Here is some advice from Bilal Dunoo, who presented at our dementia event recently.

Prevention / Early signs / Services available

Dementia encompasses a range of Brain disorders characterised by a gradual decline of the brain functions, it is incurable and slowly interferes with person’s ability to carry out normal tasks of daily living. I am referring to wider mental abilities that we require to execute tasks pertinent to living independently. With age, you may noticed changes in your thinking abilities, such as how easily you can focus your attention, how well you remember new information, or how quickly you come up with words in conversation. These changes are associated with ageing but if you observe a rapid decline say over a period of 6 months and it is affecting your daily life you must seek help because one of the early symptoms of dementia is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disorder develops, a wide range of symptoms can emerge, such as disorientation, mood swings, confusion, more serious memory loss, behavioural changes, difficulties in speaking and swallowing, and problems with walking.

Dementia has an enormous impact on the lives of individuals and their families/carers. In fact, Brain disorders are particularly debilitating or brutal. Whether they arrive with life-wrecking abruptness, or in the slower form of Brain disorders like dementia. They destroy a person’s human nature while he or she is still alive. Motor neuron disease takes away our most basic freedom: physical movement. Stroke can paralyse, bring depression and listlessness, or cut off communication altogether. Some kinds of dementia can turn a spouse into a stranger – before they eat away the self completely.

The prospect of decline in chronic and progressive brain conditions is a grim one, and fluctuations in the conditions can make daily life extremely frustrating. Family members/carers for a patient living with dementia need support too, with research showing that carers of people with dementia experience more physical and mental ill health than do other carers.

The management of dementia is like that of any long-term condition but it is particularly helpful to have a structured approach. Early diagnosis and any clinical/psychological intervention are important. They give an opportunity for patients and family members/carers to receive essential information and plan for their future, while patients are able to make their wishes known and make arrangements for a time when they may have impaired decision-making capacity, for example financial management, wills, advance directives.

  • Many modifiable risk factors – including high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet – are shared among dementias, including Alzheimer ’s disease, and other major late-life chronic disorders, such as heart disease and stroke.
  • Recommended diet – vegetables, beans and pluses, wholegrains and fish with moderate consumption of dairy products (as cheese and yoghurt) and low consumption of meat products. Reduce salts, fats and sugars.
  • In later life exercise brings physiological and psychological benefits, reducing illness, improving functional ability and improving well-being. Encouraging older adults to become more active and maintain that activity is critical to the promotion of their health and well-being, maintenance of social networks and independence.
  • Ensure you adopt a regular and an undisturbed sleep patterns.

List of the essential Dementia Services in Hounslow

Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Service – CIDS Tel: 0208 483 1800

Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline Tel: 0800 888 6678 Email: helpline@dementiauk.org

Alzheimer’s Society Hounslow  Tel: 0208 580 1057 Email: hounslow@alzheimers.org.uk (Free short-breaks, Singing for the Brain and Dementia Advisor).

Dementia Adaptation Grant  Tel: 0208 583 3877/3852/4321  Email: housingadaptationservice@Hounslow.gov.uk

(Minor adaptation to make your home dementia friendly).

First Contact Team (Adult Social Care) Tel: 0208 583 3100 Email: adultsocialcare@hounslow.gov.uk

Handy Person  Tel: 0208 583 3878 Email: homeimprovements@Hounslow.gov.uk (Offers practical DIY service around you home environment).

Supporting Independence Service Tel: 0208 583 3942 Email: supporting.independence@Hounslow.gov.uk

Utility bills, rent arrears, accessing welfare benefits or any other relevant services that you may require in order to remain independent in your home.

LinkLine Tel: 0208 583 4400 Email: Linkline@hounslow.gov.uk (Telecare equipment to improve your safety in your home).

References:

Matthew P, Pase, et al., (2017) Sleep architecture and the risk of incident of dementia in the community. Journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 89(12) 1244-1250.

Pace. Victor, Treloar. Adrian & Scott. Sharon (2011) From advanced disease to bereavement. Oxford. OUP.

The Lancet Neurology Commission (2016) Defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: a priority for European science and society. The Lancet Neurology, Vol. 15, No. 5, p455–532.