January 2017 Members’ Gathering

Our first members meeting on the 31st January was certainly timed to perfection.
Paddye Parnell, from Alzheimers Australia spoke to us about Dementia, the support networks available, and ways to keep our brains ticking over nicely.
“Dementia” is the umbrella term for a range of memory dysfunction symptoms that may happen to a person, of which Alzheimer’s disease is a major cause. Paddye reassured all present, that although we do tend to forget things, that this is part of normal changes of age and, of course, a by-product of our busy lives.
Nonetheless, we do need to exercise our brains and look after our bodies. It all helps. U3A courses are excellent for this, as we all know!
Dementia is, however, not a normal part of ageing. If you notice in a person that their memory changes are significantly affecting their everyday life, it would be wise to seek further information and assistance for that person. For example, they are unable to comprehend the value of money when shopping, or dinner time is known, but the concept of 6 o’clock is not.
Paddye emphasised that if we have concerns about a loved one or ourselves, we should share them with someone. We can ask for assistance and advice through many of the organizations set up to combat this disease.
The National Dementia Help line is a good start – call 1800 100 500, or visit the website www.fightdementia.org.au.

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