Volunteer At A Memory Cafe
In 1997, psychologist Dr. Bere Miesen started a unique new support system for dementia patients in the Netherlands. Memory cafes, an innovative concept, quickly spread throughout Europe and then worldwide. These informal gathering spaces provide a safe place where patients and caregivers can meet and socialize with other members of the community.
Memory cafes help people in many ways. First, they create opportunities for Alzheimers and other dementia patients to feel connected and engaged. This helps them feel more confident and helps mitigate the feelings of isolation so prevalent with this disease. It can also help reduce the burden placed on caregivers. Volunteering at a memory cafe in your community can encourage everyone to support Alzheimers patients.
Every September People Come Together From Around The World To Raise Awareness Of Alzheimers Disease And Challenge The Stigma Around Dementia
All too often, dementia is perceived as a condition that is an inevitable part of getting older, or something that only happens to people who have already lived their lives.
In fact, anyone can get dementia it doesnt discriminate between age, gender, race or class.
This year, were raising awareness of the stigma that affects so many people with Alzheimers disease and their loved ones. We know that this stigma can make it hard for people to speak up about dementia and put them off seeking a diagnosis or support and this can leave families feeling overwhelmed and unsupported.
But with the help of our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, we can support families affected by Alzheimers disease and all other forms of dementia so they can take back control and face the future with confidence.
When To Consider A Dementia Evaluation
Its time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with a primary physician to have a thorough physical examination. Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help obtain appropriate care. Early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss, or improve the quality of life in Alzheimers or other types of dementia.
You might consider having your loved one screened for dementia if they have begun having difficulty with the following:
- Remembering new things
- Drastic Change In Personality Or Mood
Also Check: What Color Represents Dementia
National Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month
Most of us know someone who has been impacted by Alzheimers disease, whether its touched our own family or a friends loved ones. Nationally, the month of November is known as Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month. Recognizing the need for heightened awareness of this disease, President Ronald Reagan made this designation in 1983. According to the Alzheimers Association,1 there were less than two million Americans with Alzheimers disease at that time. That number has increased to nearly six million nationally. According to the World Health Organization ,2 roughly 50 million people worldwide live with Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia.
Whether its during November or any other time of the year, understanding Alzheimers disease can improve the quality of life for those with previously undiagnosed Alzheimers. And thats what National Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month is all about! In this guide to Alzheimers Awareness, well cover:
- Defining Alzheimers disease
- Important signs and symptoms to look out for
- Current research and treatments for Alzheimers
- Ways to get involved in the fight against Alzheimers disease
Show A Caregiver Some Appreciation
National Family Caregivers Month also occurs in November in the U.S. Patients with Alzheimers disease often need around-the-clock care. This holds particularly true once the disease has reached its later stages. Specialized memory care nursing facilities do exist. However, they can prove cost-prohibitive for many Americans.
According to the Alzheimers Association, unpaid family members or friends provide 83 percent of the help to older adults. Over half of these caregivers actively care for patients living with some form of dementia. Of course, this includes Alzheimers disease. If you put a price tag on this unpaid labor, it would cost more than $250 billion each year.
Being a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimers disease can come with physical and emotional challenges. Alzheimers disease tends to disproportionately affect people with lower incomes, meaning that individuals cannot even hire temporary respite care. Many family caregivers get no break from this often grueling labor.
Say thank you to caregivers you know who have selflessly put their own life on hold. You can express thanks for the work they do at any price point. You can send a card, arrange to have a meal delivered from their favorite restaurant, or hire a temporary caregiver to give them a day or two off every month.
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Support The Caregivers In Your Life
If you arent a caregiver yourself, chances are you know someone who is. Go out of your way this month to show your support, ask how you can better support them as they provide emotional and physical care for loved ones fighting dementia. Bring a meal, a coffee, or simply send a card showing you care.
Practice Prevention And Reduce Risks
Research indicates some lifestyle choices could play a part in minimizing risk factors for Alzheimer’s. Learn a few preventive measures that you can take:
- Stay physically active. Studies indicate that regular exercise may help prevent Alzheimers and may even slow its progression. Moderate exercise that raises your heart rate like a brisk walk is a small thing that may have a big impact.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Other studies show that wholesome foods could potentially slow the progression of Alzheimers disease. The Mediterranean diet, in particular, has shown lots of promise thanks to its emphasis on lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Improve your sleep. When you dont get a good nights sleep, you may find yourself struggling cognitively the next day. There is some evidence indicating these effects can be cumulative. Aim for getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night to potentially reduce your risks.
