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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
JoiN tHe FigHt Alzheimer’s Australia’s Fight Dementia campaign is pushing for increased funding for dementia research, extended support services and improved aged care. Show your support by liking the Fight Dementia Facebook page, or join the campaign by signing up as a Dementia Champion at the campaign website and writing to your local MP. Facebook: www.facebook.com/fightdementia W: www.campaign.fightdementia.org.au For information on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia support and advice, contact Alzheimer’s Australia or the National Dementia Helpline. W: www.fightdementia.org.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 1800 100 500 HeAltH 36 | www.probussouthpacific.org eArly ACtioN “It’s important to be aware of dementia from mid-life because we now know that the risk factors for this debilitating disease begin as early as in the 20s,” warns Dr Hatherly. Risk factors include: smoking Heart disease diabetes Hypertension High cholesterol Head injuries Family history (especially for Younger Onset Dementia) “It may be possible to reduce these risk factors through a range of lifestyle changes, including healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking and engaging in a range of stimulating hobbies and social and mental activities,” says Dr Hatherly. “It’s never too late to change,” says Dr Sealey. “What you do now directly impacts your brain health.” Living with Alzheimer's “I thought I was a sitting duck,” says 72-year-old Janice Hodgson. “My mum died of Alzheimer’s, as did her two brothers and her mother.” About a year ago, Janice started seeing similarities between her mother and her husband, Fred. “Fred started forgetting items on the shopping list, his driving became erratic and he needed to concentrate harder on everyday tasks. Those things, along with a number of other situations, made me realise something was really wrong,” says Janice. Together they went to the doctor and Fred was tested for Alzheimer’s through a very simple mental task. He did well on it and was sent home. “Things got worse and I got more frustrated,” reveals Janice. She went to the doctor alone and explained what had been happening at home. As a result the doctor finally sent Fred to a geriatrician who diagnosed him with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Fred is 82. The diagnosis was hard for both Janice and Fred. One of the first things they did was enrol in a six-week Living With Memory Loss course through Alzheimer’s Australia. “It helped me understand this terrible disease and that Fred wasn’t forgetting things on purpose just to annoy me! I learnt that I’d have to repeat myself often and be patient with him,” says Janice. “Knowing what is wrong made a big difference; 30 years ago with Mum they didn’t have anything like this.” To keep Fred’s mind as active as possible, the Hodgsons have incorporated crosswords, Scrabble, word games, jigsaw puzzles and exercise into their lives. Fred also goes to a fortnightly art class and a weekly social group for people with Alzheimer’s, and both Fred and Janice attend individual monthly support groups.
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012