My Dementia Story

 
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Talking brain health

So, you might wonder why I have developed such an interest in brain health over the past few years. It all started when we took over the running of the family farm a few years ago. Before our time, my husband’s family converted the original farmhouse into a small, specialist dementia care when his grandmother developed Alzheimers. They were able to care for her there and went on to provide support and care for numerous other families as well.

On moving to the farm I took over the running of “A Place in the Country.” Let’s be honest, running a dementia care centre is not on most 30 years old’s bucket lists! It’s not something I ever envisioned myself doing but that’s exactly what I did, for nearly three years until we had to close it. 

During that time, I learned an incredible amount about this cruel disease and saw first hand the heartache it caused family members of those afflicted. Facilitating a relationship between the resident and their family, while trying to shield the family from some of the cruelty of the disease was an honour and a privilege. The home brought some incredible people into my life and I will always be grateful for that.

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A message of hope

Last week I gave you the low-down on my time running the social media for the Border2Beach Psycle tour.

 

The ride had three main objectives;

  • raising awareness around dementia and reducing the stigma around the disease

  • raising funds for Alzheimers SA to train caregivers

  • educating people about dementia and, more importantly, how to reduce your dementia risk through lifestyle factors

 

I really enjoyed all the research I did into brain health for the health promotion campaign we ran on socials and when it comes to a disease that is progressive and degenerative with no cure, it is so exciting that new research has unearthed a message of hope!

Alzheimers vs dementia

A lot of people ask the question, “what’s the difference between Alzheimers and dementia?” The answer is, dementia is an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms. There are several conditions that can cause dementia, with Alzheimers disease being the most common.

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Reducing your dementia risk

Interestingly, the damage that occurs in the brain when one develops a dementia has been found to occur decades before the first symptoms of memory loss. A common misconception is that dementia is a normal part of ageing, but the research suggests that it is, in fact, a result of damage that occurs to the brain which is preventable through lifestyle changes in up to a third of dementia cases! Nutrition, adequate sleep and physical exercise have all been found to play a huge role in brain health and in ones ability to reduce your risk of developing dementia.

 

A recent study also found that engagement in problem solving throughout life could enhance cognitive performance. Puzzles and problem solving are proving to be an integral part of brain health and, even in older adults, have been found to slow down cognitive decline.

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Cipla and #savingmemories

This Sepetember (Alzheimers awareness month incase you missed the memo) I’ve teamed up with Cipla pharmaceuticals to encourage you to take charge of your brain health! At the end of the day, its not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts. Ageing is inevitable but it’s still better than the alternative! Ensuring that your brain is in good shape goes a long way to ensuring quality of life in your later years and it is never too early or to late to start making brain healthy choices.

Cipla has launched a microsite for this health awareness campaign with lots of information to better educate yourself. They are also giving you the opportunity to upload a special memory of a loved one living with Dementia in a form of a photograph that will be converted into a puzzle for FREE (limited quantities available). This would also make a great gift for an ageing relative to both trigger a memory and encourage them to engage in a problem solving activity!

So click through to the link below to get in there early! Please tag me into your posts when you receive your puzzle? I’d love to see you and your family benefiting from this great campaign and #savingmemories.

All my love,

 Mama on the Run