Saturday 31 March 2012

A is for Alzheimers

Today begins the month long A-Z blog challenge,  I will be writing about something that has been very close to my heart and in some cases still raw as it is an experience I face every day.

My topic for the challenge is Alzheimers and my experience being a carer for my mother Mavis who is 88 years and you will get to know more about her over the month.  She was diagnosed with having Alzheimers over 12 years ago and it is now in the severe stages.  When I first started my blog I shared in my post 'Journey of a Carer'

Alzheimers is the most commonly diagnosed form of dementia and the illness gets worse over time. Dementia describes a collection of symptoms including memory loss, loss of reasoning and communication skills and is an umbrella term to describe many other symptoms that occur when there is damage to particular parts of the brain.

There are so many emotions that you go through as a carer, and I believe the more we share our experiences the better placed those that want to be supportive and the healthcare professionals will be able to relate.  There needs to be an understanding of the impact that it can have on the life of the family as a whole and what it means to a generation of people increasingly suffering with the condition.  We also have to be aware of the individual suffering with the disease and how isolating it can become.  Statistics show that 1 in 3 of us either know someone who is directly effected by dementia or who is a carer.

As an artist I see the benefits that a creative activity can have on our health and wellbeing.  I currently use creativity in my role as a carer and share my experiences with those in healthcare settings.  I also run an Arts in Health network for anyone interested in finding out information about initiatives that are available, or want to connect with other artists in the healthcare setting. If you currently engaged in creative activities that impact on health it would be great to feature you in the network, so do let me know.

Over the course of the month you will gain an insight to my world as a carer, the one thing that has given clarity, peace and understanding is my faith and my creativity.  I do hope you join me for the rest of the month and over 1,400 other people as we take part in the A-Z Challenge it would be great to get your comments and feedback and I hope that you are inspired, encouraged on your virtual tour as you meet some great people.


  1. Hi Amanda .. I hadn't realised you were looking after your mother - it's a very difficult ageing process to deal with .. I empathise with you.

    I love what you do with Arts in Health .. and I'll pass the info on to Steve, who works in the Dementia Unit, at the Nursing centre where my mother is being nursed with strokes - he is an artist and I'm sure will be interested in at least looking at your work ..

    Cheers - I'll enjoy reading your posts as it's so good to learn more from everyone who has sick relatives and how they cope etc ... ... Hilary

  2. I watched my mother-in-law sink into that awful place called Alzheimers and it has affected a number of my friends' families, and not only the elderly, so I am interested in your experiences, especially in the Art work.

    I'm blogging and A to z of nostalgia which is, I believe, the last type of memory to lose. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. Hilary, yes there is nothing that quite prepares you for what you have to do, sorry to hear about your mother, hope she gets better soon - thanks for passing on the information, its aways good to get input from other artists. Looking forward to reading your posts as well!

    Rosalind, many thanks for your comments and passing by, looking forward in visiting your blog and reading your posts!

  4. Such a burden you've taken on, and yet you've taken it on with a good attitude and used the experience to enlighten others. Good for you. Your mother is blessed to have you.

  5. My mum had dementia and I know had painful it is to lose the one you loved long before their body leaves us. I wish you well, I wish you peace and I wish you a recovery of her memory that is joyful and personal.
    Happy A-Z blogging :)

  6. Alex, trying to see the blessings, mums nature and sense of humour have helped us in the most dire of times!

    Jemima, thanks for stopping by, and your thoughts...

  7. My great-aunt had alzheimers, and I have done some volunteer work in alzheimers wards, but I can't imagine doing it full time. Your mother is lucky to have you

  8. Hi Amanda, I've never personally known anyone with alzheimers. Thank you for enlightening us about it by sharing your experiences caring for your mother. x :)

  9. I admire your courage to tackle such a loving job. My Mom cares for my Grandma who has it and I'm amazed at her love. My sister and I take turns keeping Grandma once a month so they can get a break for a week. I hope you have someone giving you breaks.
    Catherine Denton

  10. Oh, Amanda...
    I feel your pain, sorrow, and anguish. My grandmother has Alzheimer's. She's at the point now where she can't complete sentences. She's losing the ability to communicate with words. Alzheimer's is a horrendous disease.
    I write about it at times on my blog PocketfulofPlaydough.
    I'm glad to have found you on the A-Z Challenge.
    Brianna from Bible Bloggers


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