Rotary Club of Shrewsbury SPEAKER – Rotarian Rachael Birchall
Rtn Rachael Birchall ‘working’ in the bar with President Pat At our Rotary Club of Shrewsbury luncheon meeting on At our Rotary Club of Shrewsbury luncheon meeting on 17th May 2017, our speaker was our own Rachel Birchill who gave us an illuminating talk about her passion for caring for people with dementia. Dementia can be defined as a progressive disorder caused by brain diseases that affect memory. There are over 100 different types of dementia of which the most common is Alzheimer’s. There are over thirty five million people worldwide affected by dementia, 850,000 in the UK, and 4,300 in Shropshire. The causes are not really known, but the greatest risk factors come from family history, cardiovascular disease and head and brain injuries. Amongst the symptoms which suggest dementia are memory loss, mood changes, disorientation, wandering, refusal, aggression, repetition and false accusations. Sadly this presents a pretty negative state of affairs. But there is hope and there is something we can do to help those with dementia. Firstly here are five things to remember about dementia. It’s not a natural part of aging. It’s caused by diseases of the brain. It’s not just about losing your memory. It can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks. It’s possible to live well with dementia There’s more to a person than their dementia. We can help people with dementia by talking with them about emotional experiences, such as childhood memories, and talking about loved ones preferably with old photos. Knowing more about their past will give comfort, the outcome being to produce positive feelings. We need to engage with them and go along with their reality to help bring about these positive aspects of their lives. Rachel is happy to give free training to anyone or groups where she will share her nuggets of best practice.
Summary report by Rotarian David Pritchard