Imagine the brain as bookshelves… 📔📕📗
Now fast forward 44 years, I am 80 years old (today!!) How does dementia effect me?
There is a full bookcase, each book represents a memory or a fact.
My top shelf holds very recent books or memories, such as what I had for breakfast this morning, how much food I gave the chickens…
By my shoulders are my 60s, such as my retirement party. 🎉
By my knees are books from my 20s & by my feet books holding memories from childhood; school memories.
Dementia rocks the bookcase from side to side.
What will happen to the books?
They will fall off. Starting from where? The top.
As dementia progresses, my upper shelves will empty, so what I think as my most recent memories will come from further down my bookcase - earlier in my life.
If only books and memories that are still firm are from a lower shelf, when I was in my 20s I may think I’m living in the 1950s. This could cause some problems. I may put the electric kettle on the hob.
You my family member and friends may get me a hob kettle to help and support me.
Hearing this… 👆 you may think a person with dementia loses everything.
I’ve only shared 1 part of the brain. The factual bookcase, (the hippocampus part of the brain) which holds facts, names, faces, numbers, dates.
This bookcase is flimsy, bought from Ikea and poorly constructed… (must do better next time!)
There is another part of the brain - picture as a separate bookcase, the emotional bookcase (The amygdala part of the brain).
This manages my emotions and feelings.
This bookcase is rock solid and made of oak and so It’s more resistant to dementia and its contents will be safer for longer.
For every book on the factual bookcase there is a corresponding book on my emotional bookcase. A school book or memory in the factual part of the brain & in the emotional part; a feeling, perhaps of being inspired by a teacher.
You come to visit me & we have a row because I forgot your name. I may feel angry and upset, you think it doesn’t matter because I will forget about it.
Your right, I may forget the argument but the feelings of anger and sadness will stay.
A different day, we go to the beach 🏖and have ice cream.
Later, I forget the ice cream 🍦and may even forget the whole day out. You may think that the trip wasn’t worth while but what stays with me?
The happy emotions and feelings. The happiness of the trip, the excitement & contentment of the ice cream. 🍦
This is why we encourage anyone who knows someone living with dementia to continue to visit them and help them to live well because they will remember the feelings of love and happiness.
Remember - you can live well with dementia. This analogy is from the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends information session that I deliver.
I’ll be doing another live shortly so keep an eye out, if you like this message share it out & leave me a comment.
If you know someone who may need a carer let them know about me and about CareChooser.
Christopher “Picks Star Carers” Downie
P.S. Whenever you’re ready... here are 5 ways I can help improve the wellbeing of your elderly parents/spouse:
1. Grab a free copy of my e-book; 3 quick tips to beat falls and confusion. It’s a road map to wellbeing - a 20 second read... We asked the GP on our team; Malcolm for his 3 top tips. — Click Here (https://www.carechooser.com#homecare-falls) Look for the gold banner.
2. Join CareChooser’s Facebook page and connect with us. It’s our new Facebook community where you can follow and learn from us. — Click Here (https://www.facebook.com/CareChooser)
3. If you’d like us to improve the wellbeing of your parents/spouse and have us find you a consistent carer send me a message on WhatsApp at bit.ly/carechooser-WA with the words “Carer”. Tell me a little about your parents/spouse, we’ll check availability in your area, send profiles and arrange a meeting.
4. Join us and be a Case Study I’m putting together a new case study at CareChooser... stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with me on improving the wellbeing of your parents/spouse and learn the secrets to getting the most from a carer... just send me a message on WhatsApp at bit.ly/carechooser-WA with the words “Case Study”.
5. Work with me and my team privately.
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take you from stressed to wellbeing and have us find a bespoke carer matched uniquely for your family just send me a message on WhatsApp at bit.ly/carechooser-WA with the word “Private”... tell me a little about your parents/spouse and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!
Our carers provide you with specialised dementia care at home. Your loved ones will be looked after by carers with experience working and supporting people living with dementia and know how to adapt to the condition's changing nature.
Contact us on 0208 886 0686 if we can help in anyway.
We are a dementia friendly organisation and we deliver the Alzheimer's Society's free 45 minute-1hour long Dementia Friends information session. This session takes a very positive view of dealing with dementia. One of it's key 5 messages is that it is possible to live well with dementia. We also strongly align to one of the key elements of the campaign to change the way people talk about dementia and changing from the use of the term 'dementia sufferer' to 'person living with dementia'. We regularly deliver the free Dementia Friends session and can also deliver it 1:1 to family members or to whole family groups.