Links to the Youtube dementia extras videos


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The Informal Carer - who cares?

In this hard-hitting defence of the informal carer, Rex W Last draws on years of experience looking after his wife, who recently died after a long stay in a care home with dementia, and many years before that both had been campaigning on the carer’s role in mental health issues.
He confronts the neglect of the "informal" carer, both in the lack of any training or preparation for the caring role, and, more significantly, in helping them cope with the huge challenges of losing their role when their loved one enters full-time care. In the absence of official support, he offers a wealth of information, advice and encouragement based on his own personal experiences.


Click to open extras intro


Watch the introduction for a look at the problems and issues facing the carer. I have put together a lively, visually attractive collection of videos, which is growing all the time, to drill down to the details of what it is like being an 'informal carer' and looking after a loved one.
For the full text of the introduction, click here.


Click to open the family

The family

I tackle the vexed issue of families and their involvement or otherwise in the care of the loved one. Families can and often do perform well in this respect, but all too often a cocktail of emotions, attitudes and circumstances — fear, denial, concern for their own health and that of their children, etc. — conspire to turn family members against involvement. In fact, they can become actively aggressive and hostile towards the situation and those most closely involved in it.

I explore these challenging issues and indicate what can be done to try and improve ‘relations with relations’. At the same time, we must recognise that not every such problem can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and that we just have to face up to that fact.


Click to open YouTube memory loss

Short and long term memory

Mississippi is a strange title for a video on short term and long term memory, you may think. I started from my wife’s recollection in her care home of a rendition of that song in a hotel in the Canaries many years ago, and go on to describe in detail the different kinds of memory and the impact that shifts in memory patterns make on the loved one as the disease progresses.

If you get to know how memory works for them, you’ll be able much better to interact with them sympathetically and to work within their capabilities as dementia shrinks the world they experience and understand. I’ve used a lot of visual images and charts to give you a clear idea of how short and long term memory works (or doesn’t, as dementia is diagnosed and progresses), and hope these insights will be of value to you.


Click to open care home

The care home

If you want to create a situation with the family that fills the air with fur and feathers, with people fighting to understand and lay blame for what’s happening, nothing in dementia comes close to the time when you have to put your loved one in a care home.

It’s a very difficult transition for all concerned, and most of all for the carer, whose role for (in my case over a decade) is torn away from you, along with your wife and your relationship.

You face not only the ongoing grief of half losing a loved one altogether, but also the question as to how to come to terms with a situation which many on the outside believe isn’t all that bad. Oh yes it is, and I’ll try and give you some pointers to coming to terms with your loved one in a care home.


Click to open home aids-1

Aids for your home - 1

This is the first of two videos about how to make your home more dementia-friendly. It's a lively collection of hints and tips drawn on my own experience, some of which cost next to nothing to put together.

Amongst the suggestions are: a simple way to make 13 amp sockets more accessible; how to buy non-slip grab handles; easy to use plugs; so-called dementia clocks; Alexa and similar electronic devices; a variety of walking aids including an ingenious ferrule for walking sticks; making floors more friendly with laminates or wooden blocks; choosing a rollator or trilator; special easy-to-use remote controls; changing light switches.

As ever, prevention is better than cure and these devices will make your life and that of your loved one so much easier. There are enough challenges facing the main carer without adding to them by neglecting to plan for a more user-friendly home. Part two looks at larger items, from baths and showers to doors and reclining chairs.



Click to open home aids-2

Aids for your home - 2

This follow-up collection of advice on how to make your home more dementia-friendly explores some of the larger ticket items you might consider buying, and also offers some wallet-friendly suggestions on how to improve the home without breaking the bank.

I explore the pros and cons of adjustable beds; automatic doors and other access options; the walk-in bath; a hot air stand up drier for the shower room; and the all-dancing, all-singing toilet. Maybe with a little help from social services some at least of these aids to living might well be in your reach and offer a better lifestyle to your loved one. Another lively and jargon-free presentation to get you thinking.