Showing posts from 2012

Happy New Year

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends  around the world a very Happy New Year.


Difficult weekend

Its been a difficult weekend, and I guess its all down to us getting ready to move back home again. I found that I was struggling to work things out properly and made a mess of a few jobs which was very upsetting.

I am now wondering whether its time to stop doing some jobs, and just do the work I am comfortable in doing.

Perhaps when we get home the pressure may be off me and I may relax a bit more

I rely on this blog to keep me going, once I stop doing this I am finished

New ideas using schools

New monthly café to help people with dementia opens

Published on Sunday 30 December 2012 10:00 A café designed to help people with dementia has been set up by school pupils.

Sixth form students from Princes Risborough School, backed by the town’s Rotary Club, will run the Forget-me-not café monthly at the Princes Centre.
At the opening people were served refreshments and chatted with the pupils, who joined in with water colour painting, dominoes and jigsaw puzzles, while a Rotarian played the piano.
The school’s interact club is trying to raise money for a Smart TV for the café which will allow a library of yester-year experiences and entertainment to be downloaded and shown to stimulate the long term memories of those with dementia.

My view
What a wonderful idea and I really hope it works, as schools are the place to start if we really want to move on and remove the stigma which has been attached to this illness for years.

School children are very thoughtful and want to he…

Brain scan 'can sort dementia by type'

Tell-tale shrinkage of the frontal and temporal lobes on an MRI scan

Scientists say they have found a way to distinguish between different types of dementia without the need for invasive tests, like a lumbar puncture.
US experts could accurately identify Alzheimer's disease and another type of dementia from structural brain patterns on medical scans, Neurology reports.

Currently, doctors can struggle to diagnose dementia, meaning the most appropriate treatment may be delayed.

More invasive tests can help, but are unpleasant for the patient.

“Start Quote This could be used as a screening method and any borderline cases could follow up with the lumbar puncture or PET scan” End QuoteLead researcher Dr Corey McMillan Distinguishing features
Despite being two distinct diseases, Alzheimer's and frontotemporal dementia, share similar clinical features and symptoms and can be hard to tell apart without medical tests.
Both cause the person to be confused and forgetful and ca…

Better today

I am feeling a lot better today and my hearing is not as sensitive as it has been.
We are travelling home today so i am hoping that the journey will not be too bad.

Not a good day

I have had a bad start to the day, and just feel like curling up in the corner of the room and sleeping.

I think its the fact that I am tired, and with the Grandchildren around I am fining them very tiring, which is very sad as I love them dearly, but its their constant attention that is difficult at times.

I think the noise is also stating to affect me as well, but I have to keep going as we head off home tomorrow and that could be stressful as the trains  could be full, and it will be a very long journey due to all of the flooded fields at the track side. I don't think I have ever seen so much water in the fields as these last two years.

I hope things improve so I can enjoy the rest of my stay at my daughters

Much better night

Noise and Lewy Body Dementia
I have always struggled with noise since being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, and this Christmas id no different.
Over the last two days at my Daughters I have had a rough time, but it’s hard for the Grand children to do anything without the noise, and I would not change them.
When things get bad I have to go to my bedroom and rest, but there are times when I can noy do that including meal times.
There are also times when people with very deep voices cause upset, as their voice level is difficult to cope with.These voices seem to boom at the bad times. Coupled with this I have not had a good nights sleep and am  very tired as I have had three bad nights in a row

 I get very upset after these graphic nightmares, but I suppose that I am lucky they don't happen every night

Last night however I had a good night’s sleep and feel much better this morning although my hearing is still off

Thank you

I would just like to thank everyone who helped me when I set this blog up as it gives me so much to concentrate on.
I have included one or two articles from the press which cover dementia, and I will ensure that all of the writers names are included next year as I feel it is very important
These names were omitted due to me not thinking straight in the passed, but this will be corrected in future

I included these press items as they were important to prove that things are moving in the right direction as far as this illness is concerned

