Showing posts from 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 someon…

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 someo…

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Last Thursday I decided to upgrade my life story as some pages were out of date, and I had added other information, so I printed the new sheets off, and then for some reason, only my brain knows why.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

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.

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 mem…

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.

Ella Pickover
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,…

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 c…

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 a…

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 frie…

One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds poll

Dementia: One in six suffer loneliness once diagnosed, finds pollby Julia McWattApr 9 2013

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.
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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.