Monday, 21 May 2012

Dementia Awareness Week begins now!

This week is officially national Dementia Awareness Week, and the Alzheimer's Society are a very active charity in promoting awareness, especially on their Facebook page. Their website is a fantastic resource for anybody who wants a better understanding of what dementia is and how it can affect people.  In the UK, there are currently 800,000 people with dementia, and there are an additional 17,000 younger people with dementia in the UK. There are many different types of dementia, and the way in which the dementia affects the individual differs greatly. Check out the link to see the different types of dementia : Types of dementia

Whilst on placement, I had the privilege of meeting a man called Dennis Jubb. Dennis was diagnosed with dementia more than 10 years ago, and has been campaigning relentlessly for other people with the condition in Doncaster ever since. He co-founded the PROP (People Relying on People) group, which is a self-support organisation for people with early onset dementia and their carers. Dennis and his wife Carol were among the five founding members when the group was established in 1999. You can read this article to see more. Dennis has actually  made a DVD about the issues that young people with dementia face, and its content is really powerful. I'm trying to get hold of a few DVDs for the library at York St John, as I feel they would be really beneficial for students to watch, perhaps even as part of the curriculum. Have a read -  Dennis' Story

I've watched some of the videos provided by the Alzheimer's Society and selected a few that I think are worth watching. Their Youtube channel is 'AlzheimersSociety'.

Sue has a diagnosis of early onset dementia. I think it's great that Sue is maintaing her roles as a mother, grandmother (Nanny Noodle!) and a friend. This video highlights in a lovely way that it is important to maintain that friend balance, and to not immediately leap into the 'carer' role as soon as a diagnosis is given.

This next video is about something called 'singing for the brain'. I've not come across it before, but if any students have a dementia related placement, it would be a great opportunity to get involved in such a group.

This clip shows how the staff are providing client-centered care, despite working in a large group. It's very exciting to see the positive feedback the individuals attending the group have given, and also the feedback from their family, friends and carers. A great video!

This video shows how Clarice is still living at home with the support of her family, and still enjoying occupations but in an adapted way.

If you want to get involved in supporting the Alzhemier's Society, there are loads of ways you can help. Whether it's getting involved in their campaigns or becoming a volunteer, your time and effort really will be valued. See the link for more info on how to get involved: Alzheimer's Society - Get Involved

Now, time to crack on with these 5000 words! x

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