Daily life with dementia: Holiday and Vacation

This information comes to us from Dementia Guide, part of the National Social Services Board. These are some important considerations to help you plan and enjoy your holiday with a person with dementia.

Holiday with dementia

Going on vacation together can provide shared experiences and a break from everyday life for both people with dementia and caregivers. To make the holiday a good experience, it is important to prepare thoroughly. The person with dementia may find new surroundings confusing or respond inappropriately. As a caregiver, you may use as much energy to ensure that the person with dementia will have a good journey, you do not even get anything out of the holiday. Therefore, it is important that you carefully consider what kind of holiday that is most suitable for you. Continue reading


Hverdagen med demens: Ferie

Disse oplysninger kommer til os fra Demensguiden, en del af Socialstyrelsen. Det er nogle vigtige overvejelser at hjælpe dig med at planlægge og nyde din ferie med en person med demens.

Ferie med demens

At tage på ferie sammen kan give fælles oplevelser og en pause i hverdagen for både demente og pårørende. For at gøre ferien til en god oplevelse, er det vigtigt at forberede den grundigt. Den demente kan finde nye omgivelser forvirrende eller reagere uhensigtsmæssigt. Som pårørende vil du måske bruge så meget energi på at sikre, at den demente får en god rejse, at du ikke selv får noget ud af ferien. Derfor er det vigtigt, at I nøje overvejer, hvilken form for ferie, der er mest velegnet for jer.

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Gray zones and sexlife in dementia

This article comes from the Danish news source Kristeligt Dagblad (Christian Daily Paper). It’s about a particular gray zone in dementia care – the sex life of the spouse to someone with dementia. The original article is in Danish (you can access it by clicking on the title, below), and I have translated the article into English and edited the content to fit this blog.

I think it’s important to realize that the issue isn’t black and white and it isn’t just about sex or adultery. It’s about our very human need to connect with others, to share with others, and the emotional bond of companionship – all of which can also happen without sex. It is a similarly difficult issue when individuals with dementia find a new girl/boyfriend – they are acting on their emotional drive for closeness and attachment to others.

Taboo and infidelity among spouses to someone with dementia 

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Gråzoner i sexlivet blandt pårørende til demente

Denne artikel kommer til os fra Kirsteligt Dagblad.

Tabubelagt utroskab blandt pårørende til demente

AF ELSE MARIE NYGAARD 23. marts 2012
Mens de internationale hjælpeorganisationer langt fra er parate til en krig mod Irak, så er internationale fredsvagter på plads i Irak. Her en amerikansk fredsvagt foran Aldorra-olieraffinaderiet nær Bagdad. (Foto: Nordfoto)

Kvindes brev om svært dilemma til Kristeligt Dagblads brevkasse har fremkaldt mange reaktioner fra læsere, der selv kender til savnet af kærlighed som følge af ægtefællens demens. Modelfoto. Foto: Monkey Business Images

Mit sociale liv ændrede sig i løbet af de år, min kones demens udviklede sig. Der blev færre ting, vi kunne foretage os sammen. Vores fælles venner, ja selv vores børn, holdt lidt diskret større afstand. Jeg tog mig i at tænke, at jeg selv havde tre alternativer: begå selvmord, blive skør eller blive skilt. Så skete der det forunderlige, at jeg ved et stort lykketræf kom i forbindelse med en gammel kæreste, som var blevet skilt og befandt sig i et følelsesmæssigt tomrum, ligesom jeg selv gjorde. Continue reading

Danish legislation on GPS and dementia

This article comes to us from Stella Care. Stella Care is a Danish company that solves social problems by using and further developing proven technology, so it can be used for purposes other than originally intended. They specialize in offering small GPS trackers suitable for people with dementia. The article by Stella Care is originally in Danish (you can access it by clicking on the title, below), and I have translated and edited the article into English. 

Legislation on GPS for people with dementia (and Stella Cares role)

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Lovgivning om GPS til demente

Denne artikel kommer til os fra Stella Care. Stella Care løser et samfundsmæssigt problem ved at at anvende og videreudvikle kendt teknologi, så den kan anvendes til andre formål end oprindeligt tiltænkt. De specialisere sig i at tilbyde små GPS trackere, som er værdige at gå med for den demensramte.

