1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Jeanette nz

    Jeanette nz Registered User

    Jun 8, 2005
    17
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Hi Allan
    I had my SPECT scan last week and it was quite a process. I had to lie in a room for 30 minutes and then they crept in and injected me with a radioactive tracer and then left the room again without talking to me and came back for me another 30 mins later. Apparently they need you to keep your brain as quiet as possible so the fluid can reach as many places as possible. The scan was quick and easy but I have not got the results yet.

    You mentioned that you had two scans taken a year apart, did they show areas of your brain that were affected? I had an MRI a year ago and it showed nothing abnormal but I am told that this happens often in the early stages.

    The weather must be starting to cool down on your side of the world. We are just starting the see the first signs of spring with blossoms appearing and its quite lovely.
    Jeanette :)
     
  2. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Scan

    Hi Jeanette

    Glad to hear you got throught the scan, I do hope your results are ok.
    I am told that if you have 2 scans about a year apart, they can tell by the changes that show from one year to the next, I don't what the changes are, but they seem sure that I have Alzheimers.
    The weather is still on the hot side, but there are signs of a change. I don't like the hot weather, always think, if its cold you can put on a jumper, with the heat you are stuck with it. One of our dogs is a long haired German Shepherd and she feels the heat so we bought an air conditioner for her, so our living room is always cool. she has always been sickly with a digestive problem we have to feed her special food and sprinkle powder on it. Hope you enjoy your Spring.

    Allan
     
  3. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Is anyone else out there

    I enjoy my chats with Jeanette, but It would be nice if someone else would join us, we dont have to talk about our problems, there are lots of interesting things that we all have in common. I met several sufferer went I visited the Alzheimers headquarters in London, I was surprised how well they seem to get on with their lives, they seemed to come from good positions,company directors and other with degrees, without exception they all seemed to be copping very well, I wondered wether Alheimers attacked the more gifted of people. I would be interested in others opinions about this.
    wishing you all the best from all of me.
    Allan
     
  4. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    HI ALLAN ,i was a carer ,just want to say ,i dont think alzheimers is fussy who it attacks ,there are people from all walks of life with this illness,i have found it very interesting reading your post ,knowing what it is like from your point of veiw ,most people never discuss it ,i always tried to with my husband ,thanks for the insight ,i hope more people join in with you soon.angela
     
  5. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Thsnks for your reply

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for your input, Please keep in touch.

    Fond thoughts

    Allan
     
  6. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    HI ALLAN ,hope you have had a good day .and are coping ,I notice from your posts that you have a german sheperd ,my son has three ,he lives on a non working farm ,so they are free to have the run of the place ,my husband just loved these dogs .I hope yours is a comfort to you ,STAY STRONG .ANGELA
     
  7. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    114
    South Coast
    Hello Allan

    My husband was quite a clever man (he was an architect), and so many people said to me that it seemed to be the intelligent people who got Alzheimers that I asked his Consultant if this was true.

    The consultant said that it struck people with all levels of intelligence equally, but it was possible that the disease caused problems much sooner for people who did jobs that needed a lot of thought or intelligence, whereas people who did more routine jobs were able to carry on for much longer without showing that they had difficulties, and so the problems didn't show up or get diagnosed so quickly.

    You do hear about so many bright and gifted people who get this illness that you begin to wonder, but I guess that these are people in the public eye (eg Harold Wilson, Iris Murdoch etc) and they are brought to our attention in the press and on TV etc, whereas we don't get to hear about people who aren't well known.

    I think that getting on with your life in the way you are is the best thing you can do, and you are doing everything you can to keep your brain active - I can empathise with you, as I have been having chemotherapy for three months and it does terrible things to your brain in terms of memory, just feel as though I am in a fog for some days after each session, so I have trouble with remembering what I have done on my computer as well - you are not the only one!

    With all good wishes

    Ruthie
     
  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Ruthie
    I am sure that your consultant is correct in his explanation to you regarding who gets Alzeimer's.
    It has no respect for class ,race culture, level of intelligence,but he may be right about it showing first with people who have a "thinking job".
    regards
    Norman
     
  9. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    The dogs

    Hi Angela,

    As much as I love German Sheperd Cara, my favourite is my Yorkshire terrier. Katie stays by me most of the time, and always warns me if my Wife Christine is coming she gives a low growl, not quite sure why she does this because she loves my wife.
    Keep in touch.
    Allan
     
  10. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Hi Ruthie

    Hi Ruthie.

    It may seem a funny thing to say, but when I realised something was wrong with my memory I thought I had filled up my brain, something like when a hard disk on a computer starts getting near full or you have too much rubbish on it, felt that if I could do a scandisk and a defrag, all would be right. I wouldn't say I was that smart, but have always taken an interest in most things, and had this silly thought that maybe I had used up most of the space. I know we use only a fraction of our brains so this must be rubbish. But what ever they say I would be interested in the average IQ of someone with Alzheimers.
    Allan
     
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Allan

    that's a good rationalisation! May not be the case in reality, but we folks at both sides of the situation need to be able to get some vision of what is going wrong. The comparison with computers is at least one we can relate to.

