Showing posts from July, 2014

North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy

 Taken from the Newcastle Journal Yesterday
North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy An in-depth study into dementia care in the North East is set to become a blueprint for future government policy
North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy
An in-depth study into dementia care in the North East will become a blueprint for future Government policy after the Prime Minister urged an increase in funding for research and treatment into the disease.

The most comprehensive report into dementia care in the region to date has been published by the Northern Rock Foundation and coincides with the end of a five-year national dementia strategy from central Government.

The study, which has been produced with the North East Dementia Alliance, looks set to provide a template to inform regional as well as national policy in the provision of care and services for people with dementia.

It reveals that there are 34,000 people in the North East wit…

Its time to reclaim our Health Service

We are hearing stories on a daily basis about the National Health Service being in a mess and being close to failing, yet this can be corrected if a little thought was put into it, and politicians worked together in a Cross Party Group, instead of one side changing the rules each time they come to power.

The only way to resolve these issues is for all parties to work together for the benefit of the people of this country, instead of allowing commercial and Foreign companies to take control.

There are far too many private companies getting involved with our health service, with one view, and that is to make as much money as they can at our expense. This government is not doing anything to stop this, possibly because they may well have financial links, and could be making money already at our expense.


There are far too many private jobs being done on the health service now, and its obvious that the service can no longer cope, so change…

Bring back any memories?

Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favourite 'fast food' when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him.
'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously.. Where did you eat?'
'It was a place called 'home,'' I explained.
'Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the lad was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I'd figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travell…

Carers and the life they struggle with

When we get any illness whether it is dementia, cancer or something else which turns out to be a long term illness, we are buried by the diagnosis and what is going to happen, not always thinking of what may be coming in the future.

Some people refuse to accept any diagnosis and leave others to pick the pieces up at a later date.

Like many I spend time trying to keep my head above water, keeping active while trying to keep control over my life, something which does not always come naturally, but I feel that I have to try, not just for myself but also for my wife and family.

If you are lucky you may be blessed with having plenty of support and good quality services around you. You may even have had good quality support from the diagnosis onwards, but these days that all depends on where you live.

But there are few local places where our loved ones can go for support, simply because this is patchy, as like it or not everyone with these illness is so different to anyone else, so support…

Dementia in war torn Countries

At this time my thoughts are with all those in war torn countries especially those who have dementia no matter which type it is.

Life with this illness is stressful at times without living in countries which are being torn apart by, by struggles of one kind or another.

Services for most people will be cut, or restricted, but I guess that when it comes to people living with this illness their services if any at all will be none existent.  

Its not just the services which can cause problems , but stressful situations like riots, or any kind of aggression can make life miserable.

I guess that any person with dementia 's rights will be none existent in many cases, simply because many countries hide their cases of dementia or keep it with in the family, so that the services cannot get to them and give the support they desperately need to get on with their lives.

So at this time let us all think of these people at this time, and hope that things get sorted out for all concerned

Changes dementia brings

When you are living a fast and energetic life as I was I never expected something like this illness to come and pull the rug from beneath my feet.

Before this illness started I was a University College Engineer, spending most of my time dealing with breakdowns of the electrical systems and mechanical plant. It was a busy life working all hours and being on call 24 hours a day for whatever life threw at me.

I was never bothered about working at heights, and for some reason I do not understand, I enjoyed it.

Since then my son who is also an Electrical Engineer, has told me on numerous occasions, I would spend time working on live electrical systems something which has now been banned for obvious reasons, but it was my job and I just got on with it.

My boss always said that when the chips were down, I stepped up a gear and thrived on stressful situations.

These days I cannot remember much about my job, and cannot be relied on to fit a 13 amp plug top safely. This has come as quite a sho…

Detecting dementia: the first steps towards dignity

A very interesting article in the Guardian newspaper today Detecting dementia: the first steps towards dignity While we are a long way off a cure for dementia, new techniques might help us in the drive to identify it earlier, explains Tania Browne
PET scans of the brain of a normal patient (left) versus an Alzheimer's disease patient. The scan on the right shows reduction of both function and blood flow in both sides of the brain, a feature often seen in Alzheimer's. Photograph: PR As a teenager, I lost my grandfather. But he wasn't dead. He still had his favourite music, he still loved to walk in the woods and name the flowers and plants, and he loved his soap operas. He was alive, but gone. A dignified man, a former aircraft engineer and oil company salesman, reduced to the status of a bewildered toddler lost in a shopping centre. When he died, our family felt an odd mix of relief, then guilt at the relief. The man we loved had left his body years before the body gave out…

Nice but tiring day

My wife and I took two of our grandchildren to Portsmouth historic dockyard today, as a way of saying thank you for doing so well at school. We could not take the youngest as he was still at school and did not finish until tonight.We went around the Mary Rose museum which was amazing as we have followed this since this ship was raised from the bottom of the river Solent in the 1990s and to see this again was lovely. We had not  Been there since our daughter was around 8 years of age, now we took her own children. 
We also went round the HMS Victory which was a little difficult due to the height and spaces on board and the fact that I stumbled on two occasions but I really enjoyed it all.  We finished off with a boat ride round the harbour and navy yards before heading off for an ice cream and then got the train back home.
It was a lovely day but I was very tired in the end

Hospital visit today

I went to see a specialist at the movement clinic today where he looked at my tremor and walking issues.
It seems that the tremor is not related to parkinsons, which is good, it sounds as if all my problems are related to my Lewy body dementia.
I am being refered to see someone about my hip and knee which are very sore, and the fact that I seem to be dragging my foot, which causes me to stumble occassionally.
It could well be that the muscles have weakened in one leg, but I gather that could be neurological.
I said that I don't want to go much further as I am frightened of hospitals these days.

