Showing posts from July, 2013

Away for a break

We are going to my brothers caravan for a few days to relax. I am starting to look forward to going as its on a beautiful private site overlooking Holy Island, and as its private it gets very quiet, just what I need at present.

I may also try to get out to the Farne Islands, where there is a bird sanctuary along with Seals.

Infrared light may reverse dementia and memory loss

This sounds interesting. I had heard about this a few years ago, and now its back in the news.

Researchers at the University of Sunderland may have found a simple key to solve the problem of dementia and memory loss and even reverse these effects of aging.   They have shown that regular exposure to low-level infra-red light can improve learning performance and trigger regeneration of the cognitive function of the brain.

The results are a scientific breakthrough as current pharmaceutical treatments for diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's can only slow down brain deterioration.  

The researchers claim that early stage dementia patients should see an improvement in their cognitive function within four weeks, by wearing a specially designed lightweight helmet for just ten minutes a day.

Human testing of the infra-red treatment on the brain is due to start this summer.  

The new infra-red device was created by Dr Gordon Dougal, a director of Virulite — a medical r…

Dementia risk in UK going down, suggests study

I have just read this and thought what wonderful news it was. Over the last two years or so everyone had been saying that the number of people being diagnosed with dementia was increasing at an alarming rate. By Michelle RobertsHealth editor, BBC News online
Experts hope the downward trend will continue

Older people's risk of getting dementia is going down in the UK, research suggests.
A study in the Lancet reveals a smaller proportion of older people living in Britain now have the condition than experts had predicted.

Researchers say it could be a reflection of improving public health.

The work looks at three areas of England - Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Newcastle - and compares dementia rates in people born 20 years apart.

Based on 1991 trends, experts had predicted 8% of over-65s would have dementia in 2011.

The actual figure for 2011 turned out to be just over 6%, the Cambridge University team discovered.

“Start Quote This could be because known risk factors for de…

The benefits of getting on with life after the diagnosis of dementia

There are many ways of looking at the diagnosis of dementia, although in the mid to later stages of the illness there may be little we can do to change things. However in the early to mid-stages, I feel that it is important to try to get on with life and if possible start a new life.

My consultant told me to keep looking forward and to forget the things that were becoming hard to cope with.
Through this I have moved on, but many cannot do this as they struggle to come to terms with the illness, through either denial or the stigma which we see attached to this illness, or in some cases the illness was simply too late in being diagnosed.
I am contacted daily by email either from this blog or through other means about my problems, some of which have been discussed in the blog, and where possible I try to answer them.
But in my answer there is always one comment, and that is we are all different with vastly different symptoms and problems, even in one variation of the illness. We are all ind…

Another wonderful honour

I have just heard that a dear Friend in has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, for all of his work in Dementia.

James McKillop has worked in and around the Dementia field for what seems a very long time, and a better friend or acquaintance you could not find anywhere.

I met James and a few other people at the First UK Convention for people with Dementia, when it was held at Newcastle upon Tyne a few years ago, and I was so inspired that I have never looked back.

He also inspired me to carry on with my favourite hobby which is photography, as he is so brilliant at it.

James and his friends on the Scottish Dementia Working Group, have done so much to raise the profile of Dementia in Scotland, and they also work directly with the Scottish Government and Alzheimer's Scotland, on Dementia projects

Its wonderful to see people like this being awarded like this, as they have done so much to inspire others to stand up, campaign and speak out …

Suprised at pickup

Just returned from a holiday at my daughters and was amazed when I looked at my blog as it seems to have taken off completely.

On 11th November last year I set up this blog as a way of keeping my brain active for a little longer, but I had not expected it to go on the way it did.

I had written the original blog four years ago when my consultant told me to keep as active as possible, in the hope that it would help slow my Lewy Body Dementia down.

However I did this as an online diary and never considered the fact that other people would be reading it. I lost that in early November when i pressed the wrong key and deleted my Google account by mistake.

I tried to get it reopened but Google were not interested, so I had to consider whether to give it up as a lost cause, or start all over again.

I decided to stay active and start again, remembering that all if my posts were written in Word documents and saved on my computer.

The old blog had reached 10,000 page views in the four years it…

Too hot

Since we arrived at our daughters house in Farnborough Hampshire, I have found it hard to cope with this hot weather. It was 20 degrees yesterday morning at 7am and that was hard enough, but when it reached 29 degrees at lunchtime I had to give in and sit in a darkened cooler room as i could not think clearly at all.

Today it was 22 degrees by 8am, so I am wondering what will happen to me later on.

The family went out to a childrens party yesterday which was held in a local hall with air conditioning, but they did not think it wise for me to go because of the sheer noise, so I had a sleep for half an hour.

