Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia
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After Life zoomed into Ray’s tragic relationship with his son Tony Johnson, played by Ricky Gervais. Anyone who has watched the series will recall painful scenes where Ray Johnson’s son Tony agonises over his fading relationship with his father.
The star, who played the slimy character of Walder Frey in Game of Thrones, has been praised for his realistic depiction of the progression of dementia.
He talked about how eye-opening the condition was for him.
He said: “Portraying someone with dementia in After Life gave me a real insight into the difficulties 850,000 people face every day and the impact it has on families across the UK.
“But it also highlighted how everyone can make a big difference just by being patient and understanding.”
READ MORE: Dementia: The breakfast habit associated with a ‘4 times’ higher risk of brain decline
Dementia relates to symptoms that include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
It is caused by damage to the brain–whether from forceful impact or Alzheimer’s disease.
“Small acts of kindness make the world of difference,” the actor said.
“No one should face a future with dementia alone and no one should feel like they can’t talk to someone with dementia.”
Dementia has several worsening stages which can last several years.
As a dementia patient moves through these stages, they will require more and more support from carers.
The NHS states: “As symptoms get worse, the person may feel anxious, stressed and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate.
“It’s important to support the person to maintain skills, abilities and an active social life. This can also help how they feel about themselves.”
The disease affects almost every aspect of life, including washing and bathing, eating and drinking, sleep, and using the toilet.
The NHS website contains advice for each of these key areas.
For example, carers can make eating meals easier by setting enough time aside for meals, being prepared for changes in food tastes, and offering finger food if they struggle with cutlery.
Since playing the role of Ray Johnson, David Bradley has been helping raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s society, a charity that funds dementia research.
In 2019, the Harry Potter actor said: “With one person every three minutes developing dementia, it’s time for us to come together and unite against dementia with Alzheimer’s Society.
“I was shocked to find that many people with the condition feel isolated and unsupported in their local community.”
There are several early signs of dementia to look out for.
According to the NHS, these include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks
- Struggling to follow conversations
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes.
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