Published: 18 January 2022
Finding out about dementia
Just a couple of days ago I didn’t know anything about dementia. I had heard about Alzheimer’s disease before but never asked someone what exactly it was. I guess I just didn’t think it was that serious and that so many people were affected by it. Thinking about it now it was insensitive of me to not even look it up online but now I know a lot more.
This week my school decided to have work experience for all Transition year students and I ended up doing it at “Wrist-Assured”. I didn’t know anything about dementia at that point so I started the week off with finding out more about dementia and doing research on early/young onset dementia. It was quite shocking to find out how much having dementia changed a person's life and that you can get it even if you’re in your 30s.
For me it was so shocking that memory loss can be so vital, like you can’t even live normally just because you can’t remember where things are and who you know. It is scary that you could just forget your whole life and not even know your own children or parents. I know for sure it would drive me up the wall if I would lose my memories. Even now I hate forgetting something and it’s nothing important really.
If a person has dementia it is likely that at some point they won’t be able to live alone and need a lot of help. I don’t know if I could live with being completely reliant on someone else and not having my freedom as before. But I would not be able to be alone.
I think if one of my family members had symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or something similar and wouldn’t go to the doctor I would try to convince them to do so. I think it is better to know than to be unsure and just worry if they have it even though they might not have it.
If I had symptoms I would definitely get tested because if you know you can at least take immediate action, like searching for a good place to live. Also I would like to travel as much as I can, before I’m not able to do it anymore. Furthermore I would do things I’ve always wanted to do, for example: go surfing. I am not a hundred percent sure if I would tell my family about it. On one hand I would want them to know that there is limited time left with how I am at that moment. On the other hand I wouldn't want them to worry about me and treat me differently than before. But it would only be fair for me to tell my family because I think it would hurt more if they found out another way and they would definitely find out some way.
It is actually a very difficult topic and I’m sure there are lots of different opinions on testing for dementia. In addition to that there are lots of facts I still don’t know which might change my opinion at a later point in time.
I now know that alcohol abuse can cause dementia. I would definitely watch out and drink it in a reasonable amount and not frequently. Though I wouldn't give it more attention than the other bad effects of alcohol.
From what I read, physical exercise can prevent Alzheimer’s disease and I will definitely remember that and try to be more physically active not only because it's healthy in general but also because of the prevention.
Written by Maimuna 16 years old