Judi Shaw, Dementia Adviser for Dumfries and Galloway from Alzheimer Scotland, spoke to the members of Stewartry U3A at their recent meeting.
She said that Alzheimer Scotland has a network of advisers across the country who provide a wide range of support not only for people with dementia but also for their families and carers. They also work with community groups and visit events with the Memory Bus to raise awareness of dementia and to fund raise for the society
Many people are reluctant to talk about or to acknowledge dementia as they find it a frightening issue.
Judi set members an exercise of recalling the details on both sides of a penny, a familiar object, which most found difficult. For dementia sufferers failure to remember things is much more serious.
Lack of short term memory can result in forgetting meals or appointments and in being unable to cope with everyday tasks. Skills and abilities may also decline and become more apparent as time goes on. Mixing with other people can also become embarrassing and difficult but organised group activities around music or painting can help.
Finally Judi emphasised the support and information which is available 24 hours a day from the Alzheimer Society. The next group meeting of the Stewartry U3A will be held on 21 May in the Gordon Hall, Castle Douglas when Andrew Wilson will talk on Gaelic in Galloway. Further details of the Stewartry U3A are available on www.stewartryu3a.org.uk.