The call to find a cure for dementia (and in particular, Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia in Australia) has become increasingly urgent in recent years, as we have started to realise just how great an impact the condition has had on our increasing elderly population.
It is not simply because it has become the biggest cause of disability in Australian people aged over 65 years, with over 350000 people living with the condition at the present time. And it’s not just because this figure is expected to rise exponentially over the next 30 years that finding a cure is important.
Those figures are startling enough on their own, but when you begin to peel back the layers and examine the implications on society, on communities, and on individuals, then the need for a cure and some high quality strategies for managing people who are living with the condition becomes even greater. Continue reading →
Here at Platinum Healthcare Services, we are often asked to provide services on behalf of MSWA. There are approximately 24000 people in Australia living with one of four types of Multiple Sclerosis. It is a disease that affects women more commonly than men, and it is more likely to affect people of European descent than any other ethnic group, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009).
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
A chronic, neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system, MS occurs when the protective fatty tissue that surrounds the delicate nerve fibres becomes damaged. As a result, the messages that travel via the nervous system become interrupted and a person’s motor, sensory, and sometimes their cognitive functions are impaired.
What are the symptoms?
A person with MS will tire easily – a common symptom in the early stages of the disease – making everyday tasks and chores more difficult to manage. Often, Platinum Healthcare Services are provided to enable people in the early stages of the disease to carry on with their normal lives – working, caring for children – as easily as possible.
Other symptoms include muscle weakness, pain, numbness, bowel and bladder weakness, difficulties swallowing and with speech, and problems with concentration, memory, and depression. Continue reading →
Dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease is known to be linked with sleep loss – but which is the driving factor? Does sleep loss cause dementia, or is sleep loss triggered by the onset of dementia? Knowing which comes first will provide vital clues about how we can help people to avoid developing the disease, or how to best treat it… Continue reading →
Everyone who has ever driven a car will know just how much independence and freedom it gives you. You can go where ever you like, and at whatever time of day that suits you best. You can hop in the car to grab a few groceries from the local store, or you can pack a picnic and head for the beach, King’s Park, or even further afield. If you want, you can pack a back and head out of town for a few days. It’s up to you – it’s your car and you are driving it.
It’s not unusual for older people to become less capable as drivers, and while you may not think your driving is a problem, other road users, or your passengers might have a different view.
So how can you tell if it’s time to ease off on the driving and start to make more use of other options for getting about while remaining relatively independent? Here are five early warning signs that will help you to make the difficult decision to turn in your keys and licence:
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It’s a popular misconception that people who have dementia will have to be cared for in a residential facility sooner or later. Certainly, many people assume that there is a point at which admission to an aged care home is the inevitable conclusion to their loved one’s life with dementia. In the absence of discouragement from the managers of… Continue reading →
Not every client that Platinum cares for is a senior requiring assistance to stay at home. While a large number of Platinum’s clients are indeed elderly people, this is probably a reflection of the increasingly large ageing population. Today, in Australia, there are more than 3.5 million people aged 65 and over. That accounts for about 15% of Australia’s population,… Continue reading →
While the search for a cure for dementia continues, there is little we can do for our loved ones, other than make sure they take their prescribed medications on time, and mourn the loss of the minds they once had.
Without a doubt it is sad to witness the deterioration of a mother or father who used to run their home like a tight ship. Immaculate, perhaps, with everything neatly in its place, and according to a decades-old system. A man who used to manage people, a woman who managed whole schools: dementia has been indiscriminate in the past, with who it might attack. Certainly it is upsetting to view the changes in a much loved person as a deterioration, but when the changes are inevitable, and there remains no cure, we might be better off celebrating some of the changes that occur through a more positive filter. Continue reading →
You didn’t get along with your siblings when you were ten, and while you’ve managed to let a lot of water flow under the bridge since then, the heightened tension that occurs when you have to make major decisions for your elderly parents is likely to reintroduce those fractious and childish behaviours that you’d thought you’d grown out of… Continue reading →