September is World Dementia Awareness Month. In observance of that Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is presenting a series of "classes" about topics of interest from the viewpoint of those of us that live with dementia. We are also having a panel discussion later this month on the "myths of dementia" and believe me, there are some big ones. You can register for the presentations or as we named them "Master Classes" here. I apologize if my last blog post sounded a bit down, I have been feeling a little under the weather and that probably came off in my writing. I am trying to post a great deal more this month in recognition of Dementia Awareness Month.
One thing that came to mind today is that anyone new to a diagnosis needs to NOT read anything online about timelines or expectations with dementia. There are many professionals that want to talk averages or expected timelines and that does a very large disservice to someone diagnosed. NO ONE knows what your progression will look like or the speed of it. That is something that is HIGHLY individual and my online support group has dozens of people that absolutely trash all statistics and averages. Perhaps part of that is because all of them are people who are doing their best to stay engaged with others, keep their minds challenged and be social. It is such a challenge with any of these diseases to do what is best for us, that is the catch 22. What evidence suggests is that staying socially engaged, keeping your mind very active is what is best to slow progression. On the other hand the things that get in the way are apathy, our friends from before diagnosis tend to pull away and there are precious few chances to be very social for many of us. Perhaps that is why I jumped early at chances to be involved in advocacy and speaking to groups, attending conferences, anything else that forced me to be out and with other people. It does get harder as time goes by to push yourself to be out of the house more, it really does and I know why people end up not wanting to leave home for anything. That is why it is so hard to do what is thought to be the best things for us. So if you have someone in your life with dementia that is hard to get out of the house, understand that it is out of their comfort zone. I think you should try to get them to want to go somewhere but please be understanding with how hard it is for them to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
So anyway, that is about it for today. I am ending up this blog post a LONG time after I started it. Got diverted for something and didn't remember I had started it until I noticed the tab open with the part above written. And so it goes with dementia. Have a great weekend and be good to one another.
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