Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alzheimer's - How You Can Reduce The Risk: 7.30 on ABC TV

Almost a million Australians will have dementia by the middle of the century. Can we hold back the coming 'dementia tsunami'?

Says Professor Henry Brodaty, from the Centre for Healthy Brain and Ageing

“People who are overweight, have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure are at increased risk... Current smoking is a risk. So these are all things we can do something about.”

Professor Henry Brodaty

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela, from the Brain & Mind Research Institute suggests cross-training your brain for a healthier life:

“Doing this type of training in a group fashion, in a supervised way, will make you sharper, a little bit more mentally alert and able to handle complex information.”

Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela
In an important show tonight, Tracy Bowden will explore the latest developments tonight on ABC TV's '7.30'.

You can follow 7.30 on Twitter here: @abc730

And you can follow Tracy Bowden on Twitter here@tabowden

And, you can catch up on missed episodes and access transcripts at:

Professor Brodaty is such an authority on dementia in Australia - I included him and his philosophies in my book 'The Australian Ageing Generation Handbook'. Read more about that here.

Brain games!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dementia - They Don't Tell You These Things…'By Dawn Vance'

One of the most honest, raw accounts of dementia is in this exceptional article, published on the Huffington Post site, and written by Dawn Vance.

Titled 'Dementia - They Don't Tell You These Things'… it is searingly honest.

These two pars stopped me in my tracks, made me sit upright and nod my head furiously, and maybe even let out an expletive, along the lines of 'hell, yes!' Dawn writes:

They don't tell you how to deal with the crushing realisation that she's never even going to be able to phone you again

They don't tell you how to channel the anger you feel when you realise that your fellow 30-somethings' lives now revolve around marriage, mortgages and kids and yours revolves around a terminally ill, confused old lady who doesn't even know who you are. They've chosen their responsibilities; you'd give anything not to have yours.

What would I add to this?

They don't tell you how you'll feel when people you know ignore you because THEY'VE decided how they should react your loved one's death - it's like they're saying: 'Well, you were a carer and she seemed hard work, so now you are relieved, right? You certainly appear to be having fun. That means I don't need to call you or make any contact with you. Because you probably need space…' or some shitty version of this tripe.

No, they won't tell you that. They won't tell you these things.

They also won't tell the above mentioned shitty 'friends' these things. But they will find out, in time, just as you did…

Read the rest of this fantastic piece here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rete Italia Tony Tardio: Josie Gagliano interview

On Friday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by longtime radio announcer Tony Tardio, for the Rete Italia radio network, which broadcasts to 32 stations Australia-wide.

You can listen to a repeat online by clicking here, on Sunday 9 November, from 10am.

UPDATED: Here is the full interview with Tony Tardio

It's a 20 minute chat with Tony about the experience of the Italo-Australian carer and what that means to them now, and the implications of ongoing care in the future.

I talk about what it was like for me as a carer for my beloved mother, who died in August, and what people who are going to undertake the caring role should expect.

I also explain what is in my book, 'The Australian Ageing Generation Handbook' and how it can help carers navigate who to call, what to do, services to access, and reading the stories of carers from all walks of life and what they have experienced or are still experiencing now.

Some of these stories, in the chapter called 'My Life As A Carer' are so raw and honest they are completely confronting, but they offer such incredible insight.

The life of a carer can be very lonely and upsetting and at times, quite distressing. These stories show that all of it is very 'normal' in the world of a carer, that everything is normal.

My other favourite part of the book is the chapter on people working in the care industry - these are nurses, dementia nurses, carers, volunteers, chaplains, doctors, geriatricians… all of them. I interview them in my book and what they say about your family and loved ones will blow you away.

In Sydney, the radio frequency is 1575 on the AM dial.

If you go on  or  you will get all the details of the frequencies they broadcast on.