Sunday, 27 November 2016

Memory and Keeping fit

Its been in the press quite a lot recently about keeping fit, when you have a brain problem like dementia, but this is not as easy as it sounds, because there are not enough trained staff in the country to cope with these illnesses

I have often wondered how you are supposed to keep fit, when you have dementia, memory,  or any other neurological illnesses, because your brain does not work as fast as other people brains, therefore your reactions are much slower
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I was once told by one doctor at home that I was overweight, and should do something about it.

So after a few weeks of wondering what to do, I was referred to the local gym.

However this was to be short lived, as the instructors knew very little about their roles, let alone dementia and neurological problems.

I went for my induction, and was told to be careful, in following all of the given advice, but had this young lady really been listening when my wife explained that I had a form of dementia, obviously not.

The next day I turned up, and was going to speak to the instructors, who were there that day, but guess what, there was no one available.

So I carefully checked the scribbled notes I had written, and got started.

Eventually I came to the tread mill, and looked at it carefully. The problem being that people with dementia or neurological illnesses, don't always see the obvious.

I pressed the button on the machine, and had to run extremely fast, but eventually fell off the back of the machine. I stopped the machine, got back on and the same thing happened again.

Suddenly from nowhere an instructor appeared and gave me a rocket for mucking around. I tried to explain my problem but she simply walked away and ignored my comments.

I felt to shocked at this that I walked out and never went back, although I did complain to the local council who owned the gym, but never got a reply.

My answer to this was and is that Durham County Council was never,  and will never be Dementia a Friendly when they have this attitude.

So how can anyone use these facilities when they have dementia and the staff, really do not care?

Previously to this I used to swim, but now my coordination, has gone completely, because when I am swimming and move my arms, and now my mouth opens at the wrong time, so hey presto, I swallow more water than enough.

In the end I started walking, because in enjoy it and can do this at my own speed.

I remember when I used to cycle and through my son we did the Coast to Coast cycle ride of around 140 miles, this was extremely hard work, but these days as I have hip and knee, problems along with Bronchiectasis, so I would never get onto a bike, let alone cycle any distance on it.

When doctors refer you to these places, I do wonder if they have any real idea what will happen.

Looking back some of this is funny to me now, but it certainly was not at the time.

But I do think that the media should think carefully before writing articles about people with these illnesses and keeping fit

Recently they have been saying that weight lifting helps the memory, I dread to think how that works with a brain like mine these days.
 

Information pack for diagnosis of dementia

The other day I found this old 2006 blog about the information pack we were given, after my diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in County Durham...