Today at work we had a professional development day on understanding Alzheimer’s a form of Dementia.
The three hour presentation was both informative and scary and completely sad. According to the figures the amount of people diagnosed with Dementia is set to soar, the prediction is that by 2050 figures would have risen by 300% that’s an alarming increase for sure.
There is no cure for Dementia however there are treatment options available that can help slow the progression of the disease down.
We heard how the younger a person is diagnosed with Dementia the faster the disease will spread, this is because as we age our bodies metabolism naturally slows down.
There is no one determinate that causes Dementia but it has been proven that a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in helping to prevent Dementia. Brain training exercises that stimulate brain development are also very good.
Tooth brushing was used as an example of a skill that needs to be taught, first one learns to hold the toothbrush, then place a small amount of toothpaste onto the brush and then to actually brush our teeth. Once we have mastered this skill we are able to perform it without having to think about the steps involved so it was suggested that we now teach ourselves to brush our teeth using our other hand. Learning this skill will create a new pathway inside our brains and in the event that we are affected by Alzheimer’s and the initial pathway for brushing our teeth is erased from our memory we will still have another brain pathway in order to brush our teeth.
Anything we can do to create new pathways in the brain will go a long way in the fight against Dementia.
Aside from short term memory which is the first thing to go in a person suffering from Dementia, they will also lose their insight, their ability to plan and their spatial awareness.
I cannot imagine how it would feel to slowly lose your life, apparently the disease begins well before there are any signs present.
We were shown a breakthrough video on a person so heavily affected by Dementia that she could no longer talk and the amazing way that Naomi Feil founder of Validation therapy was able to communicate with her.
Please note that this video is very powerful and extremely moving.
Starting today I plan on exercising my brain every opportunity I can, I’m sure once you have seen the video you too will feel the same way.