Here's hoping it does not get too hot.

I suppose my problem is the I have never been a person who sits in the sun, so I struggle when temperatures rise these days.

Weekends holiday

I am off to see my daughter and family in Farnborough today, and will return next week hopefully feeling a little more relaxed after this weeks eye tests etc, which have taken it out of me a little.

This has been a bit of a stressful week all round, as we seemed to have more problems than we needed, but not all to do with us, but we somehow got dragged into it, and when it concerns family members there is not much you can do about it.

However it will be nice to see the grandchildren again, as I have not seen them for some time.

All being well when we return, we are taking them to the sea side as they do not live near to the seaside where they live and the children love playing on the sand and in the sea.

We are borrowing my brothers caravan for a week, and this looks out to Holy Island where Saint Cuthbert lived, and the Farne Islands,  somewhere I think is magical and so beautiful when the weather is nice.

Sometimes the seals come up to the shore and watching them is so relaxing, as…

Bad Day

I have been playing Mahjong and enjoying it for the last few months, but now I am finding it hard to do  through my eyesight.

I found it easy to do when I could match the tiles up, but over the last two weeks my eyesight has been playing up, so I am going to have to give it a miss for a few weeks.

I have to attend an eye hospital at the end of the month to see what is causing my problem, so its a  case of wait and see.

I have also been struggling with my blog over this time, so I am hoping that this problem can be corrected, as doing this means a lot in my life

This has caused some distress as it has taken over my life, and while I was coping with the Lewy Body dementia, I find the eyesight problems hard to cope with.

Dementia and Employement

Dementia diagnosis and employment
I have been asked recently about the support I was given by my employers, when I was diagnosed with early onset Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 56, and I was too embarrassed to say anything.
I was lucky to have been given a lot of help by the university doctors during the diagnosis, but they were horrified to discover that my employers did not really want me back at work.
They made me take the decision of whether to go back as a cleaner after being an engineer for over 28 years, or take early retirement on medical grounds.
I was advised to go for the second option as they like myself felt insulted, by their answer.
But when we look around many employers do exactly the same simply because they don’t understand the illness and are also totally embarrassed that one of their staff have this type of illness.
I know that I am not the only one this has happened to, but it does not help others, so things must change and change for the better.
Yet other people in …

Sunderland dementia patient doing the three Peaks

I read thisand was truly amazed and pleased that someone else is showing what can be done after a diagnosis that would make people give up living all together.
Years ago I did the Coast cycle ride from Cumbria to Sunderland and although the second day was rubbish as I kept forgetting which gears were which I can say it was the experience of a life time

Well Done Ray and I really hope it all goes well. Please keep this date in your diary and lets hope he achieves his goal

You Can Have A Good Life Despite Alzheimer’s’ – Sufferer Prepares For Three Peaks Challenge By Nisha Joshi Location: Branton, Northumberland

Video: Alzheimer's sufferer's positive message An Alzheimer’s sufferer from Sunderland is encouraging other people with illness to remain positive as he prepares to take on the Three Peaks Challenge to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Society. <a href=";sz=300x250;ord=137296…

Dementia care at South Tees Hospitals inspired by the past

Staff at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough believe glimpses of the past can help dementia patients
Related Stories The touchscreen display flashes up newspaper front pages covering historical events.
Another set shows old high streets from decades ago, buildings long since flattened standing tall over shoppers dressed in the fashions of the day.

Traditional seaside holiday scenes are featured alongside old school photographs.

All these visual reminders are designed to trigger memories in dementia patients on Teesside.

Staff at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough are demonstrating the My Life Software which uses photographs, news clips and even karaoke to provide a stimulus.

"It's all about generating ideas for discussion," clinical educator Gina Warren said.

"Even things like remembering that shops used to close for half a day on a Wednesday could start a conversation."

'Lonely existence'

The computer programme is a f…

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,…

Dementia and treating us with dignity

I got involved as a Dignity Champion a few years ago, after listening to people discussing the problems associated with dementia. However at an event and was so annoyed by the lack of dignity and care that I decided to do more, and help out where I could.

During this time I have spent time trying to raise awareness about the lack of Dignity and Respect, when treating people who have this illness in care homes and General Practise.

Over the last two or three years, I have spoken at events in North East of England Universities, where people are trained to do Nursing and social work, as I feel that it is very important to get in at an early stage and tell people how they should be treating people with dementia.

I also feel that by spelling out guidelines of how we would like to be treated, we are starting to have an effect, as most people “realise” that we are not asking for the world, but simply for things that most people take as normal.

I think that many people shudder, when we tell the…