This particular subject is very close to my heart, as Alzheimer's disease has crash landed within my own family very recently. I know I am not alone in wanting to find out as much about this disease as possible to make sure we are ready to meet this head on. This post is for everyone out there who has been touched in some way by Dementia.
Read on to find out more about Dementia and how Reiki can help.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that includes memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia develops when the brain is damaged by diseases and Alzheimer's is one of them.
Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain. It is named after Alois Alzheimer, the doctor who first described it.
The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells that all connect to each other. In Alzheimer’s disease, connections between these cells are lost. This is because proteins build up and form abnormal structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. Eventually nerve cells die and brain tissue is lost. The brain also contains important chemicals that help to send signals between cells. People with Alzheimer’s have less of these ‘chemical messengers’ in their brain, so the signals are not passed on as effectively. There are some drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that can help boost the levels of some chemical messengers in the brain. This can help to slow down the onset of symptoms, therefore the earlier the diagnosis the better.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop, and they also get worse.
More than 520,000 people in the UK have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and this figure is set to rise.
During my own research I have found that there's plenty of information out there and it can become mind boggling at times. Don't despair, I have added a few links below that you will find very interesting and extremely helpful.
If you have a family member or friend who is unable to use an Ipad or Smart Phone due to illness or dementure the following two items are a must! I speak from experience as these two items have made my family's life so much easier:
KOMP is a good sized computer screen, made specifically for isolated individuals who struggle with using modern day technology. KOMP requires no prior digital skills from its user, and allows children and grandchildren to share photos, messages and make video calls with their grandparents via a Smartphone app. The user does not even have to answer or end the call as the caller will automatically connect following a 10 second countdown and disconnect when when the call has ended . Honestly this has been our best purchase so far - £29 per month. https://www.noisolation.com/uk/komp/
For those who have difficulty inputting telephone numbers or remembering which speed dial to press, then this is a must have item. Just add a photo to the dial button - it's as easy as that! https://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/communication/telephones-with-photo-or-picture-buttons-p/bigtel-40-plus-big-button-amplified-corded-telephone-with-photo-buttons-0120747-1342-information.htm Cost approximately £30.
I hope these items can help you as much as they have done for my family.
How Reiki can help
Dementia can affect the mind, emotional and physical aspects of the body. Reiki, as a holistic therapy, calms and relaxes the recipient and can help with some of the following symptoms:
Caring for a person with Dementia can be a very stressful time. While caring for someone else it can be very easy to overlook your own health and wellbeing. You're so busy organising GP or hospital appointments, shopping, safety, making sure they're eating properly - the list can be endless. If you don't take care of yourself, then you will eventually need time out to recover before your caring duties begin again. Reiki can benefit Carers by:
helping with relaxation
There's plenty of research and studies being conducted around the world and again I have included at the end of this blog a number of links that have information on Reiki and Dementia research, as well as a care home that provides Reiki for their residents.
Just remember, you are not alone. Always reach out to friends and family first, if you feel you need support or just someone to talk to. If you need more information then contact one of the above organisations - they are there to help.
Wishing you much love and healing.
Click on the following links to find out more about Dementia and the help available to you:
The following links provide information on Reiki and Dementia research and a care home that includes Reiki for residents: