Sitting watching Channel 7 news tonight and I heard the startling statistics of Dementia in Australia (and no doubt worldwide).
- Approximately 330 000 people in Australia are living with dementia.
- Each week, there are more than 1,800 new cases of dementia in Australia; approx. one person every 6 minutes.
- Three in ten people over the age of 85 and almost one in ten people over 65 have dementia
- An estimated 1.2 million people are involved in the care of a person with dementia
- Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and there is no cure
- On average symptoms of dementia are noticed by families three years before a firm diagnosis is made https://fightdementia.org.au/national/media/key-facts-and-statistics
Announced today (19th Oct, 2015), “Seventy-six researchers will share in $43 million to support bold and innovative new ideas to not only tackle the impacts of dementia but to find ways of preventing and curing the debilitating disease.”
“While there is currently no cure for dementia, Australia is a world leader in dementia research and the Fellows announced today will no doubt make leaps and bounds in our understanding of how best to prevent, diagnose and treat this disease and how best to support people with dementia and their carers”. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/media/releases/2015/43-million-continue-search-cure-dementia
I recently read, Still Alice by Lisa Genova a book which shows the progression of the main character, Alice, who is living with dementia. It was an extremely thought provoking book and one I would recommend to anyone to read.
I have also had the absolute pleasure of cyber-meeting Debra Tidball, the author of When I See Grandma.
When I See Grandma is a Picture Book about children visiting their grandparent who is dealing with dementia. http://www.debratidball.com/about.html
Debra inspired me to create activities which help open up discussion with children on dementia.
Picture Books and activities relating to books is often a good way to either begin or develop discussion on sensitive topics.
Fortunately, I have not had to have this discussion with my own children however as part of their school program they visit the local Retirement Home. Watching the news tonight and hearing the statistics was a good reminder that I should be discussing such topcis with my kids in the hope they have a greater understanding of issues which may be affecting the elderly.
Books and activities are a great way of explaining topics which may be hard to put into words on your own.
For parents the activities can be used with Picture Books like When I See Grandma (other Picture Books listed in the link). For teachers, activities are linked to the Australian National Curriculum to be used in the classroom.
Click on the link for your free PDF download of Grandparent’s Activities with the focus on Dementia.