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Read the answers to your questions about dementia from Red & Yellow Care's expert panel.

(41 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

KathrynMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Jun-15 10:37:48

Did you know that two thirds of people with dementia in the UK are women?

This week we’re running a Q&A with Red & Yellow Care about living with dementia.

Here’s what Red & Yellow Care say: “We are a pioneering care provider for the over 50s. We are committed to dramatically improving health and wellbeing in later life by developing smarter and better care solutions. We provide bespoke and responsive health and social care services, with a specialism in dementia and other long-term conditions prevalent in later life.”

“Recently, we have sponsored a report by Alzheimer’s Disease International on “Women and Dementia: A global research review” written by Dr Rosie Erol, Professor Elizabeth Peel and Professor Dawn Brooker. It aims to understand the main issues affecting women in relation to dementia. The report examines the effect of gender on three specific groups: women living with dementia; women caring for people with dementia in a professional caring role; women undertaking an informal care giving role for someone with dementia. The review shows that the impact of dementia on women including those in the UK is significant and disproportionate, highlighting the need to provide women with much better support whether they are a person with dementia or a caregiver.”

Red & Yellow Care have organised a panel of experts to answer any questions you may have about dementia, and in relation to women in particular. The panel comprises of, Dawn Brooker (PhD, Professor of Dementia Studies at the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester and co-author of the ADI Report quoted above), Dr Nori Graham (Vice President at the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Disease International) and Vivien Ziwocha (Nurse Consultant and Head of Care at Red & Yellow Care).

Post your questions to the panel on this thread before 12th June and we will select 15 to send to the panel. We will then post a link to their responses on the thread on 18th June.

The first 30 posters who post a question will receive a free 20 minute telephone guidance session with any member of Red & Yellow's specialist clinical team.

That could be with one of the following specialists:

Consultant Psychiatrist
Consultant Geriatrician
Clinical Psychologist
Specialist Nurse
Occupational Therapist
Speech & Language Therapist
Dietician

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

TooManyNames Mon 08-Jun-15 09:33:43

Hi there, My family has history of Dementia (grandparents) and I'm wondering what the first signs are? Also are most people who have it unaware that there is an issue? What should one look out for and what kinds of things/activities can help avoid-delay getting dementia?
Thanks xx

bestbefore Mon 08-Jun-15 10:02:12

Following on from the 1st signs Q asked above, is there a line with dementia between having a "senior moment" (which we all seem to get) and full on dementia - how would you 'know' when to be concerned vs when to ignore?

gibbon160 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:26:38

I'm interested in the prevalence of dementia in women. Please could you explain a little more about why this is the case and whether it is simply linked to the longer life expectancy of women?

Acrean1 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:36:22

My father died from Alzheimer’s Disease three years ago, and my mother cared for him until the final year of his life, where we moved him into a care home because he needed round-the-clock care. The stress of looking after my father definitely took it's toll on my mother, and three years on, her closest friends have expressed their concerns of my mother's mental wellbeing. Is there any evidence to show that the primary care-givers of people with Alzheimer's are more likely to develop the disease themselves? I've heard it mentioned several times. Thanks

Acrean1 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:47:15

Also, because my father developed Early onset Alzheimer's Disease, is it advisable that I seek out genetic testing through my GP? Thanks

palmersgate1 Mon 08-Jun-15 12:28:11

I am always reading about changes to diet/ lifestyle that can help prevent dementia (or slow it) but there seems to be a new theory every day. Is there any concrete evidence that what you eat, whether you exercise, not using certain pans, doing mental maths, writing a diary - or any of the other things can make any difference?

madrush Mon 08-Jun-15 14:17:53

My father in law has vascular dementia and just in process of moving into a nursing home at 86. What should we be considering to smooth the transition as much as possible and to assist him settling in? He thinks he is being sent to prison sad

NotCitrus Mon 08-Jun-15 22:39:44

Another query as to the first signs - my mother is definitely repeating herself more and more and listening to anything I say less and less, but how much of that is "normal"? My dad has started finding organising getting out of the house more a chore and between them can faff for ages - again, how much is normal vs when should I poke them to go to the doctor?

Both their mothers had dementia (one vascular, one Alzheimer's ) for over 10 years, but by the time medics were involved they were pretty far gone - both became clear when my grandfathers had strokes.

Also my parents say they have an insurance policy to cover all nursing home fees that may be necessary - do such things cover until death, and what if the local nursing home is full? Both are late 70s and I'm an only child so I'm going to have to deal with them getting ill at some point.

Vole3 Tue 09-Jun-15 06:01:07

My mum was admitted to hospital last week with acute confusion on top of her dementia due to dehydration. What can we do to encourage fluid intake? She always has a drink by her side, but unlike chocolate, it rarely gets touched.

