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Hello to everyone.

calypso

calypso

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This is a new area on the forum aiming to support those who are caring for, or knowing someone with the organic mental illness known as dementia. Obviously, it is also for those who may have dementia and need support themselves.

I have written a long article, which should be on here soon, to help people to understand dementia better and how to deal with people you love who have this condition. I spent 30 years nursing and 10 of those working on a top dementia unit, with highly trained staff. Unfortunately, the standard elsewhere in the country is far lower than this.

In the article I have put the person living with dementia at the centre of your understanding and care. This can not only help you, the non disabled person, to better cope and care, but also highlight what you need from the people engaged in the care of a person living with dementia.

Can I ask though that no-one refers to anyone living with dementia as a "demented person". This is VERY important as the person must always be put first, and with this extremely vulnerable group of people, it is vital that this is done. It affects the whole way they are treated and supported. Other people with mental health conditions should also be treated this way, but they can at least object, people with dementia can't.

Please can people on the forum as a whole, discuss things on here in a highly sensitive manner and not get into heated discussions, as the relatives and people who are living with dementia, will need a lot of understanding and thoughtfulness.

Thank you, Calypso xxx
 
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calypso

calypso

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Its really Mischief's idea, but based on the fact that I know a lot about the subject. its an aspect of mental health which is routinely ignored and yet the people with this disability (and it is a disability, not a natural part of getting old!), experience much of the same symptoms as people with functional Mh problems. The big difference is that they are totally ignored for the main part.

Glad you like it. I am still waiting for Mischief to approve the article which I feel will truly help people to feel far more confident about caring for people living with dementia, and maybe help those with dementia feel they are seen and heard.
 
calypso

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Why Lucretia? Almost everyone is touched by dementia in some way.
 
amathus

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goodness knows!
its an aspect of mental health which is routinely ignored and yet the people with this disability (and it is a disability, not a natural part of getting old!), experience much of the same symptoms as people with functional Mh problems.
I always thought that dementia was age related, what percentage of people are diagnosed with dementia who are not over sixty, for example?... I have to say that the thought of dementia frightens me, but would I know that I was struggling with it, or would it just be evident to the onlookers close to me?

I am pleased to see dementia becoming an area of forum discussion...thanks.

amathus.
 
Dita85

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Glad to see this new forum, and look forward to your article Calypso xxx
 
calypso

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Amathus, yes the majority of people with dementia are the very old; it rises to one in three in the over 80 group. But the youngest I have nursed was 42 yrs old. There is a place in the Midlands (I believe) which takes in the people who are very young with dementia. Pick's Disease, which is one version, often hits men particularly, in their 40s and 50s.

To know if you have it? I doubt you will know initially, although you would be highly suspicious and fearful. When we all say, "Oh I'm always forgetting what I went into that room for" and such like, means insight and therefore rarely would be a sign of dementia. People living with dementia often don't know that they are forgetting things. But I would add that people are so afraid of it in their elderly loved ones that they look for any sign and will note things which they fear could be dementia, when they are not. If you look on the web page in my article, "Psychosis and the Elderly Person" at the bottom you can read the story of the 'green mouse'. It is enlightening in how we can get things really wrong! :D

I really wouldn't worry about getting it, its still pretty rare in the under 80 year old age gap. And even in the over 80 year old group, then, remember, 66% don't get dementia.

I hope in the article that you can realise that its not the terrifying thing people think it is, if the person is understood and treated appropriately.
 
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