My Grandma was diagnosed with DEMENTIA

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Me and My Grandma Nora – Christmas 2016

Late last year my grandma was diagnosed with Dementia, and up until that point she had lived alone, for all of my 23 years, and for many before that too. My grandad passed away before I was born, so that’s always been the norm for me. Since she was diagnosed, things have drastically changed – she isn’t deemed fit to live in her own home, and look after herself anymore, a change that would be quite upsetting and frightening to anybody.

We’re in the process of getting her an apartment in an assisted living home, which is basically like a retirement community, she will have her own two bedroomed apartment, and live in a building with other people with similar conditions. The community has all sorts of amenities, such as shops, a salon, restaurants, activities etc and it seems like a brilliant place to live.

But for the moment she has temporarily been placed in a care home, now I have a lot of respect for both the carers, and the residents of any care home – the staff do an amazing job, but I can’t help but feel that this isn’t right for my Grandma, at least not yet anyway.

She’s living in a home with people who don’t know there own name, people who can’t even speak, people with extremely worse conditions and cases of mental illness than what she is currently living with, and it’s heart breaking to see my Grandma, who until now has fully lived alone and supported herself (with the help of my family of course) having to live in such a place.

I mean absolutely no disrespect to the home in any way what so ever, everybody there is lovely, I just can’t help but feel like it isn’t right for my gran.

Before she was diagnosed with Dementia, I didn’t really know much about the illness, other than the basic understanding that you start to slowly lose your mind, your memories, basically your life. But there is a lot more to it that that, and I think it’s important to try and raise awareness of Dementia for people who don’t know about the disease.

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Laura Borrell being interviewed on This Morning
I was watching This Morning on ITV the other day and there was a 39 year old lady on the show, who has been diagnosed with Dementia. Imagine that, reaching 39 years of age to then find out that you have Dementia and you’re going to start losing your memories.

A cruel fait that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Below and some helpful facts, key information and contact details of organisations who help look after people with Dementia, it’s important that people realise how serious of an illness this is, and how many people is affects. I’m no medical professional, but it won’t take two minutes for whoever is reading this, to familiarise yourself with the information below – it may come in handy to you one day.

The Facts:

  • Dementia describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, and others include; vascular dementia, mixed dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Young onset dementia.
  • Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding, and more seriously, Dementia is a terminal condition.
  • According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. And according to WHO (the World Health Organisation) The number of people living with dementia worldwide is estimated at 47.5 million and is predicted to increase to 75.6 million by 2030.

Some early signs of Dementia are: 

Struggling to remember things that happened recently, even though you can easily remember things from the past. Forgetting the names of people or things. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Feeling confused even when in a familiar place. Having trouble remembering the day/date. Struggling to follow conversations in groups. Having trouble remembering where you put something, or where something is kept. Repeating yourself or losing your train of thought. Struggling to do things that you used to find easy.

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And probably one of the most important things to mention is that there is currently NO cure for dementia, and it’s really important that Charities like the Alzheimer’s Society are supported so that they can help continue funding research into this disease – we’re all going to get older, and it’s important that we invest in this kind of thing now to help not just our own futures, but people already diagnosed with Dementia, and the people of tomorrow.

There are so many things we can do to help raise money, so why not head over to the Get Involved page on the Alzheimer’s Society website to find out what YOU can do to help in the battle against Dementia!

www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200123

Or you can call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 who will provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

The Helpline is usually open from:

9am – 8pm Monday to Wednesday
9am – 5pm on Thursday and Friday
10am – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday

OTHER organisations you can contact regarding Dementia are:

Samaritans: 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org

Open 24hrs 365 days a year 

Age UK: 0800 169 2081 

Open 8.00am-19.00pm 365 days a year 

Dementia UK: Call 0800 888 66 78 or e-mail  direct@dementiauk.org

Mind: 0300 123 3393, info@mind.org.uk or Text: 86463

 

 

 

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