September 2017 is the sixth World Alzheimer’s Month; an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma. Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) coordinates the global World Alzheimer’s Month campaign across the world.
Home Instead Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk see World Alzheimer’s Month as a unique chance to talk about dementia and show that they are part of a growing number of organisations around the world who are working together to improve the lives of people with dementia and their families and to help remove the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds the disease.
*In 2017 there are almost 50 million people with dementia worldwide and this figure will nearly treble by 2050 and every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia*
This year’s campaign is entitled ‘Remember Me – early diagnosis means I can live well for longer’ encouraging people all around the world to understand the importance of recognising Dementia as a disease and challenging the stigma that surrounds the condition.
Sheena and Andrew Van Parys from Home Instead are specialists in dementia care and their caregiving team are trained in dementia and qualified to City & Guilds standard. They took the opportunity this week to speak to Stray FM radio listeners about the campaign and highlight the importance of early detection and early diagnosis of dementia. There are 10 signs of Alzheimer’s which may be spotted in someone and if so can lead to early detection, these include:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the most common signs is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information.
Challenges in planning or solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: People sometimes may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favourite game.
Confusion with time or place: Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign. They may not realise they are the person in the mirror, for instance.
New problems with words in speaking or writing: You may notice a person has trouble following or joining a conversation.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Placing things in random unusual places. Sometimes the person may accuse others of stealing the items.
Decreased or poor judgment: Experience changes in judgment or decision making
Withdrawal from work or social interaction: Removing themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or leisure pursuits
Changes in mood or personality: Some can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, or with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these warning signs or if you have concerns about dementia, it is best to visit with your GP, who can help guide you in the right direction.
The team at Home Instead also shared with Stray FM radio listeners the research that suggests that leading a healthy lifestyle may help to reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia later in life. The general rule is that what is good for your heart is good for the brain. The advice includes looking after your heart, be physically active, following a healthy diet, challenge your brain and enjoy social activities.
If you would like to speak to someone at Home Instead, please do not hesitate to get in touch. The team regularly run free community based workshops on dementia to raise awareness and understanding.
*Reference ADI, the international federation of over 80 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the WHO. ADI’s vision is prevention, care, and inclusion today and cure tomorrow.
For more information visit www.alz.co.uk