Home' Intouch : In Touch Winter 2015 Contents winter 2015 In touch 15
aLZHeimeR’s aUstRaLia nsW
Dementia aDvocates WoRK to
Raise aWaReness aBoUt Dementia
in tHe commUnitY anD meDia.
I was with Maree through the initial stages of finding
a correct diagnosis for her illness, which was a very
challenging time in our relationship. Once the diagnosis
was confirmed I journeyed with Maree through her
loss of employment, changed relationships with our
children and friends, and the personal changes Maree
experienced transitioning from independence to almost
total dependence on others for everyday living. i believe
i have a great deal of carer experience to share with
others as Maree and I continue our journey through
coping with her dementia.
we received invaluable advice from Verity Jackson,
the Dementia Advisor for Cooma and surrounding
regions. Verity was very supportive and was always
thinking ahead about the challenges of the next stage
of the dementia and what they could be like. She
encouraged me to become a member of the Southern
nSw Consumer Advisory Group.
through this group, and with the support of Cooma
Challenge who provide extended day care support for
Maree and a Home Care Package (Level 4) through the
Monaro Home nursing Service, i am still able to work
part-time even though Maree is in the advanced stages
of her dementia.
i have been blessed with wonderful community
support for Maree and have gained skills that i use every
day. Being a Dementia Advocate, i believe i can offer
other carers support and advice in this challenging and
fulfilling role. Hugh Mackay, in his book the Good Life,
stresses that true happiness and joy can be found in the
service of others. i have found Hugh’s words to ring true
and have experienced real joy in caring for Maree and
consider it a privilege to be her primary carer.
If you would like to be a Dementia Advocate please contact Jo-Ann Brown or visit
the Fight Dementia website. t: (02) 9875 4636 | E: email@example.com
Q My husband has been diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease and I have noticed a few
differences in his abilities. can you help me understand
other changes we may face over time?
Changes in people with Alzheimer’s disease will differ
due to the uniqueness of each individual and their life
circumstances. A person’s abilities may change from day to
day or even within the same day. what is certain though, is
that the person’s abilities will decline over time.
A person will often use behaviour as a means of
communication when their ability to articulate words is
lost. it can be helpful to watch the person and interpret
what they want through their body language, facial
expression or tone. the lack of orientation to time and
place will also become noticeable. Keeping things more
visible, including signage around the home, can also be
helpful to keep a person orientated and remain independent.
QI care for my mother who has dementia. At times
it can be difficult and a bit overwhelming. I often
feel others don’t understand the challenges I face.
What can I do to feel less isolated?
Finding out about dementia and the immediate help
available is usually a priority soon after a diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s Australia nSw can help you learn about what
is happening, provide emotional support, information,
education and counselling. Alzheimer’s Australia nSw
can also link people to a number of support groups
throughout NSW. Many people find comfort and practical
assistance by attending these meetings with others who
know what it is like to care for a person with dementia.
Our free specialist counselling service helps to support
and assist those affected throughout the illness.
QMy father has just moved into residential aged
care and this change has been particularly
difficult for my mother. how can my mother maintain
her caring role with my father no longer at home?
when a person with dementia moves into residential
care, the role of families and carers does not usually
come to an end. Meaningful visits are an important way
for the person in care and their family to stay connected,
with routine visits and one- on-one time being invaluable
to the person in care. it’s advisable for your family to
maintain a staggered visiting schedule rather than all
visiting at once. Also, choose visiting activities that the
person can participate in, such as going for a walk or
using old photos as story prompts. when the person’s
abilities have changed, a visit based on conversation
alone can leave you and the person feeling unfulfilled.
to learn more about help and support, phone the
national Dementia helpline. t: 1800 100 500.
Maree and Kevin Dunne receive advice
from their local dementia advisor.
19/05/15 4:39 PM
Links Archive In Touch Autumn 2015 In Touch Spring 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page