Treating symptoms in the early stages of dementia, as the gateway to supporting disabilities, not managing them in ways that restrict and hinder, and managing emotional changes with counselling and positive engagement, rather than treating the symptoms with drugs, have become paramount to my well being and perceived longevity.
If the symptoms of dementia were treated as a disAbilities, the negative impact on the person, their family, and society would be far less; we would be given assistance to remain employed, which in turn would increase our social inclusion and social equality. This would decrease the isolation, stigma, and discrimination. This in turn would decrease the economic impact on person and society.
We would be given strategies to assist us to live with the unique challenges of dementia; Counselling to remain engaged with our pre-diagnosis activities, a disAbility plan, assisted technologies, disAbility equipment, mentoring, and even note takers or memory loss reading logs to help us function fully. This would ensure we are treated with dignity and as whole and individual human beings. At the ADI conference in Taipei last week, these things are now being recommended as slowing the progression of dementia:
- Positive psychosocial interventions
- Non pharmacological interventions
- Neuroplasticity training
- Exercise and cognitive fitness
- Authentic brain injury rehabilitation
- Focus on well being and QoL
I’m not sure why the researchers took to long to catch up to me!!!