Alzheimers Research talk at HOC

The Home of Compassion, in Thames Ditton, recently hosted a talk by Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is surprisingly the largest research charity in the UK.  Residents and members of the local community were informed of some staggering facts about this disease, one of which was that 1 in 3 people born today will develop and die of dementia, as there is currently no cure available. 

Pat Hindley, a volunteer speaker for Alzheimer’s Research UK, explained how Alzheimer’s Research investigates all types of dementia, not just Alzheimer’s.    

Although the main risk factor for any form of dementia is age, it is known there are other determining factors, such as diet, exercise, other health implication, etc.  However little is known how influential these other factors are; hence the requirement for more research.

Alzheimer’s Research has discovered that one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s is getting lost in the outside world. This distressing symptom is caused by damage the disease causes in the hippocampus, the part of your brain that controls navigation and memory.  You may find your loved one walking through the park calling for a long departed dog or sitting on a bench outside their local hairdressers unable to navigate their way home.  This is an early warning sign that must be reported to their GP so they can get an accurate diagnosis and the help they need. 

Other interesting facts shared at the talk included;

  • Throughout the world 50 million people are diagnosed with dementia, which equates to more than the current population of Spain. 
  • Dementia costs the UK more than Cancer and Heart Disease put together, yet only 4.5% of the government research budget is allocated towards research in this area.

Presenter Pat also shared why she became a volunteer for Alzheimer’s Research UK.  She talked fondly of her Father who sadly succumbed to the effects of Vascular Dementia. Having lost the ability to swallow, he lost his appetite which in turn reduced his frame and strength. Most upsetting for Pat was that her father would forget that he no longer had the strength and co-ordination he once possessed to be able to stand up on his own, and each time he tried, he would fall.  No matter how vigilant the nursing team, he would be determined to outsmart them by demonstrating how he could stand and walk, which of course led to more injuries.  After his death Pat searched for a charity that supported Vascular Dementia and discovered that Alzheimer’s Research UK studied all types of Dementia, not just Alzheimer’s, which is the most prevalent and well-known form. 

Pat volunteers as a speaker because she wants to spread information and her experience in the hope to get others involved, either by volunteering, raising funds or just telling everyone our experiences and our knowledge about dementia.  Sharing knowledge increases awareness which in turn will encourage more research and hopefully one day, a cure. 

Education and awareness are urgently required in this field to encourage more research and funding into this devastating condition.  And to blast another myth away, did you know that Alzheimer’s Research UK raises £21 million per year and all these funds are provided by donations or sponsorship money; none is provided by the government?  Neither did we

Home of Compassion

Home Manager

Avril Jones


58 High Street,
Thames Ditton,

0808 223 5406
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