the figures will rocket over the next few years, so we need to look for better ways of finding cures etc.

I have had two diagnosis-es of Lewy Body dementia, but to be honest I am not convinced, I know that there is something very wrong, and get very agitated when I cannot do the things that I have done for many years, and I cannot always remember what I am trying to write or say

My life is not what it used to be and things change on a weekly basis.

But as one consultant said, the only way to make sure is at the point of death, when the brain can be removed and looked at.

 I found out later that this had been totally fabricated by the press to publish the wrong information.

 But in all honesty, until we get a better way of treating the illness, what is the point of screening people in the masses as it only prolongs the agony, and not everyone can cope with the diagnosis of dementia.

But we all need more research of one form or another, so that those following in the future have a much better chance of survival and if possible a cure.

 Many people cannot cope with the results of the diagnosis and many simply don't want to know, whether because they are frightened of the term dementia, or they simply refuse to accept that there is anything wrong with them.
But whether we like it or not research has a big part to play in dementia, and we must do all we can to play our parts in this as people with dementia.

It’s only my opinion and I may well be wrong myself, but I live in hope that a new treatment may come soon for those who follow behind, but I know that without the researchers doing their job like this, we will never get anywhere.

I know that eventually screening for dementia will be quite common, and we will look back and wonder what all of the fuss was about in the first place, so let’s all get behind the research people and give them all the help we can, whether the press like it or not.

We owe it to those who are coming behind us in the future.

 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Neurological Illness and Research

As with most of these illness we all have major problems, in life after the diagnosis, but we have to adjust things to suite, or sit back and sink.

As one well known Professor said, we either use it or loose it, and that has always stuck in my memory.

Using a computer when you have dementia is like watching a computer which has a virus, seeing all the words come up in the wrong order and spelt totally wrong.
In my own case the letters of the words are there but all in the wrong order, but this is due to the fact that after years of being right handed , I now find that my left hand is much faster then the right, so I end up sitting on one hand to type on the keyboard.

So my using my computer these days is not brilliant, as I have lost the ability to remember spellings, sometimes have problems using the keyboard, my eyesight is starting to play up now, but at least I am trying to get other people involved, and to help them realise that they may have a Neurological illness, but they can still get out and help themselves, and also help others by getting involved in projects with people like DeNDRoN.

This inspired me to get more involved in finding answers for others.

Some time ago I got invited to join a Government backed group looking into Neurological diseases and research, as I thought it was the one way in which I, as a person with Lewy Body Dementia could help.

My idea was that unless those with these illness do something tangible to help researcher’s now, it may take a lot longer to find answers to any form of cure to things like dementia.

I know that this illness cannot be cured at present, but we have to have hope for those being diagnosed in the future.
I also know that there is little chance of a cure for me, but at least there is a chance of finding something for other people in times to come.

We all know that there are medications which can slow some variations of these illnesses down but nothing as we know it can stop it, or at least nothing is recognised as a treatment to stop it.

While medications work for some people they do not work for all, which can be distressing for those with the illness and family members watching. Some illnesses have no treatment at all, to either slow it down and make life that little bit easier.

But like everyone else who has an illness like this, we will try anything which will extend our lives for that little bit longer, and why not.

I suppose we have one major problem with research into some of these illnesses, and that is things like dementia are not what many call trendy diseases and therefore many companies will not get involved.
As well as that trying to find a cure for dementia is not as easy as finding cures for other major illnesses and therefore it takes a lot of money to get the research off the ground.

Groups like DeNDRoN Dementia and Neurological Diseases Research Network are one group who invite patients to get involved at local and national level, and to get involved with projects looking into future research work.


Some may think it all about being part of research, but its also being involved with PPI groups, Patient Public Involvement, where we can look at future research projects,  while at the same time meeting new friends and learning about our own illness as we progress

They can sometimes get a person into Clinical Trials for new drugs which are usually run in the regional centres around the UK.


Although as I am on medication which was prescribed early on in my illness, I don't really wish to come off it to try something else, unless I know it will make life better.

I have had the privilege to be involved with many meetings and conferences where I have spoken about life with dementia, and will hopefully continue to do so if I can help groups like DeNDRoN.


