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Intouch : In Touch Issue 77
News www.alzheimers.org.au In touch Winter 2011 7 Living with memory loss The early stages of dementia can be difficult for both the patient and their loved ones; both can find support in AlzNSW’s Living with Memory Loss program (LWML). LWML is for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers, and people with memory loss can also attend alone. Groups talk about symptoms and diagnosis, adapting to changes, research and new drug treatments, practical strategies for coping with memory loss, relationships, looking after yourself, planning for the future, community services, legal issues, and where to find more help. Get involved To find out about upcoming LWML sessions, contact AlzNSW on the National Dementia Helpline. T: 1800 100 500 GET HAPPY! More than 40 inspiring speakers and over 3000 delegates will explore human happiness at the 6th Annual Happiness and its Causes Conference in Brisbane from 16-17 June. Nobel Peace Prize recipient His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading humanitarian Matthieu Ricard will be in attendance. Join the brightest minds in philosophy, psychology, science, religion and the arts to explore the age-old question: ‘how can we lead happier, more meaningful lives?’. Alzheimer’s Australia members are eligible for a 10 per cent discount on conference registration. For the full conference program, details of the pre- and post-conference workshops or to reserve your place, contact conference organisers. W: www.happinessanditscauses. com.au T: (02) 8719 5118 PREMIER’S SENIORS WEEK CONCERTS Christine Lovatt and AlzNSW staff and volunteers handed out puzzles and information during Seniors Week. Over 30,000 seniors packed into the Sydney Entertainment Centre over two days for the Premier’s Seniors Week Gala Concerts. Lovatts again provided thousands of puzzle books to give away at the AlzNSW stand with our information about the importance of brain health. The puzzles proved very popular and guaranteed a big crowd at our information booth. Thanks Lovatts for your support. FAREWELL It is with sadness that we heard of the passing of Daphne Lamont, beloved wife of Jack Lamont, in March. Jack has been a long-time supporter and volunteer for us here at AlzNSW and our thoughts go out to Jack and his family. Planning ahead End-of-life planning is essential to ensure your wishes are carried out, writes Professor Colleen Cartwright in a new report commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia. Professor Colleen Cartwright, Director of the ASLaRC Aged Services Unit in the Health and Wellbeing Research Cluster at Southern Cross University, is the author of the new publication and seminar series on end-of-life planning for Alzheimer’s Australia. Planning for the End of Life for People with Dementia: Part One was developed in consultation with members of the Alzheimer’s Australia National Consumer Advisory Committee (NCAC). Talking points The publication and seminar series discuss issues including palliative care, refusal of treatment, pain control, resuscitation, residential care, advance financial planning and enduring power of attorney. They have been developed to advise people with dementia and their families and carers about the legal options available. “Research has found that very few people want to leave such decisions to their family or doctor, with most preferring to make their own decisions,” Professor Cartwright said. The Hon. John Watkins, CEO of AlzNSW adds: “It is hard to prepare for the future and even harder to know how to go about navigating legal, financial and care planning.” Practical planning Almost half of Australians have not taken any action to prepare for an event where they may lose the ability to make decisions. NCAC member Liz Fenwick said the publication is an essential reference tool for people with dementia, as well as their families and carers. “It was devastating to find how little I knew about the decisions that had to be taken when the time came to care for my husband,” Liz said. “Most people expect people with dementia to be in aged care homes, but this is not always the case. Carers and families as well as the person with dementia need information in the early stages of the disease to prepare.” Contact Alzheimer’s Australia for information on end-of-life planning. W: www.alzheimers.org.au T: 1800 100 500 NEWS
In Touch Issue 76
In Touch Issue 78