In the second part of the seminar we saw how making a few changes to a home can make living with dementia much easier. These included plain wall colours, night lighting, getting rid of rugs, and putting signs on doors. These changes made it so much easier to find the toilet in the dark!
Did you know that dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia? Every day in Australia, 250 people are diagnosed with dementia.
Dementia is a broad term describing a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. There are many different types of dementia and a range of symptoms- everyone with dementia has a different experience.
Some of these symptoms could be:
- losing things
- not recognising familiar faces
- not being able to manage cash
- not being able to make a decision
- not able to use a computer
One man with dementia said "I'm different, but somewhere inside me I'm still here".
Dementia is not a normal consequence of ageing but does increases in incidence as we age. Dementia is a difficult condition to live with as there is a lack of community awareness about it and people experience social isolation as their friends don't know what to say in response to the diagnosis. It means people lose independence and friends, and often an income and work especially in younger people with dementia.
Dementia friendly communities
The "Dementia friendly" initiative is aimed at helping people with dementia thrive in their local community by keeping them independent and with a reason for living.
Being dementia friendly means:
- Having staff who can help customers with paying for items when shopping
- Having clear signage
- People being helpful and friendly
- Acceptance for people with dementia
- Not treating those with dementia as strange or difficult. People with dementia are not trying to be difficult.
- Looking to provide flexible paid opportunities for people with dementia
- Communicating with simple, clear questions
- Being patient waiting for answers
- Being helpful for people who look lost or confused
- Showing dignity, empathy and respect.
Through this seminar I have learnt that businesses and individuals can become dementia friendly by watching three short videos and earning a certificate and badge to prove it!
Check out the dementia friendly website and become a dementia friend like I did.
I'll be writing more about diet and dementia in the months ahead so stay tuned!
This is the course I attended and anyone can request more info to attend one-