Vole3 Tue 09-Jun-15 06:09:09

I should add she does not tolerate being out of her familiar environment very well so daycare is a no go, currently has agreed a daily carer visit to supervise bathing / clean for her and we all live at least 2 hours away from her, so it needs to be something to maintain her independence as that is what makes her happy.

glenthebattleostrich Tue 09-Jun-15 06:35:44

My MIL is currently being investigated for dementia. She's worried about what the tests will involved and also about getting her finances in order. What do the tests involve and how long does diagnosis usually take?

piechuck Tue 09-Jun-15 07:04:55

What plans can be put in place for a future with dementia? My mum knew cared for her mum with the disease and always said that she would want to be cared for in a home when she 'got like that'.

Now she is suffering and my dad refuses to put her in care as she requested. Is there such a thing as a living will that could specify the care that she wanted? Is there any insurance that can be taken out to pay for it?

What other steps should be taken before the onset of the disease, to minimise the burden on other family members?

Corygal Tue 09-Jun-15 14:07:40

How long do most people stay in a care home? It used to be under a year, but from friends and family alone I know that the final stages - bedbound, speechless, needing feeding - can last up to five years. What are your current figures/thinking on care home duration times?

emwithme Tue 09-Jun-15 23:53:19

My father (age 72) and (paternal) grandmother both had/have (early onset) Alzheimer's (father still alive but not oriented in space, place or person, in care home because stepmother unable to have him at home for his own safety and that of others in the home).

I am 38. Is there anything I can do NOW to prevent this happening to me or is it just the genetic "luck of the draw" and hope I've got a decent gene from my maternal side (where grandmother was fine until age 92 but then rapid descent until age 96).

In terms of planning for the future - can I plan what I want to happen now (a living will or similar) in terms of care home etc and will it still be binding (assuming updated for changes in law etc) in 30 years' time?

FlamingPie Wed 10-Jun-15 19:41:32

How is dementia disagnosed - a relative has been showing severe memory loss and confusion which casues them much distress but nothing has been seen on a brain scan. Is there other symptoms of dementia we need to be aware of that can be tracked through tests?

madsmam Wed 10-Jun-15 23:35:27

Are you aware of any resources for understanding Alzheimers'/Dementia which are pitched at children, my DD12 and DS10 are both becoming more worried that Granny will forget them. I have tried to reassure them that emotions can linger when memory is gone, so even if she doesn't know exactly who they are, she will know she loves them, but I wonder if I could help them understand better.

LokiPokey Thu 11-Jun-15 12:29:58

My mother is suspected of having dementia but doesn't want to under go any further testing. She had a blood test which was OK, and answered some questions with a nurse (what's the year, who's prime minister etc) and failed all but a few. As the blood tests came back OK the GP hasn't suggested any further tests and without support from them to keep looking I don't know where to turn or who can help me. I'm worried it won't be long until she needs me to care for her and feel a diagnosis would help prepare us both for what could happen.

Spidergirl2015 Thu 11-Jun-15 17:05:27

Is it possible for people with denentia to learn to communicate with aids once their speech is deteriorating? What do you recommend carers do to help sufferers who have lost speech skills?

cogitosum Thu 11-Jun-15 18:29:59

My Grandad has just died of alzheimers and id like to know if there's any tests to find out likelihood of it passing down to us and also if it's a good idea to find out. Been discussing it lots with my mum recently.

Corygal Thu 11-Jun-15 20:52:56

Since his mid-60s my dad has shown signs of confusion - memory loss, losing his way in the locality he's lived in for 40 years, vagueness, and so on. He's also had some, er, 'personality changes' that seem to be exaggerations - to a very unusual degree - of traits that he's always had a bit. He drinks about a bottle of wine daily.

Now 78, his memory is getting worse; he's more easily confused and a lot worse tempered. The drinking hasn't stopped. He was assessed for dementia a few years ago, and, to family dismay, given the all clear.

Should we get him tested again? And what effect does alcohol has on dementia? If it is dementia, is the drink making it worse? Or could it just be drink? Either way, what do we do?

Thanks a million in advance.

CMOTDibbler Thu 11-Jun-15 21:07:52

My mum has reasonably severe dementia which first affected her in the temporal lobes, though now she is generally impaired.

She has problems with food and drink (I think in recognising it and co ordinating everything), but the strategies my (very frail) father has developed previously are now failing, and its particularly hard to get her to drink anything. Is there anything you can recommend? He models drinking, she has a straw usually, he tries different drinks through the day, and has tried closed cups/sports bottles.

funnyperson Thu 11-Jun-15 22:24:29

My mother has word finding difficulties and has also begun to see a family of people who dont exist. The optician says her eyesight with glasses is normal but she says she cant see to read. Would speech therapy be helpful or a psychiatrist? How do we and she cope with our feelings?

evelynj Fri 12-Jun-15 08:06:30

What are the best foods to eat for prevention/to keep up brain function?

KathrynMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jun-15 12:03:21

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for all your questions! I will be contacting you each individually to start organising your free 20 minute telephone guidance session with Red & Yellow Care's clinical team so keep an eye out on your emails.

We have sent 16 questions to Red & Yellow Care for their panel to answer and will be posting the answers on Thursday 18th June - so remember to check back!

Best wishes,

Kathryn

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