- Keep your mind engaged. While more speculative, many experts recommend keeping your brain busy even as you age. As you enter your retirement years, crossword puzzles offer a fun and simple way to challenge yourself cognitively each morning. You can also read books, play trivia games, or even learn a new language!
None of these things will guarantee that you will fend off Alzheimers disease. However, they can benefit your physical and emotional health.
Recommended Reading: Dementia Ribbon Colors
Raising Awareness By Getting Involved
There are many ways to get involved if you want to support the Alzheimers education and awareness cause during Alzheimers and Brain Awareness Month. One way is to contact your local Alzheimers Association to request more information at www.alz.org.
How Can You Help People With Alzheimers Disease
At this time, there is no cure or treatment to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimers. Some drugs can be used, however, to temporarily improve symptoms.
Another way to help those with Alzheimers and dementia is to control their surroundings to make them more comfortable. Some ways to help include:
- Avoid Overstimulation Besides controlling the visual and auditory surroundings, keep conversation simple, also. Present patients one idea at a time so they can focus their concentration.
- Be Reassuring Try to make the patient feel safe and comfortable. Even saying something like You are safe with me can be reassuring.
- Dont Argue or Yell It is difficult to deal with somebody undergoing dementia, but remember that they are as frustrated as you are even more. They can no longer grasp what is going on. Be the calming voice they need.
- Keep a Daily Routine Alzheimers patients like routines, which helps avoid confusion. They are more comfortable if they know what to expect.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a huge challenge. Our eBook, The Complete Guide to Dementia for Caregivers can give you everything you need to know about caring for someone with dementia.
Also Check: Did Reagan Have Alzheimer’s In Office
About Dementia Awareness Month
Running from 1 September to 30 September every year, the theme for Dementia Awareness Month 2016 is ‘You are not alone’. This theme seeks to highlight that there are supports and services available for people with dementia and their carers.
Dementia is a condition that carries a lot of stigma and misunderstanding. The greater the awareness of dementia and the breaking down of these stigmas, enables people living with dementia to feel less isolated and alone. A number of key messages have been developed to assist in delivering this years theme.
For the general Australian population You are not alone
- You are not alone in knowing very little about dementia
- 6 in 10 Australians admit they know very little about dementia
- 25% of Australians find people with dementia frightening, by finding out more about dementia you can help to break down the stigma and misunderstanding associated with the condition.
For people living with dementia You are not alone
- There are 353,800 people living with dementia in Australia
- There is information, advice and support available that can help
- Alzheimers Australia is here to provide support for you, your family and carers if you have any form of dementia
For carers of people with dementia You are not alone
- There are approximately 1.2 million Australians involved in the care of a person with dementia
- There is information, advice and support available for carers that can help
Key events running across the CESPHN region throughout September
Dementia And Alzheimers Awareness Month
Home»Dementia and Alzheimers awareness month
When we think about dementia, it is often associated with memory loss, but it can also affect the way we speak, think, feel and behaveand therefore, can have a significant impact on quality of life.
Dementia is the progressive loss of mental functions affecting daily activities as a result of brain disease and brain injuries.
There are various types, with Alzheimers disease being the most common. With September being World Alzheimers month, were raising awareness about Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of 2016, an estimated 432,000 Canadians 65 or older were living with dementia.
Read Also: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Facts About Alzheimers Disease And Dementia
Dementia is a brain condition that affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. and Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia. While the risk of developing Alzheimers disease increases with age, Alzheimers disease is not considered a normal part of aging. Most people living with Alzheimers disease are older than 65 years however, people younger than age 65 can develop Alzheimers disease
One of the first steps toward raising awareness is educating people on important facts concerning the progression of the illness and the number of older adults that it affects around the world. Here are a few essential facts that everyone should know as we head through Alzheimers and Brain Awareness Month:
Create A Family Legacy
Work with a loved one to go through photos, reliving good memories, and maybe even creating a new photo book or video. Spending the time with loved ones, creating a bond, and creating a family legacy for generations to come is a great way to preserve family memories while engaging family members from old to young.
Also Check: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Lewy Body Dementia Awareness Month
LBD or Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia that affects the thinking and moving parts of the brain. Lewy body dementia occurs because of abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein that develops inside the brains nerve cells. This disease accounts for 5-10% of all dementia cases.
LBD can occur by itself, or together with Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease.
