Alzheimer’s Australia NSW has partnered with the HammondCare Dementia Centre to launch Dementia and Sensory Challenges, a free publication inspired by and created with the words of people living with the disease.
The resource originated in the UK, after author and consumer Agnes Houston MBE set out to raise awareness of the fact dementia can be about much more than just memory. The resulting resource focuses on how taste, sight, smell, hearing and touch can all be impacted, and how hallucinations might occur.
The HammondCare Dementia Centre are pleased to be able to offer this important resource in Australia. It contains information for people living with dementia, their families and carers, and includes tips and suggestions on how to manage the sensory challenges associated with the disease.
Ms Houston, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease over nine years ago, said following her diagnosis she expected issues to occur with her memory but was never warned about the challenges to other senses that she experienced. When she began speaking to other people with dementia she soon realised she was not alone.
“This project was instigated by me, a person with dementia, whose desire was to raise awareness and give hope to other people with dementia, as well as carers, on how to live a positive life with sensory challenges,” said Ms Houston.
“Others had these issues but very little had been written about them, so I decided to write a booklet in the hope of enlightening others to the sensory challenges some people with dementia may face.
“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 feel alone.”
The resource was launched during a morning tea event at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW’s Vincent Fairfax Family Resource Centre on Wednesday 2 August, which was attended by people with dementia, family carers and care professionals.
During the event, a video message from author Agnes Houston was played, and similar launches are occurring in other states across the country.
The resource can be found in full here