IF THERE'S NO CURE, WHAT CAN WE DO?
The room smells of Rosemary and Rose; Mario Lanza is singing quietly in the darkness. The peace is disturbed with intermittent ringing - when you answer it’s just a dial tone; is someone trying to reach you…. Or were you mistaken? Was it not the phone ringing at all? A clock on the wall continues to disorientate as it keeps switching hours. Every item is part of the narrative, look again, you might see something in a different light.
The aim of this experience was to look at the social ramifications of Dementia in society and to spread empathy, compassion and understanding for both the families of Alzheimer’s sufferers and their loved-ones - to help start a conversation. Throughout my research I found Dementia was a topic that people didn’t seem to want to talk about, but we need to! Research was based on communication with four carers and family members of Alzheimer’s sufferers along with previously gathered Alzheimer’s information through such sources as the Alzheimer’s Society, NHS and The Caring Home. The components within the experience were based on some symptoms of Alzheimer’s and manifest as an ‘artist impression’.
"In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Society published a study of the social and economic impact of dementia in the UK. This report predicted; “the number of people with dementia is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051…. under an assumption that there are no public health interventions and changes are driven by an ageing population alone”.
- Alzheimer Society
Is it due to our ageing society that the predicted figure is so high? Not necessarily, according to Broom (2019) the increasing number of Alzheimer's sufferers could have a direct correlation with carbohydrate rich diets. Dr Dale Bredesen - author of The End of Alzheimer’s (2017) suggests gene-marker-screening as a preventative measure for those more susceptible to the disease; along with eating a Ketogenic (low-carb) diet. In ‘A plant-based approach to Alzheimer’s’ Barnard (2017) suggests a plant-based diet can be of benefit and notes interesting connections with dairy and inflammation. Unfortunately, according to the Alzheimer’s Society (2019) gene testing in the UK is only currently available commercially and is said to have a low predictive value. Could this information also be used as a cause for discrimination? “There is currently a moratorium on the use of genetic information by UK insurance companies until November 2019” (Alzheimer’s Society 2019), but what happens then?
Sometimes its easier to spot the early signs in a loved-one than recognise it in yourself, if you know the signs, you can help.
It’s time to stop the stigma, let's talk about Dementia, we can make a difference.
Have you been affected by Dementia or Alzheimer's? Could your experience help another? To start a conversation click here
USEFUL LINKS & REFERENCES:
AHNP (2018) Changing The World of Alzheimer’s. Available at: https://www.ahnphealth.com/dr-bredesen.html (Accessed: 11 October 2013).
Alzheimer’s Society (2019) Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/policy-and-influencing/dementia-uk-report (Accessed: 5 August 2019).
The Caring Home (2018) Available at: https://www.thiscaringhome.org/hoarding-dementia-what-makes-someone-a-hoarder-and-how-to-stop-it/ (Accessed: 11 June 2019)
Alzheimer’s Society (2019) Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/pdf/sight_perception_and_hallucinations_in_dementia.pdf (Accessed: 11 June 2019)
Broom, G. M., Shaw, I. C. and Rucklidge, J. J. (2019) ‘The ketogenic diet as a potential treatment and prevention strategy for Alzheimer’s disease’, Nutrition. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2018.10.003.
NHS (2017) Worried Someone Has Dementia? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/worried-someone-has-dementia/ (Accessed: 5 August 2019).
The Lucas Rockwood Show (2018) The End of Alzheimer’s. Available at: http://yogatalkshow.libsyn.com/294-the-end-of-alzheimers (Accessed: 17 July 2019).
Player FM (2017) A Plant-based Approach to Alzheimer’s. Available at: https://player.fm/series/evolving-past-alzheimers/a-plant-based-approach-to-alzheimers-and-brain-health-with-neal-barnard-md (Accessed: 26 August 2019)