Category Archives: dementia
Danger zone: The brown areas of this brain show Alzheimer’s
We’ve been waiting for a breakthrough drug treatment for Alzheimer’s for decades.
An astonishing £25 billion has been spent worldwide on trying to develop one, and yet we still don’t have anything that can slow down, let alone stop, the disease.
It’s true that drugs such as Aricept may help some patients with their symptoms, but only for a short while.
That leaves patients and their families in the hopeless position of waiting for the drug companies to discover a treatment.
What’s so cruel is that no one has ever made it clear to them that it doesn’t have to be like that.
There are other options.
There are things that can be done to improve the situation right now — but governments, charities and other research bodies need to make a long overdue switch to a new strategy: preventing the disease.
What is amazing is that nearly all that £25 billion has been spent researching and testing ways to stop just one thing that goes wrong in patients’ brains.
For many years I’ve thought of carers as the forgotten millions. As a family we certainly felt forgotten on many occasions during my dad’s 19 years with dementia, both before and during his years in care homes and his spells in hospital, and given what I hear at conferences, events, through my writing, social media and email, little has changed.
There is just one subtle difference though – I feel the voice of carers is becoming louder, more persistent and more difficult to ignore. Slowly but surely there is a movement growing in momentum, spirit and immovability that will, I hope, one day ensure that the needs, rights, knowledge and skill of unpaid carers is recognised and enshrined in the fabric of society.
The son of one of the victims of the carers who have been convicted of abusing their patients has today spoken of his agony and guilt.
Chris Haywood, a married father-of-two from Lancaster, chose Hillcroft Nursing Home at Slyne in October 2010, for his father Ken after being impressed by staff and its specialist Coniston Unit.
But it was there that his dad and seven other dementia sufferers were physically abused by carers who, a trial at Preston Crown Court heard, “mocked, bullied and assaulted” them for laughs when they were “bored”.