World Alzheimers Day
Let us remember those, who have forgotten us!
Today, 21st September marks the World Alzheimer’s Day - a day to raise awareness about one of the most debilitating diseases in the world with nearly 50 million people suffering from dementia. According to The Alzheimer’s Society, it is estimated that there are 850,000 individuals in the UK alone suffering from this disease.
But do we know enough about the disease? What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder that causes the death of brain cells which ultimately results in memory loss and disorientation and over a period may prove lethal. It is the most common cause of dementia and attacks the brain, especially the cognitive mental skills like communication and memory. In severe cases, patients who have dementia may not even remember to have their meals on time, or drink enough liquids, which may prove to be life-threatening. Recent National Statistics data says that this condition is responsible for 11.6 percent of all deaths!
What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease which means that the early symptoms start slowly and are mild but gradually the effects increase.
Memory loss - is one of the most visible and noticeable changes that may be observed. A vulnerable person may forget simple day to day things like remembering names, misplaced items, daily schedules.
Lack of concentration - you may notice a serious attempt of repetition to keep up in a conversation, poor decision making, gradually worsening judgment in gauging distance while parking cars or as difficulty climbing stairs.
Confidence loss - patients may suffer an overall loss in confidence, for example when they go out or while crossing roads, both of which are quite mundane to an individual’s day-to-day life.
How can we take precautions?
Although we don’t have an antidote for Alzheimer’s, basic changes to our lifestyle can reduce the chances of suffering this lethal disease. For example:
• Eating healthy diets
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Keeping a check on our blood pressure
• Reducing the intake of alcohol
• Avoiding smoking
An over-all balanced diet with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can keep a body and mind fit.
How can we help them?
- By taking the utmost care while dealing with them. Striking a communication is the key to helping someone.
- A person with dementia may find it difficult to understand what you are doing or saying
- We should treat them respectfully by addressing them in conversation as well as any partner or carer they may be with
We should follow the guidelines below to communicate with someone who is experiencing difficulties associated with dementia
Speak clearly and slowly
- Allow the customer to take their time
- Ask for clarification continuously throughout the conversation
We should not brush their worries aside, however painful they may be, or however insignificant they may seem, we listen, because they matter and we care.
You may also reach National Dementia Helpline - 0300 222 1122 https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20012/helpline