Learning about dementia

Morpeth Lions President Simon Pringle hands over a cheque for �200 to Sophie Ford, representing the Alzheimer's Society.
Morpeth Lions President Simon Pringle hands over a cheque for �200 to Sophie Ford, representing the Alzheimer's Society.

Morpeth Lions Club

Morpeth Lions Club welcomed Sophie Ford, from the Alzheimer’s Society, in April.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers.

Around 800,000 people in the UK have dementia and this is expected to rise to a million by 2021.

Sophie explained that dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms, which include memory loss and problems with thinking, speaking and doing.

The most common of the diseases is Alzheimer’s. The first sign is usually short-term memory loss.

Vascular dementia manifests itself in problems with concentrating, behaviour change, hallucinations, and epileptic fits.

Dementia with Lewy bodies has similar symptoms, but these are more aligned to those of Parkinson’s disease.

Sophie reassured members that everyone gets forgetful. We often momentarily forget someone’s name. This is nothing to worry about.

However, with dementia you may forget you have ever met the person. The memories that go first are the factual ones, with emotional memories lasting longer.

Risk can be reduced by diet, moderate alcohol intake, no smoking and physical and mental exercise.

Even as dementia progresses many lead active, healthy lives, continue their hobbies and enjoy loving relationships.

Sophie outlined the work of the society whose main goal is a cure.

The society employs information and support workers and advisers. It has an office in Wellway and there are local support groups. The website is alzheimers.org.uk

Lion President Simon Pringle thanked Sophie for her excellent talk. He has chosen the Alzheimer’s Society as one of his President’s charities and handed over a cheque for £200.