Dundalk Library hosting talk on dementia
Dundalk library are hosting a ‘Coping with Dementia and the Importance of Balanced Nutrition’ talk on Saturday the 2nd of February at 11am. The talk will be held by Maeve Montgomery, the Dementia Advisor for Cavan, Monaghan and Louth with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Tickets need to be pre-booked by calling the library on 042 9353190. The talk is free and all are welcome to attend.
Dementia is a term which describes a range of conditions which cause damage to our brain. This damage affects memory, thinking, language and our ability to perform everyday tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
Maeve Montgomery says that it is imperative to promote awareness of dementia in the locality because it is important that people from Dundalk understand there is someone to talk to. “Our advisory service is free for all, you don’t need a medical card or anything like that,” Maeve says. “We are here to support anyone who is in the early stages of dementia, or people who are caring for someone with dementia or worried that someone might have it,” she explains.
“The sooner we can give support the better,” Maeve continues. “Simple tips can make a world difference. Family members might not understand why their loved one keeps asking the same question, and we can explain they don’t mean to annoy or frustrate, and we can give carers some advice on how to deal with this, such as distraction.”
“Often people will say to me ‘it’s great to talk to someone who just knows what I mean and understands what I am going through’… it is good to know someone is there, and understands the frustration that can be felt,” Maeve adds.
The talk in Dundalk library will focus on healthy eating and its link in reducing dementia. “Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia with Alzheimer’s disease being the first,” Maeve reveals. “A diet in heavy, saturated fat can cause mini-strokes, which is linked to vascular dementia,” she explains. “But we don’t always know what causes dementia, sometimes it can be genetic but that is actually quite rare. Most dementia is sporadic, meaning we don’t know the cause.”
Maeve says that the best way to support a loved one who has dementia is to have patience and show kindness. “You also need to get support for yourself, and that’s what I am here for. We are very lucky in Dundalk, we have a great dementia support group and day centre in The Birches,” she says. “My advice to people who have family or friends with dementia would be to link in with local services and to ring me.”
“We are all about early intervention, so never feel like you’re not advanced enough yet to get in touch,” she says. “I can discuss what is suitable for your needs, and give you help and advice and link you in with local supports.”
“For people who have been diagnosed with dementia, I would say that there is a life post-diagnosis. Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t. Stay positive, and try to get support as early as you can to figure out a way of coping,” Maeve says.
For advice and support on coping with dementia and Alzheimer’s, visit http://www.alzheimer.ie/Home.aspx. To get in contact with Maeve, phone her on 087 748 9258 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.