Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Disempowerment again.

Empowerment-and-disempowerment is the third most read AWD post.

Here's another take on the issue, in a very different situation two and a half years on.

I still believe that it's important to preserve abilities for as long as possible even when it might be easier for us to take over. A current example for me: I've been pre-loading S's spoon and getting her to hold it and feed herself longer than I care to remember. This is incredibly time-consuming and can be very frustrating when she drops the spoon or spins it round so that food drops off. Sometimes towards the end of a meal I feed her the last few spoonfuls and that is a lot easier. But there are now so few things she can do for herself that it seems perverse to stop her doing one of them. It's so easy to disempower someone.

Interestingly, the (very experienced) carer who comes in twice a week always feeds her. As she's generally very good, I put up with this but it makes me even more determined to continue to load the spoon myself when I'm in charge.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Message in a Bottle Project

This looks like a useful idea for people living with dementia and their carers. In fact many people might find it interesting as, 'whilst it is focused on the more vulnerable people in our community, anyone can have an accident at home, so this scheme can benefit anyone, including you.'

Thursday, 16 April 2015

New Hope for Alzheimer's Research?

'Between 2002 and 2012, 99.6% of drug studies aimed at preventing, curing or improving Alzheimer's symptoms were either halted or discontinued.'

A staggering quote from this Guardian article:

The author explains how researchers are finally realising that they have made an appalling mistake in concentrating, to the exclusion of almost everything else, on trying to find drugs that would remove beta-amyloid plaques from the brains of people with the disease. This turns out to have been possibly the biggest, most expensive and most pointless wild goose-chase in the history of medical research.

There is also a summary of the recently-reported research which suggests a different approach to treatment or cure which looks promising and even opens up the possibility that lost memories may one day be regained.

A breath of fresh air!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

A very sad lament from a carer

This is the text of a letter that appeared in the Guardian:

Is it true that if re-elected the Tories are considering cuts for carers? I ruined my physical and mental health by being a carer for elderly/infirm parents who were not coping in their council flat and dreaded the thought of a nursing home. I also ruined my financial health. They came to live in my terraced home. I was already a carer for my disabled son, so that made three. Eventually I had to give up my job and career because caring became a 24/7 job. They were with me for 17 years until their death in their 90s but I was never eligible for carer’s allowance. What a mug! Years ago when I was working I heard a businessman saying that he could not accept his elderly mum into his home as “my son, Nigel, needs the 2 spare rooms for his studies”. At the time I thought “how selfish” but years later I was not so sure.If carers get cuts in allowances, do not be a mug like me. Refuse to be a carer. You are important too, so don’t lose your identity. What am I saying? At the age of 88 (89 if I live until November) I’m still the sole carer for my son and, of course, will carry on as long as I can.
Barbara MacArthur