Dementia Talk at 4538
The guest speaker following the latest meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge 4538 was the Deputy Director of Care for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, Debra Keeling.
Debra, who joined the RMBI six years ago, is their Dementia Care Advisor and talked about the effect of dementia on the 800,000 affected people living in the UK, as well as the services that the RMBI can offer.
During her non-medical and easy to follow presentation she outlined the four main categories covering the collection of symptoms associated with the condition, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, which arises from the dying off of brain cells. The others, which could occur simultaneously, were Vascular dementia, often following on from strokes or small vessel disease (which could be minimised via a healthy lifestyle), dementia with Lewy Bodies, where protein deposits inside the nerve cells in the brain lead to hallucinations, and Fronto-temporal lobe dementia whereby damage to two lobes at the front of the brain result in changes to personality and behaviour.
There have been significant advances in the development of drugs to treat the various symptoms, which when applicable and if used in good time can result in up to a 60% success rate.
Dementia affects 1 in 1400 people aged between 40 and 64 and 1 in 6 between 65 and 80, rising to 1 in 3 over age 95. As a result of increasing life expectancy there are expected to be some 1.7 million sufferers in the UK by 2050.
The RMBI provides community based support, which includes education and awareness sessions, and is currently piloting schemes to widen awareness within freemasonry.
After the Master, W Bro Chris Grove MBE had thanked Debra for her fascinating talk, members present gave her a rapturous round of applause.
Chris Grove and Debra Keeling