Author(s): Lee-Fay Low
Worldwide, over 45 million people suffer with dementia. That number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030; 135 million by 2050. For every person with dementia, their family and carers are faced with the decision of how best to care for them. Live and Laugh with Dementia is all about how to make life with dementia as positive as possible - to maximise quality of life for all concerned. Just as we need to exercise our body's muscles to keep them strong, flexible and working well, so too do we need to exercise our mental muscles (our brain) in order to strengthen and maintain our neural capabilities. By tailoring activities to suit the needs and abilities of dementia patients, we can help them to: * maintain their relationships with others * maintain their self-identity * slow the decline of mental function by providing physical and mental stimulation * stave off boredom * experience happiness and pleasure. 'Live and Laugh with Dementia' also addresses our attitude towards dementia and caring for people with dementia. It supports and inspires carers to build their relationship with the person with dementia and provide meaningful engaging activities. As well as suggestions for activities and how to tailor them, tips for people with mild dementia are included in order to empower them to be active and keep control of their lives as much as possible.
Lee-Fay Low BSc Psych (Hons), PhD is a leading researcher in the field of dementia, and is passionate about ensuring that people with dementia live good and happy lives. Currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Dr Low led the first high-quality study of humour therapy for people with dementia. Her interest in dementia began close to home, as her grandmother had vascular dementia.