Since we are all ladies of a certain age at Fryern Ladies’ Probus Club, we expected to find the topic of our recent meeting held at The Roundabout Hotel in West Chiltington of value and great interest and we were not to be disappointed.
The topic was on dementia and whilst most people have some knowledge of this brain, crippling disease there is so much unknown about this challenging, medical condition which terrifies us so we were grateful to Lesley Anne Lloyd for her time and explanations.
Lesley is the director of fundraising, marketing and communications at Guild Care in Worthing which is an organisation where care and services for people suffering from dementia can be sought.
The organisation controls four residential care homes, plus many charity shops, and volunteers are eagerly sought from the general public.
Quite simply dementia is caused by abnormal deposits of protein in the brain leading to degeneration in the cerebral cortex which is the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, memories, actions and personality.
Whilst there are 105 different types of dementia the most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which currently affects 1.8 million sufferers and is predicted to rise significantly.
Lesley outlined the causes behind the behavioural and mental problems experienced by sufferers and illustrated how particular areas of time can be eliminated from a person’s brain which would affect their lack of recognition of a loved one.
How a person could be driving a car and then suddenly forgetting how to drive! Similarly how only remembering up to the fifties could make a person place an electric kettle on an open hob – all quite disastrous and very threatening.
We were also guided in the treatment of dementia patients and to see the world from their limited perspective.
Aggressive behaviour could result in us misreading the signs but nevertheless caring for such a condition can be very draining on the carer and respite breaks very important.
Dance and singing forms a major part in dementia treatment and Lesley showed us a video, of a normally silent man, almost auditioning for Strictly – quite amazing.
Penny Wilson thanked Lesley on our behalf and said that it had been a brilliant talk. She said that she had recently ‘lost’ a friend, to this condition, and could relate to everything that had been said – thank you Lesley.
At the close of the meeting we were reminded of a future coffee morning at The Queen’s Head and a trip to Salisbury Christmas market in November.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 6 when our Speaker, Lady Emma Bernard, will be talking about her beautiful home - Parham House.