But we must remember that we would not get anywhere in research without people like DeNDRoN.

It is my own theory that if we don’t get involved and try to help, how can we possibly expect others to perform miracles and come up with cures in the future.

I have also donated my brain to the brain bank when I die, so that it may help research in the future.
This is another brilliant cause and we should all embrace it.

I would encourage anyone with an neurological illness who is genuinely interested in helping, to get in touch with DeNDRoN or some other organisation to see what is possible.

Can sudoku help stop the cognitive decline


In a medical Journal it was stated that games like Sudoku can help slow cognitive decline, if you can use games like this it can be useful, but how many people with even mild dementia can use things like this.
I have tried this but can never fathom it out no matter what I do, but perhaps I cannot see the obvious.
Although I was told from the onset to keep my brain active in any way possible, I have never been able to fathom that game no matter how I try
I have become slightly addicted to a game called Mahjong something which my young Granddaughter got me onto and she has an illness called Asperger’s, something which was hard to cope with at first as no one understood what was wrong with her,…and there had been no problems in either family with this type of thing before, or so we thought until fairly recently when a link was made on the other side of the family.
One day I thought about this game and decided that if she could do it why not me, so now we are both fascinated by this game in all of its stages, and when I am playing it at home she will often sit beside me and point out certain things.
I admit there are times when I cannot see correct cards no matter what I do, but I hardly ever give up, unless I am too tired to carry on.
I have always tried to keep my brain active with brain training games, and they seem to help, especially if I keep spending around 20 minutes each day doing these games.
One Professor in Lewy Body Dementia, once told me to either use it regularly or you give up and lose it, and this had stuck, although there are days when I can't be bothered with anything, but then its usually the days when I cannot work things out properly.
I wonder how many other people with cognitive problems can do games like Sudoku, or whether it’s just someone in the science departments saying that it would be good for us.
I know that I am not as good as I was at anything these days including using the computer, but I force myself to keep trying something even though it may take longer than it used to do, perhaps I am bloody minded about it, but I am terrified of not being able to use the computer anymore, and I think this drives me on.
Life has changed for me and I rely on voice activated software to write at times, but that also helps as I have days when even simply words cannot be spelt by me.
My wife says I am always doing something on the computer while she prefers to watch Television, but to me the computer keeps the brain active as you have to be thinking all of the time, where the television does everything for you.
Can anyone else do these game’s.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Art and its use in dementia

Although I struggle with drawing these days and can not remember which colours to mix when painting I find art is a very useful subject and tool to use with people who have dementia, as it allows us all to express ourselves in our own way.

Modern art means nothing to many older people, yet when I was at a meeting in an Alzheimer's Cafe once a local artist hung some of his paintings on the wall, and encouraged people to discuss what they could see, in each.

This was an interesting experience as to be honest I did not like modern art, as I could not understand what it was or what it was trying to say, yet after an hour in that room I was hearing peoples ideas which all started to make some sort of sense.

The odd thing about this was that each person seemed to see something slightly different in each picture, so it proves that although our brain is affected by an illness, we can still see things that are not always obvious to others.

I found this with photography, as many of my friends who I met since being diagnosed with lewy body dementia love photography, as they can express themselves in a different way.
One such friend once said that we tend to forget the settings at times, but through digital photography its not too expensive when we make mistakes, and the results can be very interesting.

This is because we sometimes take shots that no one else would bother with, and the results can be very interesting and remarkable.

So it proves that art in all its forms should be looked at and used when trying to help people who have this illness.

Sadly in the North East of England where I live there are very few places where these ideas can be seen in practice, unless you travel many miles and then that causes tiredness before you even start.


However I am hopeful that in the near future many new art clubs will be set up for people with all disabilities including dementia I did go to one local art club for people with disabilities but the noise was so horrific that I just gave up. This was caused by people going just to talk rather than learn or do art projects, but as many people know noise is counter productive in a room where there are people with dementia. But I think this event was badly organised and run, so perhaps something else will come up soon.

But I encourage groups to use art in all its forms to get people with dementia involved.