Depression in dementia

Like many people, when I was struggling at the start of this illness, I was told it was just stress first then that I was just depressed?
After ten weeks off work and getting so bored, and being followed by our dog everywhere I went, I said I was going back to work, whether the doctor liked it or not.
I knew there was more to this than depression, but this doctor did not accept it.
This idiot wanted me on anti depressants something I refused to take as I did not need them, and this was backed up by my wife, who was a dispenser in the chemists. 
 I and my wife told her that I was not depressed, and we demanded a second opinion from someone higher up, like a hospital consultant. This did not go down too well, but we then started to get answers after a few months of tests etc.

I have met may people over the years who were in the same boat, who like me were later diagnosed as having dementia of one sort or another, so why did these doctors not look for the cause of the depression if we indeed,…

4 out of 10 people with dementia struggle with depression

Taken from the Daily Mail online
Four in ten dementia carers suffer depression: Experts say 'profound effect' condition has on family members is too often being forgotten Two-thirds of people with dementia live at home, equating to 670,000 carers in Britain Many of those will be elderly and already struggling with health problems

Improving support should not only boost their mental health but also cut the odds of their relative being taken into a nursing home or hospital because they are unable to cope.
Rebecca Wood, the chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research UK charity, said: ‘Dementia doesn’t only affect those who are diagnosed with the condition: its effects are felt far and wide, not least for individuals and families who are caring for their loved ones.’ The hidden toll of dementia was revealed by researchers from University College London who crunched together the results of studies from around the world. This showed some 40 per cent of those who look after a family m…

Myths about dementia

IThere are many myths in dementia, some of which are down to total lack of education and understanding of the illness, but this is not just caused by the general public, but many working in the front line services, Governments and leading charities are just as bad.
Sadly until this is all stopped, the stigms and myths will carry on regardless.

Alzheimers is contagious?This could be because it's called Alzheimer's Disease so people automatically think that it's contagious.

People with this illness are unable to get involved with any meeting conference or project This is the most patronising thing I have ever heard, simply because these people are looking at the illness and not the person in front of them.
People with Alzheimers and a Dementia, don't always speak at events but their actions speak volumns, a shake of the head or a nod in agreement. A thumbs up, smile etc all act as part of this persons vocabulary, if people cannot take this on board then they should never ever…

Providing the correct services for people with dementia

Dementia is a horrible illness which affects not only those who have the illness, but also our families and friends if we are lucky enough to have any.
When we are diagnosed we are encouraged to stay as active as we can, but that us not as easy as it looks.
Many people enjoy an active life and many enjoy hobbies that are not easy to carry on with.
I lost many hobbies because they were considered to be too dangerous to carry on with.
Like many people with this illness, I would love to try new hobbies such as painting, but when you struggle you your memory, it's not as easy as it looks, because you need to remember how to mix the colours in art, and this is something which stumps me every time.
There are many art classes for our carers, but very few for those with the illness, and I assume this is because people don't think we are capable of painting.
This is just one instance of hobbies we may need help and advise with. So if you know anyone who has this illness, see if you can help …

Training health professionals to understand dementia

Many professions in the health service do not have any idea about Dementia or Nurological illness, and this can cause many problems to those with the illness.
This has been confirmed by many  people who live with the illness, and also struggle with things like eye problems. 
The main problem is that many dementia problems fluctuate, so an eye test one day will have different results to one done the next day, or perhaps an hour or so later.
Many if these problems are neurological, so if as I understand correctly, the brain is not picking up the correct signals from the eyes.
So I have to ask if these eye specialists understand these problems, as many people think they don't
I have blurred and double vision, which it seems is common in many dementia's, yet these specialists simply do not understand it, or may be choose not to listen.
On top of being costly when mistakes are made, it's also quite distressing to those concerned.
As a health problem it should be ingrained into their p…

Blogging and dementia

Before I was diagnosed with this illness I had been a University College Engineer and was used to monitoring all of the College boilers and plant on one computer. While doing the other tasks such as reports, budgets,estimating and planning of maintenance on the other.

Now this was all starting to slide away, and it was a struggle to hang on to working on my computer, but I was determined that I was going to hang on to this for as long as possible

After the diagnosis I lost my job, and it was decided that we should move back to the family home in the North East, where we could start again, but that was not as easy as we expected, because with in the three months since my diagnosis Oxford Hospitals had lost my notes, and after waiting for around 6 months, it was decided that I should undergo all of the tests again to confirm the diagnosis

When I was finally diagnosed as having early onset Lewy Body Dementia, in Durham, my consultant told me to sit down and write my life story as a way of …