May 23, 2013

"Living With Dementia": Dr. Helena Popovic at AWRF 2013

Louise from the Information Services team at Central City Library went to hear Dr. Helena Popovic talk with Kate De Goldi about living with dementia. She came away with a signed book and lots to think about. Here's her report:

I really enjoyed this thought-provoking hour. Dr. Helena is a brain specialist and author of In Search of My Father: dementia is no match for a daughter's determination, while Kate De Goldi's latest book is a novel that references dementia, The ACB with Honora Lee. Dr. Helena and Kate are both daughters of dementia sufferers. They compared notes about their shared experiences of having parents with dementia and a lot of what they were saying rang true for me, as I also have a mother suffering from dementia.

Dr. Helena's book is about the journey she has had with her father. She is the founder and CEO of Choose Health - Better Living for Busy People, which is a company committed to reigniting people's zest and vitality for life and work. "Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia in the Western world and vascular dementia is the second most common". This statement by Dr. Helena was very poignant for me as my ninety year old mother is suffering from a mixture of both of them.

Another interesting statement that Dr. Helena made about her father is "He doesn't remember that he doesn't remember". I can absolutely relate to this!

Dr. Helena talked about things that we can all do to improve our brain function and reduce the risk of dementia. As a doctor involved with the care of her father, she decided to apply the same principles to him to see if it would make a difference. The three main things that we can all do are: physical exercise, social stimulation and mental stimulation. To follow on from this, Dr. Helena said "Getting exercise and social stimulation halves the chance of getting dementia". A lack of social stimulation and depression are the biggest risk factors for women, while strokes are the biggest risk factor for men. Something to think about…

Also, having a handful of walnuts and a handful of blueberries every day can apparently also help keep dementia away.

Kate's novel is based in a dementia care facility. Like Dr. Helena, both her parents have or had dementia, so her novel draws on the experiences that she and her sisters have had.

I purchased Dr. Helena's book that she signed for me and I very much look forward to reading it.

-- Louise, Information Services

Ditulis Oleh : Karen Craig // 15:00


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