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Motor Neurone Disease – what is it, how it happens, how it affects people & Platinum’s role

als1Platinum’s carers are often called upon to provide support for people who are living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). This support can range from simply preparing meals, to assisting with personal care in the mornings and evenings. Showering and dressing for the day, or the bedtime routine are important duties carried out by Platinum’s carers for people experiencing the often debilitating symptoms of MND. Continue reading →

Dementia – why it’s so important to diagnose early

thOFWMLYI6Alzheimer’s disease – the leading cause of dementia in older people – can have a devastating impact on both the person with the disease, and their surrounding family and friends. Its symptoms are unsettling at the very least, and can be devastating and destructive as the disease progresses.

Too often, dementia (whether it’s Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia,… Continue reading →

Boosting cognitive fitness for a longer life

It’s well documented that we will all live longer, better lives, if only we were to eat our 5&2 a day, drink plenty of water, and take 30 minutes of exercise daily. But is that all we need to do? How do we fill the other 15 and a checkershalf waking hours of our day, once we’ve taken a brisk walk, or enjoyed a swim, or participated in an aerobic spin class?

Older people have been doing lots of the right things to keep their bodies and minds well for many years. Just think of those classic images of older men cogitating over a game of chess, grandads who play checkers along the streets or in the parks around the world, and retirees and their secret world of bridge-playing. Seniors may have more time on their hands, once their working lives are over, but they still seek out ways to fill the hours that are satisfying and enjoyable. And they’ve been doing so for centuries.

Happily, what our seniors have been doing, now has the seal of approval from medical specialists and health researchers who are constantly looking for ways to ensure our good health, long lives, and reduced cost to the health care system.

If you don’t fancy checkers or chess, here are a few other ways to exercise your brain and ensure cognitive fitness for the future: Continue reading →

Dementia – why research and the search for a cure are so important

thOFWMLYI6The 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 →

Multiple Sclerosis – what is it and how can Platinum help?

ms-nerveHere 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 →

The problem with sleep for people with dementia

jigsawDementia 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 →

Driving – when is it time to stop?

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 thdrivinge 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:

Continue reading →

Is it possible to stay at home with dementia?

IDN1_2170ccat’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 →

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