Thank you all again


Holiday reunions may reveal memory problems

<a href=";atf=n;dcove=d;pl=story;sect=Medicine;pos=3;sz=300x250;tile=7;!c=news;gender=;year=;income=;ord=23405721288760.6?" target="_blank"><img src=";atf=n;dcove=d;pl=story;sect=Medicine;pos=3;sz=300x250;tile=7;!c=news;gender=;year=;income=;ord=23405721288760.6?" border="0" alt="Advertisement"></a>During the holidays, many people have the chance to reconnect with loved ones. As you visit with relatives and friends — particularly older people — you may notice changes in their behavior, speech or memory. Changes like forgetfulness, confusion, irritability or a sense of being disconnected from events may be signs of dementia or Alzheimer's or they could be linked to normal aging. How can you tell the difference? From misplacing our glasses, struggling to remember the name of an acqu…


I would just like to wish all of my dear friends a very Happy Christmas and hope you all enjoy this Christmas period

Losing my old blog was hard to accept as it was my own fault as I was trying to do something which is normally easy on a bad day, but since setting up this new blog, things seem to have turned the corner and I have met many new friends around the world.

Thank You for joining me and I hope more people will join me in the next year


Foget me not stickers for hospitals

Forget-me-not stickers idea to help boost hospital’s care of dementia sufferers and their families2012 in News Dawn Parkes, project leader, and Danielle Woods, dementia project manager, with the memories tree at BRI A ‘sticker’ scheme to give high-quality care to dementia patients is being introduced across Bradford Teaching Hospitals.
A forget-me-knot flower sticker put in patients case notes and above their beds will mean patients with the condition are easily identified.
Head of nursing for medicine Dawn Parkes, said the scheme will help make Bradford Teaching Hospitals a centre of excellence for dementia.
“The forget-me-knot scheme is another example of our drive to improve our continuing care, treatment and support for this vulnerable patient group,” she said.
“We hope it will also reassure their families and carers that we are doing everything we can to ease the burden of this terrible disease and the upset that hospita…

Charity urges people to keep an eye on elderly during Christmas

As families gather for the festive period, a charity is urging people to
look out for the signs of dementia in elderly relatives. The Alzheimer's Society said Christmas was often the only time families saw each other all year.
The charity has called for people to look out for symptoms in relatives.
Initial signs of the condition, which is caused by diseases of the brain, may include short-term memory loss that affects every day life, problems with thinking or reasoning, or unexplained anxiety, anger or depression.
It is also advising anyone concerned that they may have dementia to visit their GP to get a proper diagnosis.
Presenter and Alzheimer's Society ambassador Fiona Phillips, whose parents both had dementia, said that if her mother had been diagnosed earlier then she could have handled the situation better.
She said: "I remember one Christmas when my husband and I arrived at Mum and Dad's and found Mum distant and cold.
"There was no foo…

Positive role for dementia working groups

I do think that it’s time for those with dementia in England, to get together and form a new Living with dementia working group, so that we can inspire others to get up and realise that you can still have an active life after the diagnosis.There used to be two wonderful working groups in the UK, and both did so much to raise the profile of the illness.

Both the Scottish Dementia Working Group and the Alzheimer's Society's Living with Dementia Working Groups had a really positive role in raising awareness and campaigning in the past.

However these days we are only left with the Scottish Dementia Working Group, and the Living with Dementia Group has disappeared completely, through what many think was purely political purposes.

The reason many people think was because the Alzheimer's Society wanted full control over them, and many within the group thought it was wrong. It also cost a fair bit of money to run, but I do think that this part was not done properly at times, and th…

Christmas Holiday

Tomorrow we are heading off to Farnborough in Hampshire to stay at our Daughters for Christmas week.

We have been getting our home ready, so that all being well we can move back again on the 3rd January

Its been a long hard time since the flood in June which badly damaged our home, and its now starting to look wonderful again, although the heavy rainfalls we have had recently, have made us fearful, of it all happening again.

I am now looking forward to spending some time with our wonderful daughter and her husband and the grandchildren, and we hope it will be a happy and enjoyable time.

