Managing stress for people living with dementia

WSLHD Dementia forum activities at Rooty Hill.

Almost 100 people with dementia, their carers and family have attended a free two-day forum called “We Matter”.

The forum a collaboration between the Dementia Advisory Service and Anglicare explored what it means to be diagnosed with dementia, how to live well from the perspective of someone living with dementia as well as strategies to manage stress and the health benefits of dance and exercise.

Attendee and Quakers Hill resident, 64-year-old Ros Green had symptoms of dementia in 2009 before later being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012.

“I have family history of Alzheimer’s on my mother’s side with my grandmother often putting it down to old age,” Ms Green said.

“It’s difficult when I can’t remember important things …. I now diarise my activities or tasks so I don’t forget.

“I scribble notes down especially when I’m on the phone and then I have problems reading my own writing.

“I enjoyed hearing about the latest calming and relaxing techniques which I will use daily.

“The compassion and understanding from other people … especially the staff and carers is hugely appreciated because it shows you’re not alone and someone understands the way you are and why you are that way.”

There are an estimated 425,416 Australians living with dementia nationwide.

Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 536,164 by 2025 and almost 1,100,890 by 2056.

For information about dementia, phone the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Dance Health Alliance chief executive officer Gwen Korebrits (red top).