My dementia experience - Ann's storyPosted on: 22 November 2012 by 50connect editorial
Ann Johnson knows first hand how important it is to get the right help and support as soon as possible. Ann from Cheshire was only 52 when she was diagnosed with dementia.
“I started to forget my medication, which I take regularly for a chest condition. I’d get lost even when I was out in familiar places or I’d have problems counting money. It was really frightening and I was worried about talking about it to anyone. I was unusually young to be diagnosed but my father had early onset dementia and I’m a qualified nurse so I’d guessed what was happening.
“All the same, the news hit me like a sledgehammer but I soon realised that it’s much better to be diagnosed early so you can do something about it and access the help and support on offer. I had fantastic support from a Memory Clinic and was prescribed medication, which slowed the condition and stabilised the memory loss somewhat.”
Ann refuses to let dementia get the better of her, she continues-
“I never hold back, I’m very open about it - if I’m buying a train ticket I say ‘speak slowly please’, so I can understand. The trouble is, you can’t see my problems, it’s not like having a broken leg, so it’s difficult for people to understand. That’s why talking about it and campaigns like A Day to Remember are so important. Only then will people understand dementia, stop being scared of it and love us for who we are.
“As with anything in life, if you know what you’re facing you can deal with it.”
The more you know about dementia, the more comfortable you will feel spending time with the person with dementia or their loved ones. Dementia can make people behave differently, but once you understand that these changes are part of the illness, you will find it much easier to take them in your stride. Visit Understanding Dementia.
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