This morning, BBC Breakfast, reported that Alzheimer’s sufferer, Sion Jair, self manages his condition*, proving that such a devastating diagnosis doesn’t mean your life is over; an approach The Sound Doctor strongly supports and advocates through their online library of 40 films full of practical advice about getting the best out of life with dementia.
Sion walks every single day, not just to keep his body active, but also his mind. He hopes that by staying active, his dementia will be kept at bay for longer.
World-class films produced by The Sound Doctor and supported by Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, are available to the public online.
The Sound Doctor’s YouTube channel now includes videos about the disease’s early symptoms, risk of isolation and communication challenges, featuring national and international experts, patients and carers.
Sion is one of an estimated 47 million people worldwide suffering this progressive neurodegenerative disease.
Dementia is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, but funds into its research and treatment still fall woefully short compared to cancer and heart disease. The launch of these videos is therefore especially important for sharing some of the most reliable advice and latest findings about the disease.
Rosie Runciman, co-founder at The Sound Doctor, said: “We know that the more information we provide to sufferers and carers, the better they become at managing the challenges when they present themselves. Our series of 40 films provide helpful, practical guidance and education, which in turn reduces the demand on other healthcare services.”
Dr Steve Parry, Consultant Geriatrician at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Things that people don’t often see as part of dementia are changes in movement: how you move; your gait and balance. Changes in how you relate to others and the outside world; apathy, then not wanting to be part of things anymore.”
Often, a dementia sufferer’s awareness of their declining ability to interact means staying home alone feels the only safe option. The films share the experiences of both sufferers and their families, highlighting some of the better ways to manage those day to day emotions.
Dr Andrew Teodorczuk, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at the Centre for Health of the Elderly in Newcastle, said: “The patient is still able to experience emotions and would still be able to be comforted, be able to be loved and be able to be happy in that state, and therefore, one must always try and remember the person that was there, and always look after them in a very compassionate way.”
The new short films are called:
Dementia – Early symptoms of dementia
Don’t hide away from dementia
Communicating with someone who has dementia
Until the end of May 2017, The Sound Doctor is offering access to all 40 of its films on dementia for £5,000. The same offer is also available for a suite of more than 50 films about COPD or diabetes.
The Sound Doctor has a library of more than 280 films covering six key areas of health – COPD, diabetes, back pain, dementia, heart failure and weight management surgery.
The Sound Doctor also produces health and wellness animations, many of which are used in GP surgeries across the country.
The Sound Doctor’s five main aims are to:
reduce the number of avoidable admissions (and readmissions) to hospital
reduce the need for face-to-face contact with consultants, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and others - and to improve the quality of meetings that do take place
improve medicines management and compliance with medications
improve the quality of care for patients (and patient experience of their care)
help people get the most out of life through effective self-management
The Sound Doctor’s films are endorsed by leading charities, adhere to NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines, are evidence based and through evaluation we know the films work. They have also received the following testimonials:
“Improving the care of people with dementia and providing support for their carers is a national priority. Providing information about dementia in an accessible form is a key component for this. The suite of resources developed by the Sound Doctor is an excellent example of how this information can be disseminated.”
Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, NHS England
“It’s vitally important people with dementia and their families have access to information and support after a diagnosis. This comprehensive set of films looks at dementia from a number of angles – from explaining the early symptoms to practical advice once you’ve been diagnosed. With input from people living with the condition, carers, clinicians and other experts in the field they are an excellent resource for patients and families.”
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society.