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Support / living well with dementia

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communication, men and dementia, research

It’s pretty hard to concentrate on things a long period of time.  

I think when you have dementia, it’s pretty hard to concentrate on things for a long period of time,  especially if you’re just sitting there, listening to people. I suppose it’s OK when we’re moving  round and we’re outside and stuff like that; it doesn’t really kick in then. But it’s if you get a  terrible lapse of concentration. And we discussed this at the SURF group*, because we’re doing  lots of things with medical students and nurses from all the major hospitals.

At the last one, a guy talked for about forty minutes and half of us were sleeping. I had to make my  excuses and go the toilet because I just didn’t know what he was going on about. I’d lost the first  fifteen minutes in the midst of time somewhere. So we agreed to just have short sessions now,  of not more than fifteen minutes. We can all have a piece of paper with one to twenty, and we  can . . . And after the fifteen minutes, we can . . . We can write questions down as we go along  within those fifteen minutes. And then we’ll have a short question and answer time afterwards.  And then we’ll carry on then, you know, possibly on the same subject, or a different theme, or  another subject.  

So we believe that’s the way forward: just short versions helps. And I noticed over  the last few months when I’ve been to conventions, particularly the one in Birmingham. I  couldn’t barely concentrate, and I left that one. I left about ten minutes in. It was just too much  work, I think. We’ll have to try and get the message across to people who are speaking just to  keep it very, very short and sweet, and that it’ll help our memories along that way, to remember,  you know, what’s happened in a short space of time. Hopefully. 

*The SURF group: The Service User Reference Forum is a group of people who represent the views of people living with dementia, carers and families across the city of Liverpool.

An audio version of Paul's blog is available at: https://soundcloud.com/dementia-diaries/paul-4-nottingham-uni  

 

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