The dementia Australia NSW blog *Younger Onset Dementia and ME*

*The dementia Australia NSW blog *Younger Onset Dementia and ME* is a place for people to connect with others, to get information and helpful suggestions.

A diagnosis of younger onset dementia can be very isolating. You may have received a diagnosis, be someone who is caring for a family member, or you may have a mum or dad with younger onset dementia. You are not alone. The National Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program provides individualised information and support to improve the quality of life for people with younger onset dementia and also see NSW - Younger Onset Dementia . For more information contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Carer experiences - individual approaches to caring

These resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on

Amazing Grace : enjoying alzheimer's
by Ray Smith and Andrew Crofts
Ray Smith has never been what you could describe as a conventional man. He trained as a nurse at a time when male nurses were something of a rare phenomenon and established a travelling art gallery touring the lowlands and highlands of Scotland, selling old masters and contemporary art from the back of his van.
So when Ray's wife, Grace, first started showing signs of Alzheimer's disease one of his first acts was to take her to the Princeton Brain Bio Centre in New Jersey where Grace was prescribed high powered vitamins, minerals and Omega 3. Ray firmly believes that these nutritional supplements allowed him to continue as Grace's devoted sole carer until her death nearly 12 years later.

You may think caring for a patient with progressive dementia would be hard enough in the familiarity and comfort of your own home, but early on Ray decided that he wanted to give Grace the very best quality of life he could and for him that meant ensuring that she continued to benefit from stimulation and enjoyment, even if her pleasure could only ever be transitory. To this end Ray sold their Scottish home and used the money to take Grace travelling on a shoe string.

With determination and devotion, Ray ensured that Grace continued to enjoy new experiences for as long as possible and the many pictures of them on their travels are a testament to the fact that Grace clearly did get a sense of pleasure from these expeditions to Europe, Asia, China and South America.
Jan's story : love lost to the long goodbye of Alzheimer's

...memoir, by CBS correspondent Barry Petersen. The book has generated some controversy. Petersen’s wife, Jan, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55. Petersen’s account of how Alzheimer’s impacted their relationship is frank and heartbreaking. After arranging for her care at home for several years, he finally places her in a residential facility as the disease progresses. Eventually, at the point where his wife barely remembers who he is, he begins a tentative new relationship with another woman.