If you or a family member has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or its more common form, dementia, it’s reassuring to know you are not alone. According to Alzheimer’s Australia there are almost 450,000 Australians living with some form of dementia so there are many, many resources for dealing with dementia.
There has never been more information available to help you and your family adjust to living with this condition so we have compiled a list of the best resources to support you below.
This should definitely be your first point of reference. Here you will find links to support and services in your state, downloadable fact sheets, helpful tools, videos, research papers and real life stories of others living with dementia.
Reading about someone else’s experience in managing their dementia can be very insightful. Across the world caregivers and people have started sharing their stories. Here are a few great ones:
Dealing with Alzheimers – this is a firsthand account of Kris’ experience of being diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 46. She is now 60 and is still able to write about her experience.
Dealing with dementia – Kay Branford has written a blog that includes helpful tips and advice that she learned whilst caring for both her parents who experienced dementia and memory loss.
There are a number of apps being launched onto the market to help people living with dementia and those caring for people with dementia.
We have chosen to profile Mind Mate – a brilliant app that has thought of everything when it comes to living with dementia, for those affected and their loved ones.
The app has games which are meant to stimulate a users’ cognitive abilities. Games have been created based on world leading research.
It has a “Tools” section, which provides a helping hand to those living with early stage dementia. This includes tools to make notes, to-do lists, as well as helpful, customisable reminders.
A “Getting to know me” section is also provided – this is especially helpful when a person with dementia has to leave their home, or has to go to a hospital or care home as it provides identifiers which can be used to ensure proper treatment and contact with family members and loved ones.
The MindMate App also provides physical exercises and nutrition advice for a healthier lifestyle to stay mentally as well as physically fit.
The following two books could be helpful to read as you grapple with a dementia diagnosis.
A light-hearted, heart-warming account of how one family faced Alzheimer’s and how the almost comical events within the secure walls of the nursing home made them realise that humour was the only way through.
Where the Light Gets In is written by Hollywood actress Kimberly Williams–Paisely who tells the story of her mother’s rare form of dementia called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.
The original version of this article appeared on careseekers.com.au. Reproduced with permission.