World Alzheimer’s Month
World Alzheimer’s Month takes place every September to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Organised by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), World Alzheimer’s Month unites opinion leaders, people with dementia, their carers and family, medical professionals, researchers and the media from all around the world.
The ADI says ‘Having a globally coordinated awareness Month and Day (21st September) sends a strong message to governments and policy makers alerting them of the fact that dementia is a serious health issue which will have serious implications on services and health systems around the world as the world’s population grows older.’ For example, did you know that every 3 seconds someone around the world develops dementia and that this year, over 50 million people globally have dementia.
The MyLiferaft team are passionate about getting people talking about Alzheimer’s and dementia – to understand what it is and what it isn’t – and for people to see the person behind the disease. We believe it is important to build on what people with dementia can still do and the contributions they can still make. The tools and resources within MyLiferaft enable people who suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s to have more control over their life and share this information with family, friends, carers, medical professionals who are involved with their care. Using MyLiferaft, people can record and track information on their progress, meetings they have had, what they have been doing, how they have been feeling; reducing the worry and stress of not being able to remember things as well.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are more than 520,000 people in the UK with the disease and for those less aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, they explain that: “The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, and often changes in mood, perception or behaviour.”
There are many different types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common cause. It’s a physical disease that affects the brain, as proteins build up in the brain that result in the loss of connections between nerve cells, leading to the death of nerve cells and the loss of brain tissue. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, medication is available to help relieve symptoms.
How can Alzheimer’s Disease impact family life?
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be shocking, distressing and emotional for both the individual and their family and friends. Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s Disease International argues, there is still a stigma associated with the disease, not to mention a great deal of misinformation surrounding it, particularly in less educated areas around the world.
So, it’s understandable that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, whether newly diagnosed or not, can be extremely difficult.
As a carer, your focus is to keep things as normal as possible for your loved one, so they can remain as independent as they can for as long as possible. For example, this can involve simplifying tasks and chores or establishing a daily routine at home for all to follow. Alzheimer’s Disease International have put together a list of tips that have worked for other carers.
Support available for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their families
From community nurses, to online forums and financial advice, there is support available for those who need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Take a look at these sources below for helpful information:
- The NHS dementia help and support guide – A list of online and nursing resources
- Alzheimer’s Research UK – Tips on how to find local support
- Age UK – Legal and financial help
- World Alzheimer’s Month
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Alzheimer’s Research UK
The MyLiferaft website also has an extensive list of resources available to you which specialise’s in Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Carers’ groups can be a good way to get support from other carers who understand what you’re going through and can share their own experiences. Most groups meet regularly and may offer speakers, leisure activities, trips, or simply time to sit and chat. Ask your dementia adviser or social services about local groups or contact the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK or Carers UK for details.
Online groups can also be a great source of support, especially if you can’t get out and about or if you need someone to talk to when no-one else is around. Try the Talking Point forums on the Alzheimer’s Society website or the message boards on the Carers UK website.
Memory Cafés also offer information and support in an informal setting where people with dementia and their carers can attend together. There are often professional carers available to talk to in confidence. More and more Memory Cafés are opening up across the county, to find out where your local Memory Café is, ask your dementia adviser or local Alzheimer’s Society group.
Some carers feel mixed emotions about day centres, but a variation in routine can benefit both you and the person you are caring for whilst allowing you to have some time to yourself. There are some specialist dementia day care centres, while others may cater for people with mild dementia.
MyLiferaft Supporting Alzheimer’s & Dementia
As carers of those with additional needs, we know how useful MyLiferaft can be in supporting people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. By bringing together information about the individual’s condition and medication, tracking their progress, health, mood and sharing this information with different healthcare professionals involved in their care, MyLiferaft can be a valuable support tool. Using MyLiferaft to manage all the healthcare information can help to:
- Avoid repeating yourself to different people in your extended care network
- Find information quickly, easily to fill in forms, and be prepared for meetings and assessments
- Keep your care network up to date on your loved one’s needs and how they are doing
- Support your loved one to lead a fuller life and stay well
- Manage the changes that happen throughout your loved one’s life
- Share information with people who are part of the care / support circle
- Engage the wider support teams including health, social care and medical professionals to ensure continuity of care
If you think that MyLiferaft could support you and your family through Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, then try it for FREE today by signing up for your Premium Account.