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Understanding Dementia

We were delighted to welcome Rachel Murray to our meeting on 28th March, who is the Purbeck Admiral Nurse dedicated to our area of the country.

Rachel works specifically in Dorset and explained where the understanding of dementia is today. Around 36 million people have Dementia around the world, of which at least 850,000 are in the UK, and this figure is set to increase in the coming years.

The condition was called the quiet disease by former Prime Minister David Cameron and it’s easy to understand why when statistics show that family members save the nation £17.4 billion by providing care at home, out of sight and often therefore out of mind.

Rachel explained some of the early signs to look out for, such as problems with word finding, lack of concentration and withdrawal. There are over 200 subtypes of dementia and affects a wide cross section of the community including outwardly otherwise healthy individuals such as professional footballers.

Admiral Nurses were started in memory of a gentleman known as Admiral Joe, who loved sailing but sadly contracted vascular dementia. Rachel expanded on the care that was available and where Admiral Nurses fit in to the overall picture, known as the ABC Tiered Model. The service provides partnership working, specialist assessment support for carers and supportive education. It is very much a family and relationship centered approach.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Mo Andrews thanked Rachel for a most inspiring and uplifting talk. More information is available on the Dementia UK website.

See also guide to alcoholism and dementia by Ollie Clark. This blog article also includes the infographic below detailing the long-term effects of alcohol on the brain.

(Attribution to

Benefits of Mindfulness for Recovery