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.

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