Nick Thomas-Symonds called on Parliament to praise those who care for or work closely with dementia sufferers in a Westminster Hall debate yesterday. Dementia is a huge issue in Torfaen as around 7% of all people over 65 in the constituency suffer from some form of the disease.

At least 25% of hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia and a report of NHS hospital trusts in England found that almost 60% of people surveyed felt the person with dementia they know wasn’t treated with dignity or understanding while in hospital. Poor care in hospital can have devastating, life-changing consequences for someone with dementia.

Dementia is a broad umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s. There are many different types and some people may present with a combination of types. Each person will experience their dementia in a unique way and this is part of what makes dealing with the illness so difficult for carers.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said, ‘On dementia champions and dementia friends, I hope the House will join me in praising the wonderful work that is done by them, especially in providing sufferers with familiarity. One of their ideas is to provide sufferers with things such as memory boxes to trigger the memory, which helps terrifically with this terrible disease’.

For seniors with Alzheimer’s, a memory box helps recall people and events from their past. These memories, though to be lost, can stimulate the sufferer emotionally and prompt conversation with loved ones. Memory boxes can link seniors to what they love or what makes them feel good about themselves.
Mr Thomas-Symonds also praised the situation in Wales adding, ‘I am glad that the Labour Welsh government has taken steps to improve the well-being of people who need care and support through the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.’

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