Dementia and Sensory Challenges

Dementia can be more than memory

In this week’s blog we have permission from @Agnes_HoustonMBE to “talk about” a booklet inspired by Agnes and created with the words of people with dementia called Dementia and Sensory Challenges : Dementia can be more than memory” In the booklet Agnes writes

“I hope this booklet will give the reader ideas on how to make the lives of people with dementia more pleasant, allowing them to be more socially included and no longer feeling alone”

The booklet shares ideas on

  • Seeing / Spatial awareness
  • Hearing/Hyperaccusis
  • Touch/Taste/Smell
  • Hallucinations/Misperception
  • Balance/Spatial Awareness
  • Sensory Overload

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For each section in the booklet there is a definition with personal examples. Solutions are included as “stuff that helps”. In the blog we are sharing a small extract from the booklet for touch, taste and smell and it highlights people with dementia found they had noticed changes around touch, taste and smell:

  • couldn’t differentiate between hot and cold
  • taste had changed affecting appetite and eating habits
  • smells could be intense and overpowering
  • in some cases the sense of smell had decreased

Our thoughts

My taste has changed… never liked coffee now I am mad about it…’

‘I’m hungry but sometimes food just doesn’t smell/taste right so eat chocolate instead…

Stuff that helps

  • fit special taps to judge temperature
  • understand why this is happening and begin to accept the changes
  • share what’s happening to you

The booklet is well worth a read and is widely available by downloading free on the life changes trust website, http://www.lifechangestrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/Leaflet.pdf

There is also a supporting DVD for us to “Look at it, listen to it and take something out of it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_L2107EweQ

Whenever I meet with Agnes I am always inspired by her generosity to share her story with honestly and passion. However at the same time, Agnes is also inviting us to think about solutions and consider how we CAN help.

  • How will you share the booklet and raise awareness for people to “Think Dementia, Think Sensory”
  • When you read the “stuff that helps” what other ideas and solutions would you offer?

We are ordinary people living ordinary lives, who happen to have a long term condition called dementia….’ Agnes

THANK YOU to Agnes for permission to share this work on our blog

This work would not have been possible without funding support from the Life Changes Trust.

 

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