These children are so nice and caring, and its amazing how much they understand about dementia, although they call it "old timers".
I make a mistake and call someone the wrong name, or get stuck for words, they always say something like, don't worry you have old timers and have an excuse for forgetting things.

There are times what it brings tears to my eyes, as its all genuine, but I try…

More money for reseach

Government Pumps £22m into Dementia Research
Boost for getting promising ways of detecting, treating and even possible cures out of the labs and into the mainstream announced.
[UK / Implementations] - Determined to make the UK a global leader in dementia research, the Coalition has found an extra £22m to help develop possible medical responses to the chronic condition.
Some 21 projects – which cover, in the words of the Department of Health, “all areas of scientific activity relevant to dementia, across the fields of care, cure and cause, including prevention” – have been awarded the extra funding. The money is being doled out by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).
Examples of projects covered by the grant include trialling the use of a blood pressure drug called Losartan to complement current treatments for Alzheimer′s. This is in addition to the UK′s first ever trial measuring how much longer people with dementia can live safely and independently in their own homes, if…
Many years ago we went to the Submarine museum at Gosport and never gave it a second thought, that this little boy would go on to be a Sub marina with the Royal Navy.

I feel so proud of his achievements from leaving school, and becoming an electrician, only to find that he could not get any work in the North East of England due to the fact that there are so many people doing electrical work when they are not qualified to do the job.

Last year he completed his initial training at Plymouth and then went off to Scotland to finish his Submarine training

I may not see him go up the ladder if he gets promoted, but I can still look back with pride, as he
" like me has done so well" after leaving school".

A very proud moment

GPs and Dementia

We hear a lot about GPs supposedly doing more these days yet it is becoming more and more difficult to see a GP when you really need them.

Many are working fewer and fewer hours these days, so just how do you get to see one, and how can the services be improving.

I recently when to see one of ours as I had been struggling with a cough which was making me choke and ended up sleeping in a chair so that I did not disturb my wife.

After a month of this my wife said we had to do something, so we went to see the doctor.
She said that my chest was crackling? but there was not infection. However she put me on antibiotics which did not make any sense at all if there was no infection.

When we left the surgery I asked my wife if she was happy seeing someone who really did not want to be there and she looked rather puzzled.
Then I told her that the GP was doing online shopping while seeing her patients, and this shook her.
I found this sort of thing to be rude and very arrogant, and also showed…

GPs will be paid £30,000 bonus for cancer, dementia and out-of-hours care

NHS to reward surgeries which provide an all-round good serviceCritics say GPs should not receive extra bonuses just for doing their jobs

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter believes the new targets will improve quality in care GPs will be paid thousands of pounds in bonuses for hitting a new raft of NHS targets.
Their practices will be given extra payments worth up to £30,000 a year if they make improvements in cancer, dementia and out-of-hours care.
The NHS wants to reward surgeries which diagnose patients early, improve survival rates and provide an all-round good service. The GPs running the surgery can decide whether to plough the bonuses back into patient care, or pay themselves and their staff.
But critics say GPs are already well paid and should not receive extra bonuses just for doing their jobs. In the past six years, their average salaries have soared by 50 per cent to £110,000 a year, thanks to a controversial contract negotiated under Labour.
It enabled them to stop wo…

Bradford singing group gives vocal welcome dementia professor

Buy this photo »Happy Memories singers perform in the atrium of Bradford University A Bradford-based singing group including people with dementia performed Christmas carols at the University of Bradford.
Members of Happy Memories, which meets every Thursday at St Andrew’s Church Hall in Undercliffe, sang festive songs in the atrium before an inaugural lecture of its newly-appointed honorary professor of dementia care practice Professor Graham Stokes.
The group, which was set up by Jane Dale, sees people with and without dementia perform together to share their love of music and performs regularly.
A spokesman said: “Happy Memories is based on principles of inclusivity.
“In performance it is impossible to tell which members have dementia and which do not and research shows that memory for music, song lyrics, rhythm and beat is often unimpaired even in severe dementia

Dementia patients in Dutch village given 'alternative reality'

A dementia care home in the Netherlands is experimenting with a new way of treating patients by offering them an "alternative reality". Hogeway is being compared to the film the Truman Show but could other countries learn lessons from how the Dutch are dealing with the disease?
Director of Innovation and co-founder Yvonne van Amerongen showed Anna Holligan around their virtual village near Amsterdam.

