alzheimers conquered

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mandy, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. mandy

    mandy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2003
    14
    staffordshire
    Hi,
    I have just finished reading a book called Alzheimers Challenged and Conquered? I dont know if anyone else has read this book but it has some interesting ideas in it.

    It is all about a man named Louis Blank and his story about finding out he has Alzheimers and dealing with it.

    It tells the story of his life and the feelings of his wife and daughter.

    I could emphasize with the things that were happening to him as my mum has Alzheimers and I found myself nodding and saying to myself 'thats what my mum was doing'.

    My mum is now at the stage where there is very little that she can do for herself.

    The book tells of Louis challenge and how he made himself do mind exercises to overcome the disease. He worked constantly, doing memory exercises all day, every day, repeating things constantly and trying to make his brain alert again.

    Apparantly he succeeded!

    I was just wondering if anyone else has tried anything like this?

    My mum doesnt know what time, day or season it is, let alone being able to remember things like the 7 times table backwards! (which is one of the things Louis did). Do you think something like this could help?

    I was thinking of doing charts with her with the days of the week on, or perhaps a simple times table chart.

    Has anyone got any ideas for memory games that they have found helpful?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Altz Book

    Dear Mandy,

    This book sounds a wee bit optimistic actually, however, would you be able to post the title and ISBN number here? I'd rather like to have a look at it.
     
  3. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    161
  4. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Thanks Charlie,

    Will see if I can get hold of a copy of the book. Perhaps we can discuss it later on.
    Jude
     
  5. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    161
    Great idea, I'm a slow reader mind you. By the time my daughters had her bed time story I'm beat these days :)
     
  6. Jpr

    Jpr Registered User

    Dec 26, 2003
    28
    berkshire
    keep trying

    I don't know if a such mental stimulation programme can really reverse true dementia but from my experience continuing to respect the individual living with dementia, recognising them as individuals, adapting the environment to enable them, etc certainly helps. We and rewarding.

    Working as a care assistant many years ago I looked after a delightful man with marked dementia. He was on the ward for about 6 weeks and never uttered a single intelligible word until one Saturday afternoon when we sat and watched the rugby together on TV. After a few minutes I noticed he was much more animated than usual and began talking to him about the match. Gradually during the course of the match I had a conversation with him about his rugby playing days. Once the match was over 'he' was lost to me again for the rest of his stay in hospital.

    More recently my mother had dementia and required admission to a nursing home. In the first nursing home she was physically well cared for, but continued to deteriorate memtally and physically. Once my father died we moved her to a home nearer my brothers. In this small (15 beds) residential home for 'women with dementia' she was given a lot more mental stimulation. The home was 'new build' and designed for people with dementia and had a high staff:resident ratio. Staff members were encouraged to interact with the residents and all had some training and interest in dementia care. The difference in my mother was dramatic. During her more lucid moments she was once again able to tell jokes. The stimulation and encouragement did not reverse the disease but did seem to improve her ability to communicate and participate.

    Good luck
     
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,942
    Female
    Dundee
    The book sounds interesting - I've just ordered it from Amazon so here's hoping!

    Izzy
     
  8. kate34

    kate34 Registered User

    Sep 23, 2003
    51
    re book

    Hmm not heard of that one, rather doubtful, but will wait to hear others feedback...would be interested to hear of it mentioned in actual medical research!
     
  9. kate34

    kate34 Registered User

    Sep 23, 2003
    51
    scientific basis?

    I would also be interested to know what scientific basis there is for such a book; for instance, having been told that the progressive nature of the disease rends the prognosis irreversible, it sounds improbable, though for many it might lend some glimmer of hope, has anyone asked the Alzheimer's Society academic side about it?
    Sorry not to be more optimistic, as i would love for DAd to regain all his mental faculties as we would any of our relatives or friends affected with the disease.
    Perhaps someone with medical know how could shed some light?
    Regards
    Kate
     
  10. kate34

    kate34 Registered User

    Sep 23, 2003
    51
    re book

    anyone else read this book?
    think i will order it from library if possible, does sound an interesting read, would be nice to think it would be possible for a reversal to occur though wouldnt it?
     
  11. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,942
    Female
    Dundee
    I got the book by return from Amazon and read it one night. It is very easy read but I'm really not sure about it all. He seems to have gone from not being able to recognise his own daughter or any friends and neighbours to being able to learn and recite quite complicated poetry and writing two books. I don't really understand the extent of his mental exercises - I feel if he was already quite far gone in terms of some of things he described earlier then no amount of concentration would have allowed him to learn these verses etc. Having said this I do believe that while AD is in the very early stages regular activities such as crosswords, jigsaws and any other mental stimulus must be beneficial. What did interest me was the issue of diet and aluminium. I have read about the dangers of aluminium but haven't thought too much about it. The book has at least made me think about it and I will do some more reading research and perhaps try to change our diet etc.
    Would like to hear what anyone else thought of the bok.

    Cheers
    Izzy
     

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