Dementia and keeping fit
I have often wondered how you are supposed to keep fit when you have dementia.
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.
I went for my induction, and was told to be careful, in following all of the given advice, but has this young lady really been listening when my wife explained that I had 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 know that they 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.
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.
So how can anyone use these facilities when they have dementia and the staff, really do not care?
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, problems, 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.