Dementia Friends: Dementia is NOT a natural part of ageing

Saddleworth Dementia Friends Champion Helen Moriis, from Dobcross, shares some thoughts on how dementia is not a natural part of ageing VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Each Dementia Friends Information Session brings something new to consider and this month I am going to tackle the myth of dementia being a natural part of ageing.

I am always aware of some apparent paradoxes in the information I provide. One of these is that the greatest risk factor associated with Dementia is age but equally it is not a ‘natural’ part of ageing as so many still believe.

To date there is little we can do about this risk factor and as a society we are enjoying much longer life which is why so many more people are developing Dementia.

It is though, just a ‘risk factor’ so does not address the individual in the same way as we all know people who eat all the ‘wrong’ things and thrive.

The reason Dementia Friends stress this point is that too many people shy away from getting a diagnosis because they conveniently put episodes of memory loss down to age.

Confusingly, our brains do actually shrink with age and we may find a few things more difficult but this is not the same thing and will not progress in the same way.

Whatever you notice, it is always worth checking it with your doctor. If it is Alzheimer’s disease, then you can try medication which can delay classic symptoms for years.

You can also access information sessions to help you stay in control. ‘Forward Planning’ for your finances and legal rights is a really good idea and there are now solicitors who specialise in this area.

Local information sessions are planned to be held in Uppermill early in the New Year. Please contact me if interested.

We do not normally want to know our future but this is one journey most people will want to arrange and ‘knowledge is power’.

The more you and your friends and family can understand about your particular condition the more you can build a life you can continue to enjoy. And that goes for your family too!

Please visit your GP if you experience memory loss, confusion, disorientation or language difficulties. Make it your New Year resolution and get the best out of life.

Learning these things now may help us all as we live our longer lives. By living longer it is likely that many of us will learn to live with Dementia ourselves and / or support someone else who is close to us.

For details of local Dementia Friends Sessions please visit http://www.close-communications.com/dementia-friends

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