At the Alzheimer Society, we provide resources for families living with all forms of dementias and are excited to acknowledge and bring awareness to Lewy Body Dementia. For more information on LBD, please visit the Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
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What Can I Do During World Alzheimer’s Month
This World Alzheimer’s Month, we are encouraging everyone to learn more about dementia. We have factsheets and booklets about dementia available to read online, download or order to your door.
You can also download our publications catalogue for full details of all our print publications, accessible resources and practical tools.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is a type of dementia, which is a term that describes memory loss symptoms and cognitive decline significant enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimers dementia, the most common type of dementia, accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.3
Although everyone experiences a change in brain function as they age, what occurs with Alzheimers disease is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimers is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which means it gets worse over time, and the person affected eventually loses the ability to accomplish daily tasks.
Memory loss, such as frequently forgetting names, words, or new information, is typically one of the first warning signs of Alzheimers disease. Although unwanted and frustrating, occasional memory lapses and instances of mild forgetfulness do not mean that a person has Alzheimers. One clear distinction for any dementia diagnosis, including Alzheimers, is that memory struggles and other symptoms need to be significant enough to impair someones ability to accomplish everyday tasks independently. These tasks are often referred to as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living . IADLs include things like:
- Using the phone
- Taking medication
- Managing finances.
Giving Support To Caregivers This Month As Well
Because November is also National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimers Association is encouraging all Americans to support Alzheimers and dementia caregivers.
The organization shares these points illustrating the scope for caregiving:
- More than 11 million people in the United States are currently providing unpaid care to a person living with Alzheimers or dementia.
- Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimers or another dementia.
- In 2020, these caregivers provided 15.3 hours of unpaid care valued at nearly $257 billion.
- The need for these caregivers is only expected to grow as the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimers is projected to reach nearly 13 million by 2050.
Moreno notes that as Alzheimers progresses in a patient, the caregiver becomes solely responsible for almost all aspects of the patients life, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding.
We want caregivers to recognize that we recognize what they do, said Moreno. We also want to make sure that theyre cared for and they know there are resources and services available to them.
Recommended Reading: Terry Semel Alzheimer’s
Meri Purani Yaadein My Old Memories
An event for people of Asian heritage. Find out more about dementia, what support is available in Oldham and how faith can support emotional health and good dementia care.
Listen to presentations by and talk to someone from the Oldham Memory Service, a person with dementia, an Imam and a carer. Take part in Arts for Therapys live music and watch a mini play.
Also throughout the day, free arts and craft activity aromatherapy massage IT activity and Mehndi.
Free lunch and refreshments as well as free transport available from 4 pick-up / drop-off points:
- Fatima Womens Association,Glodwick
- Millennium Centre, Featherstall Road, Westwood
- Coppice Community Centre, Werneth Hall Road, Coppice
- Pakistani Community Centre, Marlborough Street, Oldham
What Can Be Done To Help
At present there is no prevention or cure for most forms of dementia. However, some medications have been found to reduce some symptoms. Support is vital for people with dementia. The help of families, friends and carers can make a positive difference to managing the condition.
For more information about events in your local state or territory, access to resources or to find out how to get involved go to:
Moonee Valley Health and Fitness is proud to be part of the Exercise is Medicine Australia Network.
Why Is World Alzheimer’s Month So Important
Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. To tackle this global dementia challenge we need to work together, and to collaborate and share best practice with one another.
This is why Alzheimer’s Society has committed to work with partners on global research and campaigning, as well as sharing our learning, best practice and experience with one another.
Valuing The Advocacy Of People With Dementia: Moving Dementia Out Of The Shadows
DAI is pleased to launch a new 2021 Global Report on World Alzheimers Day, the outcome of some important work over the last twelve months. We engaged Dr Ellen Skladzien to do this work as she has a long career of working with people with disabilities, including people with disabilities due to dementia.
People with dementia and care partners have the right to have a say in the policies, research and support that will impact their lives. Advocacy by people with dementia and organisations has led to increased involvement of people with dementia and their families in policy, service planning, development and research. However there continues to be challenges in understanding what involvement should mean and how involvement can best be supported.
Our work on this paper enabled us to listen to the experiences of people with dementia and their families from across the globe about their experiences in involvement. It provides a snapshot on what is working well as well as some of the barriers to involvement. It is clear that people with dementia and their families want to be involved in meaningful ways that make an impact and they want this involvement to be valued.
We have added the Table of Contents as a way of quickly highlighting what is inside our publication.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Color For Dementia Awareness