Group backs dementia sufferers, carers
Alzheimers New Zealand Waikato works with people with dementia and their carers to enable them to live life to the fullest.
Educator Jane Kay has recently launched a communications workshop to help carers minimise misunderstandings with their loved-ones with dementia.
This in turn should reduce challenging behaviours such as wandering, repetitive questing and apathy. The workshops are on-going and depend on demand.
Ms Kay said people do not always realise the extent of the strain involved in caring for a person with dementia.
‘‘Many people think it’s a little memory loss and it’s not serious but they don’t realise it involves every aspect of a person’s functioning and can result in 24/7 care in the end.’’
The organisation, which supports 450 families in the Waikato region, also runs regular carer support groups, education sessions and the ALZWELL programme alongside the Waikato District Health Board, which provides services to people with dementia and their carers.
Carer support groups for people in Tokoroa are held on the second Wednesday of every month at 1.30pm in the Tokoroa Hospital Library.
Dementia occurs as a result of physical changes in the structure of the brain which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.
In New Zealand more than 43,000 people have dementia for which there is no cure. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form making.
By 2026, 74,821 people will have dementia. By 2050, 146,699 people will have dementia. These numbers are growing dramatically due to an ageing population combined with the fact people are living longer.
Diagnosis is being made at an increasingly younger age, sometimes in those only 50.