Sunday, 21 September 2014

Becoming more involved after the diagnosis of dementia

Many people feel very flat once they have been given the diagnosis of dementia, and cannot think of any way forward. This is because you cannot think of any questions at the diagnosis, and they only come to you when your back home, trying to work it all out in your mind.




This is when many people come off the rails so to speak, because they become desperate and depressed, and without support you feel as if your world is coming to an end.




 I was extremely lucky to have a wife and daughter who were very supportive and did not allow me to dwell on what may happen.




My daughter who is a biologist explained quite a lot at the time, and she still helps me understand things these days




But for others things may be different, depending on whether you have support at home, or friends near by who can support you




There are many online chat rooms where you can get help, many of which operate 24 hours a day, but that depends on one fact, you need  a computer, and like it or not many people do not have them these days.



Yet there are opportunities out there if you get the support and know where to look


There are many charities dealing with dementia who give some support, but getting good local support these days is very hit and miss




There are also many new independent dementia groups being set up around the UK and they are filling in many of the gaps left by the closure of Alzheimer's Disease Offices and support groups.




Many of these places have support staff who can come out to see you and give you the advise you may well need.




Many people say that they would rather have a face to face chat with someone than discussing problems on the computer, and in many cases I would agree.




If you are lucky enough to get support and get involved with a good charity, you may well be invited to be a spokesman in the media, or you may be invited to be a speaker at events.  If its what you would like to do., there are always opportunities.


Speaking about your problems, not only allows others to understand what you are going through, but it also helps you to understand the illness yourself and come to terms with it



 I confess that the thought of doing this before the illness, was something I would never even consider, yet I took to it after a while and never looked back.




Other people take this a step further by working with Alzheimer's Disease International, or in Europe where they have committees working on dementia projects.




Because I dropped out of the charity work for a while I was never invited to join these groups, because you need to be sponsored by the charity.




But the world is your oyster after the diagnosis, and you should never sit back and think its the end.




Graduate nurses and dementia

This week we have another three morning sessions talking to graduate nurses at Northumbria University, about coping with dementia. I say &q...