Jane was waiting for her son, who had promised her to driver her to the library. Since Jane had received a diagnosis of dementia, she depends on her kids to go to the library. Before, Jane would take the subway train but now she no longer feels confident to take the train. Now she finds train schedules frustrating. She has to wait until one of her adult children takes her to the library.
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Jane, who had recently received a diagnosis of dementia, no longer goes to her book club. She spends her afternoons at home. She’s afraid that her club members may know about her diagnosis and worries how they may react to it. She fears that her friends would drift away from her. Jane wonders if she’d be able to go back to the club ever.
Continue reading Social Inclusion
Jim did not receive the invitation for the annual potluck at his church. He ran into Susan, who was a coordinator at the church and also Jane’s friend. Susan explained, “Jane had mentioned about her tests for dementia. I’m sure she needs more rest and care, so this year we thought it was best not to send you an invitation. But if she feels up to it, then I can certainly mail it.” Jim was aware that his wife’s dementia might lead to some lifestyle changes but he was not prepared for them to be so immediate.
Continue reading Building Awareness
A famous quote says “Art is the daughter of freedom”. Art thrives when the society supports freedom of expression. We use art to express our ideas, thoughts, and values. Art is liberating, therapeutic, and healing. Many persons with dementia, who may or may not have a prior education in art, plan to pursue art. Research indicates that pursuing art has positive physical and mental effects on persons living with dementia.
Continue reading Dementia Friendly Arts and Recreation Centers
George wondered if he should see a doctor. In past few months, George had significant difficulty with simple math. Earlier, he could calculate mileage of his car, tips for wait staff without using a calculator. George wanted to go to his physician but was worried that he was getting “senile”. After his granddaughter visited him, George decided to visit the doctor. He wanted to stay physically and mentally healthy to see her grow.
Continue reading Early Diagnosis and Integrated Personalized Care
Imagine yourself at the World Music Day celebration in your downtown. It’s a sunny afternoon. Each corner occupied by a musical group that is singing, drumming, or dancing to the tunes from distant lands. Some familiar rhythms while some are novel. Some voices are so bright that one forgets to record and just keeps dancing. You and your friend manage to grab an iced lemon tea as your lazy steps want to keep walking around.
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Jane stood there with her cart and feeling lost. Those aisles seemed like a maze. It was her usual grocery store but today it seemed different. The cucumbers were on the left as usual but now she could not see tomatoes on the right. Jane was trying hard to remember where she usually found tomatoes.
Continue reading Dementia Friendly Businesses
Broadly speaking, faith-based organizations are nonprofit groups that follow religious principles. The members of these organizations share common values and meet for performing religious activities such as prayers. Churches, temples, meditation centers are some examples of faith-based organizations. Some faith based organizations, however, focus on secular activities such as cultural activities, volunteer work, reading groups rather than religious prayers.
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Thankfully, Joseph came to know about the Human Rights Act to family life (Article 8) in the UK. Joseph’s wife, Amelia, had received a diagnosis of dementia five years earlier. And, for five years, Joseph and Amelia were able to manage their life at home. But now Amelia needed more support and Joseph, 70, was experiencing health problems. The health services had suggested placing Amelia in a nursing facility that was about an hour’s drive from home. But, given his health situation, Joseph would not be able to visit Amelia. Joseph consulted his social worker, lawyer, and other dementia caregivers to understand their options. Based on the Human Rights Act to family life, he was able to have Amelia placed in a nursing facility closer to home where he could visit often.
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Finally, Jim made the call. After waiting for Jane for 4 hours Jim called 9-1-1. Jane had received a diagnosis of dementia but it did not pull her away from little joys of her life. She enjoyed her evening walks to the neighborhood park, so she continued with them. The park was at the bottom of a hill and had walking trails leading to the hills. As usual, Jane went to the park late in the afternoon but had not returned for dinner. Jim, Jane’s husband, felt it was unsafe to search her by himself. He called 911 for help.
Continue reading Emergency Services