Tuesday, 9 April 2013

One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds poll

Dementia: One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds poll


  
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One in six people suffer loneliness when diagnosed with dementia
One in six people suffer loneliness when diagnosed with dementia


The majority of people living  with dementia in Wales have  reported feeling lonely and suffering with depression and anxiety, according to a new report.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia 2013 report, published  today Tues, found that 70% of people with dementia said they had stopped doing things they used to due to a lack of confidence while 63% also felt anxious or  depressed.
A third of people said they had lost friends after a diagnosis, while 62% of those who lived on their own said they were lonely.
Meanwhile, 63% of people in Wales said they believed those with dementia have a bad quality of life.
There are now more than 17,000 people diagnosed with the condition in Wales – an increase of 800 people since last year.
The charity is now calling on for appropriate support services  to be made available, while urging people and organisations to play their part in helping ensure  their communities are dementia  friendly.
Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer’s Society in Wales,  said: “This report reveals the  stark truth that too many people with dementia, especially the thousands who live alone, are  truly isolated.
“We need to put a stop to this  epidemic of loneliness, not only  to improve quality of life but  also to save thousands from  reaching crisis point and being  admitted to hospital unnecessarily or care homes early.
“The reality is that many  people still feel disconnected  from society. It’s time for all of  us to play a part in helping  people with dementia live well  with the condition.”
The research also found that  people with dementia said they  relied on relatives and friends  for social contact but 21% said  they speak to friends or family  on the telephone less than once  a month.
Older People’s Commissioner  for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said:  “The figures published today by  the Alzheimer’s Society reflect  what many older people from  across Wales, as well as their  families and those who care for  and support them, have told me  about the impact that dementia  can have on an individual’s quality of life.
 “More must be done to ensure  that people with dementia have  the right help and support, delivered on a timely basis, to  remain active and engaged in  their communities, which can  make such a positive difference  to people’s lives.
 “There is already much good  practice underway in Wales,  with a number of excellent  schemes, such as volunteer befriending schemes, that play a  vital role in helping older people  with dementia to maintain their  independence and maintain  their quality of life.
 “As the number of people  with dementia will increase in  the years ahead, this good practice must be rolled out more  widely across Wales, alongside  other important  initiatives like  dementia-friendly communities,  to ensure that people with dementia can have the best possible quality of life.”
Age Cymru spokesman Iwan  Rhys Roberts said: “With one in  three over 65s set to develop  some form of dementia over the  next 20 years these figures highlight potential areas for improvement in the care that is  provided for people who have  dementia.
“Age Cymru has long called  for a commitment to providing  more money for research into  the causes of dementia so that  this research is proportional to  the potential burden of the disease.
“Treatment services must  provide a holistic approach and  address all the needs of individual patients and attention  should also be given to improving public awareness of the  symptoms of dementia and reducing the levels of stigma attached to the condition.”
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “We have worked in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to improve support for people with dementia and their carers, and have focused recent investment on provision and support.
“The development of dementia-friendly communities is a key aim of the Dementia Vision for Wales, which was developed jointly with the Alzheimer’s Society and published in 2011.
“Our work on the development of dementia-friendly communities in Wales will continue to emphasise the availability of information, support and advocacy services, and training for those delivering care to ensure we better recognise and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness and dementia.
“The Commissioner for Older People has established a new five year Ageing Well in Wales Programme, which will support the Welsh Government Phase 3 Strategy for Older People.
“One of the four areas that the Programme is initially looking at is creating dementia-friendly and supportive communities – five sites in Wales have already committed to action.”


I have just read this article and I find it to very so very true these days.

Return to another life

Yesterday we went back to Oxford, where i spent 30 years working as an engineer in the University.

The reason we went back was because my wife had to go to a special service at the cathedral with the Mothers Union.

We spent yesterday afternoon looking at the city centre and at first impression it looked as run down as many other city's.

This is very sad as you would expect things to get better and not worse. I confess that I can not really remember much about the city centre when I became ill, but I don't think it was anywhere near as bad as this.

The matter was made much worse by the fact that the whole place was swarming with tourists and it was a free for all, where everyone put themselves first and forgot their manners.

I don't think I have missed very much since we left there.

Mobility scotters

Pedestrians are not always protected these days even on public footpaths, because of cyclists and disabled scooter's. But  I like many ...