Some say that the first 200-year old has already been born. It's hard to imagine that in the future we might think of our lives in terms of centuries, but one thing is certain – we are living longer.
It has become apparent, however, that longevity comes at a human and economic cost. Dementia is the era-defining illness of our times. Indeed, it is time itself that has become the enemy – our bodies have learnt to adapt and keep reaching new milestones, but our minds are often unwilling to stay the course. The result has been a huge rise in people living with degenerative diseases, while families and the NHS try to withstand the pressure.
The equation of time versus quality of life raises some pivotal questions. As medicine becomes increasingly advanced and mankind rages defiantly against its inevitable mortality, what must we do to restore the equilibrium between our mental and physical states? If we want our older relatives to reach the sacred three figures, how can we ensure their last decades are happy, joyful and rewarding, not degrading, confusing and frightening?
As pictures fade in the memories of people in our homes, neighbourhoods and worldwide, can we restore clarity through prevention, treatment and a revolution in how we administer care?
Whitehall Training’s Dementia Awareness course explains the different types of dementia and covers the treatments currently available. In many cases, these are designed to mitigate the symptoms but in others, progress of dementia can be actually be slowed.
Ultimately, the many forms of dementia are progressive and incurable (at the moment), so the best option can be to create as dementia-friendly an environment as possible.
We have created a one-page fact sheet that covers the basics of dementia-friendly settings as well as the different types of dementia. You can download a copy by clicking the button below.
Finally it’s important to consider, do we really want 150 candles on our own birthday cakes? And if we do, how would we want our children and loved ones to manage our own extended lives?