Lovgivning om GPS til demente (og Stella Cares rolle)

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Danish-English differences in describing dementia

One of the interesting things about speaking two languages and having lived in two different cultures, is discovering differences in the cultural meanings of words. I have lived in Denmark since 2004, and I came in knowing the US jargon used in Gerontology and in dementia care, but had to learn how the Danish language describes the terms. (Jargon is the vocabulary used by a particular trade, profession, or group – like how medical terminology is medical jargon). Continue reading

What’s it like to be an unemployed dementia specialist?

Shortly said, it’s incredibly frustrating.

By 2015, there are very few people who have not hear of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Many people have also had personal experience with a friend, family member, or community member who has developed dementia. Many people are also aware that there are more and more people being diagnosed with dementia, and that there is a growing demand for quality care and services. Most governments specifically announce an increased need for qualified professionals in the area of dementia.

In a time when there is a growing demand for dementia specialists, it is both confusing and counteractive to be unemployed.

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Dementia and Denmark’s 2015 election

Today, June 18, 2015, is election day in Denmark. Citizens around the country are coming out to vote today. While I am not a citizen so cannot vote in the large elections, I am excited to say that no matter which party wins the election, dementia is already earmarked to get more funding and attention 🙂

The article below comes from the Danish news sources DR and Dagbladet. I have made the translation to English and slightly edited the content for more context. Plus added some opinions 😉

Du må også læse denne indlæg på dansk her.

Thorning and Løkke will strengthen the plan for people with dementia

Both main candidates are ready to put money towards helping people with dementia, writes Politiken.

Ældre dement

Both Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Lars Løkke Rasmussen promise more money for people with dementia in today’s politics. © Colourbox

Whatever the outcome of the election, people with dementia and their relatives can look forward to more focus on the growing disease, writes Politiken (a Danish news source) this past Monday. In the article, two almost identical policy proposals are presented from the Liberal Party and from the Social Democrats and the Radicals, both of which will improve the response to the disease.

Over 90,000 people are currently living with dementia in Denmark, and the number is expected to grow rapidly as 134,000 are projected to be afflicted with dementia in 2030.

Dementia is a widespread disease

In a joint initiative, the Social Democrats and the Radicals want to propose a new long-term strategy on dementia, while the Liberals want a new action plan for dementia.

You can read more about Denmark’s National Dementia Strategy from 2011-2014 in my post here and the Dementia Alliance’s recommendations for 2015-2025 – in Danish – here.

Dementia is a major widespread disease and surely a bit overlooked,

says Liberal Party chairman Lars Løkke Rasmussen to Politiken. He believes that the rapid growth in the number of dementia diagnoses calls for action.

I know from people I talk to, dementia, and to be relatives of a person with dementia, is a huge challenge. Many are powerless. Therefore, we will strengthen efforts, he said.

Shortly after the Liberal Party’s proposals, Politiken had contact with the Social Democrats, who returned with the message that the party, together with the Radicals, are ready with a joint proposal on a long-term strategy.

It is a terrible disease,

says (current) Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Social Democrat), who presents the proposal along with Economic and Interior Minister  Morten Østergaard (Radical).

Wow, really? This is all they have to say about dementia? I must say, that’s a huge disappointment.

From Dagbladet (Danish news source)

Løkke and Thorning agree about more money for people with dementia

The Liberal Party’s action aims at creating better equipped staff, better support for caregivers, increased diffusion of new welfare technology, more dementia housing, and a more streamlined system with one ministry responsible instead of three, which today share the responsibility for the area. It is not clear how much money the party will set aside for the area, but the party has already set aside 16 billion kroner (around $2.45 billion USD) for the elderly and health until 2020.

The Social Democrats and the Radicals will first map the social, health, and housing challenges in the area. In addition, the parties’ strategy has five broad areas of focus: respite and relief for the relatives, arrangement of housing for people with dementia, competency development in home care and assisted living and nursing care facilities, an overhaul of the rules for appointment of a guardian, and expedited treatment in hospitals and clinics for patients with dementia. These current government parties will prioritize 400 million kroner (around $61.15 million USD) to dementia between 2016 and 2019 through the allocation of grants.