    I know dementia is spread over all sorts of folks, but my rationalisation, probably again flawed, based on those I have encountered at Jan's home and elsewhere - and with Jan herself - is that there have been very few in my experience who have been less than more than averagely intelligent.
     
  12. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    HI ALLAN ,how are you doing today ,your little dog katie sounds adorable .My brother in law use to visit every sat ,to watch football and have a can of beer with Jim my husband ,while i went shopping ,he would bring his little yorkshire terrier Bas ,with him ,this dog would not go near anyone except my brother in law ,yet he started to settle on Jims knee for the whole of the visit ,even though my brother in law was sat on the other side of the room ,it was as if he was protecting Jim,have they got some sixth sense ,ANGELA
     
  13. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Dogs

    Hi Angela,

    I have had a good day, a friend of mine of some years picked me up and we spent some time at his house. Regarding dogs I find mine looking at me and I am sure if I feel a bit down she knows and goes to fetch the ball, I can throw it through the patio doors out into the back garden. It doen't take long before we are both puffed out and happy she of course would go on all day. I supose its instinked but they almost seem to read your mind. One person once said don't forget dog is god spelt backwards.
    Happy if silly thoughts.

    Allan
     
  14. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Above average IQ

    Hi Brucie,

    How many suffers live their own houses, with some money in the bank. It would seem to me that most suffers live in their own homes, which must make them mostly successful people. What is their ratio to the numbers with Alzheimers that live in council accomodation, wouldn't take some bright spark much time to find out. how many are qualified in some field

    Food for thought

    Allan
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Allan,

    There was a study done fairly recently that aimed to compare levels of Alzheimer's across different areas of the country. The study found that people in affluent areas, where there is better health and longer life expectancy, were no less at risk of developing the condition.

    You can read a report on the BBC's News web site here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4173824.stm

    One other side comment about that news story on the BBC. I've noticed that they always use the same image (of an elderly man in a wheelchair) to illustrate their stories on Alzheimer's or dementia. I have become increasingly fed up with that image as being unrepresentative.

    Two days ago I actually emailed the BBC to suggest they consider updating their images - changing to something like those on the main Alzheimer's Society web site. I actually got a reply that same day from someone at the BBC saying that they would be contacting to Alzheimer's Society to see if they could obtain some more appropriate images.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  16. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Sandy

    I imagine the BBC uses that image because the population at large has become accustomed to a very unsubtle approach on everything. Unless things are right over the top, the public just doesn't bother to look past the sport and boobies.

    I agree that they should explore other images though.

    Regarding the intelligence/affluence issue, these are not necessarily linked. I can think of some extremely affluent people who are at the amoeba level for brain activity [contentious suggestions deleted from this mail!]. Likewise, many very intelligent people have to use their intelligence to keep their family's body and soul together.

    It is probably best to keep focused on one's own situation anyway.
     
  17. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Many thanks

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for the information, it looks like my thoughts were wrong. As regard to the image in the acticle, I certainly don't match that discription, I am 6 feet 1 inches tall and I think I appear quite healthy.
    Allan
     
  18. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Bruce
    regarding the intelligence levels.
    All that we are reading are mainly opinions,there has to the best of my knowledge not been any reasearch on the subject.
    One sure fact Alzheimer's Disease has no respect for race,class,sex or anyone.
    Norman
     
  19. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Alan,

    I thought that article was interesting as the research was so recent - it was only reported on in the last week.

    I liked your observations about the people that you met in London. It is often people with spirit, intelligence, a willingness to try new things and put in some personal effort that make organisations like the Alzheimer's Society so effective.

    I'm glad to hear that you're in good health. I do hope that the BBC can get some feedback from the Alzheimer's Society on more representative images of people with dementia/AD.

    Did you hear that the web site set up by the West Kent branch of the Alzheimer's Society has recently won an AOL Innovation in the Community Award? You can read the story here:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/News_and_Campaigns/News/050824AOL.htm

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  20. Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton Registered User

    May 20, 2005
    26
    I live in Cheltenham
    Dogs

    Hi Sandy,
    As I have said before we love all our dogs, but some love Chris more and others me. Sally is in the former group, loves the wife but just puts up with me. but still she could have saved my life last year, I am a diabetic and had been asleep for some hours when Sally come round to my side of the bed and woke me up, I was tired and told her to go back to bed, I then drifted back to sleep, Sally woke me again and yet again, I then realised I felt unwell and took a blood test which revealed I was not far off going into a coma. I think she might love me a little bit. My doctor told me he had heard cases simular to this before.
    Thanks for your input.
    Allan :)
     

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