Dementia patients need to try new things, says Alzheimer’s Society
More than half (59%) of people said they are worried that developing dementia would prevent them from enjoying new experiences, a new survey suggests, but the Alzheimer's Society is encouraging people to do something new
More than half (59%) of people said they are worried that developing dementia would prevent them from enjoying new experiences, a new survey suggests, but the Alzheimer's Society is encouraging people to do something new.
Most people are living unfulfilled lives and want to try new things but don’t, a survey carried out by Alzheimer's Society to mark Dementia Awareness Week (17-23 May) suggests.
Over half of the British public (57%) say they want to try out new activities or hobbies. However, less than a third have done so in the last year citing lack of confidence, laziness and lack of time as the main reasons holding them back.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer's Society said: “Taking part in new activities is important for everyone. It helps build confidence, enhance emotional wellbeing and creates positive memories. As dementia progresses, a person's ability to do challenging, new activities reduces but they still experience joy and pleasure - like anyone else.
“Even the simplest things can help people with dementia feel connected to the world and the people who matter most. While they may not remember the details, the positive emotions remain. That's why Alzheimer's Society works tirelessly to help those affected by dementia stay connected through our services and support.”
Seeing the Northern Lights, going on safari and swimming with dolphins were selected from a list as the top three experiences people would like to try in their lifetime.
Joyce, from Gloucestershire, is the daughter of Margaret Sun (89) who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2012. Speaking about her mother's dementia, Joyce said: “After my mother's diagnosis, I was determined to help her have the best quality of life and asked her to make a list of things she still wanted to do or experience. To my surprise, mum said she had always wanted to go on a safari.
“People told us that there was no point taking her on a safari trip because she wouldn't remember. That's not the point. People with dementia can still experience enjoyment in life. From the moment we arrived in Kenya we noticed a change in mum's behaviour and her character blossomed. It gave us so much pleasure seeing her enjoy the trip and we were overwhelmed with the impact the safari adventure had on her.”
To learn more about Dementia Awareness Week and how to help people with dementia live fulfilled lives click here.