A heart for dementia patients, and their carers

Press Release – Dementia Auckland

Media release
Tuesday 19th June 2018

A heart for dementia patients, and their carers

Lynfield resident Naomi Johnson knows what it is like to care for someone with dementia and to feel all alone in the heartache and frustration, which is why she is volunteering for this year’s Dementia Auckland’s Annual Countdown Appeal from 28 June to 1st July.

As an only child, Naomi was key caregiver for her mum Patricia after her diagnosis with dementia nearly 20 years ago. Patricia passed away in 2013 from the disease at 93-years-old, and five years on Naomi still feels a huge sense of gratitude to Dementia Auckland for the care and support she received in one of the toughest times of her life.

“It’s just an absolutely heartbreaking thing to watch the mother you love and who raised you disappear before your eyes and lose the ability to keep herself safe,” says Naomi. “When Mum had severe dementia, she was living in a rest home and one night walked into a man’s room to pat his cat. In a frightening incident, the man was startled by Mum and pushed her which led to a very nasty fall. She ended up with multiple broken bones including her pelvis.

“The hospital staff looked at Mum and only saw hopelessness, but a Dementia Auckland key worker named Denise came back to the hospital with me and provided the support I needed to see to it that Mum was taken care of. It’s this kind of practical support and loving care that is so valuable, not just to those people with dementia, but the carers walking the long, hard road beside them.”

Dementia Auckland supported Naomi and provided ideas for stimulating Patricia’s mind in her final years. Dementia Auckland key workers even stayed in contact with Naomi for three months following her mum’s passing to ensure she was doing okay.

Dementia Auckland Executive Director Paul Sullivan says, “Each year, this appeal raises thousands of dollars for Dementia Auckland – donations which allow us to continue helping people with dementia, and their carers, across New Zealand’s largest city.

“We believe in supporting not only those people living with dementia, but their carers who are going through a lot of heartache, frustration, confusion and exhaustion from the additional mental and emotional strain experienced when a loved one has dementia,” he says.

There are currently 15,000 people with dementia in the greater Auckland region – and this is expected to double over the next 15 to 20 years.

– Ends –

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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