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World Alzheimer’s Day 2018


Advocacy is person centred by definition.  This is particularly relevant to dementia advocacy and dementia care which puts the individual and their needs foremost, recognising and supporting their unique personal history and personality.  Their dementia is secondary.

There are two sides to advocacy which are particularly relevant to those with dementia: empowering and safeguarding.

By empowering an individual, we give them a voice, we include them in all decisions that affect their lives and we enable them to make decisions and express their views and wishes.

Safeguarding is particularly important when the individual may no longer be able to express themselves and make choices. Through our role we protect them from discrimination and neglect and ensure that their rights are respected and upheld. We also ensure that all decisions that are made take into account any expressed wishes and known aspects of their life that may enhance their quality of life.

As Advocates we help vulnerable adults by providing information about their care and treatment options and aim to empower those adults to make informed choices. We can help vulnerable adults to communicate their wishes and feelings to professional agencies involved in their life such as the NHS and Local Authority, to ensure that their voice is being heard and recognised.


What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain.

During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.

People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively.

Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease can help boost the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, which can help with some of the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop. They also become more severe.