Dementia - A Person Centered Approach
In our experience ignorance, fear and the perceived stigma surrounding a dementia diagnosis can mean delaying access to early and critical support.
We have used our time during the pandemic to design, and test a two-part virtual presentation aimed at:
- Reducing fear and ignorance of dementia
- Dispelling misconceptions about dementia and the impact on people’s abilities and strengths
- Raising awareness and supporting friends and family to remain connected
- Combating stigma and advocating for inclusion
Fear, Isolation, and limited access to information are influencing people’s decisions to ask for help when they notice significant cognitive changes in either themselves or a loved one.
Dementia can happen to anyone. Although risk increases with age, it’s not part of normal ageing. It is an organic brain disease often linked to specific health and lifestyle factors.
Around 850k people are living with dementia in the UK today, a figure that is set to rise above 1.6M by 2040.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The diagnosis is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Both plaques and tangles impede communication between nerve cells causing them to die with associated decline in thinking ability and coordination. It often starts with memory loss.
Modern diagnostics means that dementia can be identified at a much early stage meaning that people are more likely to be able to understand and plan ahead. Dementia affects people differently. One person may begin to lose the ability to handle money or make competent decisions, while others may retain these skills for far longer. However, sooner or later abilities decline and the person with dementia will be unable to make their own decisions about their care, financial and legal matters.
Knowing can help planning, for the future. Knowing can also open discussion between family and friends. Information, support, and access to new treatments can be better planned and organised. However, the very nature of the dementia can also affect people’s abilities to cope with the emotional impact of the diagnosis. Families quite naturally feel very protective and will wish to spare their relative the trauma of ‘knowing’. However, denying access to knowledge may deny the rights of the individual to make competent plans for their own future.
Our hope is that that, by supporting access to information, we can help reduce the fear and stigma associated with a diagnosis of dementia which results in earlier intervention and support.
This workshop is offered free of charge to community groups. If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org