Where would you want to go if granted the wish of a wonderful holiday?

I heard someone talking about this the other day and it started to make me think about it.
I suppose we always go on holidays where we can do our own thing and see historical parts of countries, as we are not beach and sun dwellers, so if it’s historical I am more than happy.
I don’t always remember about the holiday afterwards, but I try to take plenty of photographs on the good days to remember the holiday from.
There are many places I would love to visit, but as will all things in dementia, the travel insurance costs us the earth.
I have been to Malta which was nice and friendly as well as relaxing, Majorca was very nice, Egypt was hot and very historical and we went to Singapore with the Alzheimer’s Society for the Alzheimer’s disease International Conference, but found that very hot and airless, although interesting.
My daughter got married in Florida and I enjoyed being over there, but wished we could have gone to somewhere like Canada which seems very interesting as they have the Ro…

Travel Insurance for those with Dementia

Last year I got involved with a workshop at a conference, where we talked about travel insurance, and I was amazed at other people’s reactions, to the fact that we always admitted that I had Early Onset Lewy Body dementia when looking for a policy. Its seems that some people never admit to having this illness when planning a holiday abroad as the are penalised with high insurance premiums.
There are many companies who claim to specialise in travel insurance for people with pre existing medical conditions, until you start to look into this. All seems to go well until you mention the word dementia, and then there is a dreadful silence. Usually followed by the words, sorry but I will have to ask my supervisor about this.
I know of many people with medical conditions who like to travel and have a nice holiday, yet like me they are becoming members of the vast chain of people who are victimised by the travel insurance industry, because they have some form of illness. We are damned if we don’…

New diagnosis methods

A new hi tech early dementia assessment service that could slash the time it takes for doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease from 18 months to three months is being developed, thanks to underpinning research at Imperial College London.
The assessment service integrates several cognitive tests with computerised examinations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans. It could provide medics with a way of detecting dementia much earlier than is currently possible using conventional technology. At the heart of the assessment service’s software is an algorithm created by Dr Robin Wolz and Professor Daniel Rueckert from the Biomedical Image Analysis Group in the Department of Computing at Imperial.

The new system could slash the time it takes for doctors to diagnose Alzheimer?s disease from 18 months to three months

The researchers say the 15 months of diagnosis time the new system could save are critical to the effectiveness of treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This is due to …

Weather changes again

Just to add a bit of flavour to life it has snowed overnight, and that is lying on the ice already on the ground.
The weather forecasters said it would be milder and damp. So what happened to the warmer and wetter weather?
It’s been difficult walking down to our home to wait for builders etc., and I had geared myself up for damp but milder weather over night, now I realise that the weather people are clutching at straws and really don’t have much of a clue about their job.
Years ago the BBC were told to water down the weather forecast so that it was not as depressing for some people, but I have to ask what happened to the old forecasters who could give a 10 day forecast and get it right.
Nobody stands a chance of planning their routine let alone those with dementia who like it or not try to plan ahead so they know what they are supposed to be doing.
Perhaps we should bring common sense back common sense, alongside proper weather forecasts

GP contract changes ''will save lives''

         Thousands of patients are set to receive potentially life-saving care thanks to the new government blueprint for changes to the GP contract, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has claimed.

The proposals will change the way GPs are rewarded for the care they offer. Instead of being rewarded for routine office functions like record keeping, GPs will be rewarded for steps which directly support and benefit patients. This includes better control of blood pressure and cholesterol, to prevent heart attacks and stroke and assessing patients at risk from dementia.

