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What Health Professionals Should Know about Dementia
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 11:45 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: The Guardian) - After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, former nurse Ann Johnson has made it her mission to educate healthcare professionals on the realities of living with the illness

Knowing about dementia is different to understanding fully the daily realities of living with the condition, Johnson says. She describes what it is like to have dementia: "People may not always see my problem. But it is there. I find it hard to work out which way things go. I can see things, I just can't always work them out.

"I find it hard to get washed and dressed in the morning. People don't realise this, but using taps is hard for someone with dementia; some push, some turn, and it can be difficult to work out what to do with them."


There are small things which can make a big difference. Johnson maintains a steady routine to help navigate through the difficulties that arise as a consequence of the condition.


"Small things which I find hard cause me to become intolerant", Johnson explains. "Things like opening a bottle. But I don't notice that it is causing me stress. I wish that people would tell me when they see me getting frustrated, that would really help."


Other things that people should look out for include spatial awareness, and tasks like flushing the toilet, which can prove difficult. If a patient has dementia, food and water will also not be touched. "If a meal is put in front of them, sometimes it is hard for them to know what to do with it. It is then taken away without them eating it, despite being hungry," says Johnson.


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