The Alzheimer's Association of Queensland (AAQ) is Queensland's leading not-for-profit community organization whose primary aim is to help maintain the quality of life of people diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers.
Founded in 1983 by a small group of carers, AAQ is now the largest provider of dementia-specific care, education, information and support services in Australia.
Whether you are a person diagnosed with dementia, a family member of a person with dementia, or a health care professional, AAQ is your source of information, support and assistance on issues related to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Been forgetting things? Can’t find the right words anymore? Feeling a bit anxious or confused?
You have had a good night’s sleep yet the symptoms are persisting. You feel there might be something wrong. But you don’t really want to go to the doctor. Maybe a few more nights’ sleep and it will all go away. It’s probably just a virus going around. Could it be the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease?
Unfortunately, fear causes many people to avoid seeking early medical advice. If you have any concerns about your wellbeing, it is important to have a thorough medical assessment sooner rather than later.
Driving and Dementia
Driving and independence are linked closely in our society. For this reason, people with dementia may be extremely reluctant to give up the responsibility of driving. Driving can also be a very demanding activity requiring a great deal of concentration, coordination and decision-making.
Some individuals can recognise their decreased driving ability, will accept their limitations & cease driving as a welcome relief. Others may deny there is a problem or simply be unaware. While this creates a sensitive situation, it is a problem that should not be ignored because of the risk that unsafe driving poses to both the person with dementia & other drivers & pedestrians.
Drugs and Dementia
Currently, there are no drugs which reverse or cure the brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Most of the drugs prescribed and used in dementia management are usually done so in an effort to control or minimise the behavioural symptoms of the disease. But all drugs have side effects which often cause a worsening of the behaviours which they are trying to control.
Therefore, drug use for behavioural management is hazardous and mostly ineffective, and should only be considered as a last resort approach.
Activity gives us a sense of purpose & makes us feel useful. Activities give meaning to our lives. It is therefore important to remain active.
While Alzheimer's disease & other dementias progressively rob a person of mental abilities & the skills needed for everyday living, this deterioration does not happen all at once. Many skills are maintained far into the course of the disease.
The best way to keep the mind and body active is to focus on activities that help maintain existing skills for as long as possible. Simplicity is the key.