Millions of pounds will be switched into improving care for patients and making better use of taxpayers' money, Hunt said. The proposed changes will see £164m pounds taken away from rewarding GPs for bureaucratic tick-box exercises and re-directed into actions which will directly benefit patients.

The changes could mean that around 1.5m more patients will get better care in 2013/14 and this could reach as high as 3.5m b…

Winter weather and councils

Well the cold weather is doing its worst and the roads are very icy again.

Its seems that each year councils get worse at gritting the roads and footpaths, and this year they have far out past themselves as Durham County Council does do seem bothered about gritting anything which is not their property, or should I say does not have their offices on.

All of their office blocks have been gritted and cleared, yet outside their properties everyone is left to fend for themselves.

This weather and dementia do not mix, as you spend so much time trying to watch where you are going, so its bad enough without slipping and trying to stay on your feet.

I think all councils should start to be dementia friendly, then they will start to respect everyone else instead of looking after only their staff.

Where we are at present due to the floods of June, is on a hill, which is very steep, and the footpaths and roads are treacherous to say the least, so what happened to the days when all footpaths and …

Getting it right for dementia patients

Getting it right for dementia patients

Bridget Fordham, dementia nurse specialist

Much has been made of the poor care the elderly can sometimes experience at the hands of hospitals in the NHS.
Some of the most depressing cases involve dementia patients - as shown in the dossier of "appalling" cases highlighted by the Patients Association a few weeks ago.

Last week a report by monitoring body Dr Foster gave an insight into the difficulties hospitals are facing with overcrowding which makes providing the right care for the frail and elderly more difficult.

But that doesn't mean there aren't places getting it right - as I found out when I visited the world-renowned Guy's and St Thomas's Trust in the heart of London.

The trust has been giving special consideration to the care it provides to dementia patients for some time.

Part of this involves providing specialist dementia training to staff, which has been happening since 2009.

At first it was given t…

Moments which made me proud

There have been many times when I was made feel very proud of my role in raising awareness in Dementia.

I have met many new friends since starting on the Dementia trail, and it is down to one or two of these dear people who got me started, and made me realise that there is life after the diagnosis.

Trevor Jarvis, Peter Ashley, James McKillop are just a few of those people that I have been very proud to meet,

Chairing the Second UK Convention for People with Dementia at Birmingham, was something that I will never forget.

Two Brookes awards from the Alzheimer's Society
One for Volunteering along with my dear wife.

The second for my work as a Moderator on the Alzheimer's Societies Talking Point

Civic Award

The Civic Award from Durham County Council, where I was awarded a Golden Key, something which takes pride of place in the house.

Meeting people like Andy Williams who in many ways was a giant of a man yet a very warm and gentle giant, who was quiet and listened to what was bein…

Dementia lessons

Dementia lessons at Stoke Damerel Community College
Students will learn about how dementia affects the brain and how to recognise symptoms
A school in Devon is teaching its pupils about dementia as part of a plan to raise awareness of the condition.
Stoke Damerel Community College in Plymouth is one of only 20 in the UK to become a "dementia-friendly" school.

The condition affects about 700,000 in England and with people living longer, the number could double in 30 years.

Stoke Damerel's project leader Lana Helmore, said students could help encourage early diagnosis by spotting the signs in a older relative.

"Research shows dementia is actually affecting younger people as well nowadays," she told BBC News.

"So if we can educate our students to know the signs, the symptoms and things associated with it, it can spread into the wider community.

Dementia signs
Struggling to remember recent eventsProblems following conversationsForgetting the names of fri…

Grandparents answering machine

Good morning . . . At present we are not at home but,please Leave your message after you hear the beep. Beeeeeppp ....
If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of "arrival" so we know who it is.
If you need us to stay with the children, press 2
If you want to borrow the car, press 3
If you want us to wash your clothes and ironing, press 4
If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5
If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6
If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7
If you want to come to eat here, press 8
If you need money, press 9
If you are going to invite us to dinner, or, take us to the theatre, start talking we are listening !!" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT?
(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds) Grandparents are a lady and …