Broken down, the current government (Social Democrat and Radical) has already allocated over 120 million kroner in grant money in 2015-2018 for initiatives targeted towards dementia. It has also set aside 70 million kroner in 2016, 90 million kroner in 2017, and 120 million kroner annually in 2018 and 2019 for follow up on the strategy. Furthermore, in their entire Elderly policy, they have set aside 60 million kroner to have fixed doctors in nursing and care homes, 300 million for strengthening efforts to combat loneliness among the aged, and 190 million towards better food for the aged. That’s a grand total of 950 million kroner that has already been designated towards bettering the lives and care of the elderly between 2016-2019. You can read their strategy – in Danish – here.

While I, personally, think Lars Løkke is speaking of dementia more as an election strategy (I am not a fan of his and since it’s my blog, I feel like I can say that), it is great that the Liberals are setting aside so much money for dementia care, education, and research. HOWEVER, if you read their elderly and health policy plan that is available on their website (detailed here, in Danish), that 16 billion kroner is for the whole kitty, of which, they only mention as #6 of their 7 priorities:

Greater focus on dementia and chronic illnesses:  We will make higher quality in the care for the chronically ill patients by offering a more goal-oriented, systematic, and consistent action. At the same time, we need to detect and diagnose dementias quicker.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all the 16 billion is going towards dementia – I am expecting that more money will still go towards cancer, heart, and lung diseases than dementias, as happens globally.

Compared to the 30.6 million danish kroner ($4.7 million USD) allocated to the National Dementia Plan from 2011-2014 (the results of which, we really don’t know), more money definitely needs to be set aside for dementia. And it’s definitely a good thing that the Social Democrats and Radicals already have money set aside for evaluation/follow-up of their efforts!

Demens og Danmarks Valg 2015

Denne indlæg kommer fra DR og Dagbladet.

Thorning og Løkke vil yde indsats for demensramte

Begge statsministerkandidater er klar til at sætte penge af til at hjælpe demensramte, skriver Politiken.

15. JUN. 2015 

Ældre dement

Både Helle Thorning-Schmidt og Lars Løkke Rasmussen lover flere penge til de demente i dagens Politiken. © Colourbox

Uanset udfaldet af valget kan demente og deres pårørende se frem til, at der skal mere fokus på den voksende sygdom. Det skriver Politiken mandag.

I avisen præsenteres to næsten identiske politiske udspil fra Venstre samt Socialdemokraterne og De Radikale, der begge vil forbedre indsatsen over for sygdommen.

Over 90.000 borgere er i dag ramt af demens og antallet ventes at vokse hastigt, så 134.000 vil være plaget af demens i 2030.

Med et fælles udspil lægger Socialdemokraterne og De Radikale op til en ny langsigtet strategi på demensområdet, mens Venstre vil lave en ny handleplan for området.

– Demens er en stor folkesygdom og nok en smule overset, siger partiformand Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V) til Politiken.

Han mener, at den hastige vækst i antallet af demente kalder på handling.

– Jeg ved fra folk, som jeg taler med, at demens, og det at være pårørende til en demensramt, er en enorm udfordring. Mange står magtesløse tilbage. Derfor vil vi styrke indsatsen, siger han.

Kort efter Venstres forslag tog Politiken kontakt til Socialdemokraterne, der vendte tilbage med beskeden om, at partiet sammen med De Radikale er klar med det fælles udspil om en langsigtet strategi.

– Det er en forfærdelig sygdom, siger statsminister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (S), der præsenterer forslaget sammen med økonomi- og indenrigsminister Morten Østergaard (R).

Fra Dagbladet:

Venstres handleplan går på at skabe bedre rustet personale, bedre støtte til pårørende, øget udbredelse af ny velfærdsteknologi, flere demensboliger og et mere strømlinet system med ét ansvarligt ministerium i stedet for tre, som i dag deler ansvaret for området. Det står ikke klart, hvor mange penge partiet vil sætte af til området, men partiet har frem mod 2020 afsat 16 milliarder kroner til ældre og sundhed.

Socialdemokraterne og de Radikale vil først kortlægge social-, sundheds- og boligmæssige udfordringer på området. Derudover har partiernes strategi fem overordnede fokusområder: Aflastning af pårørende, indretning af boliger til demente, kompetenceudvikling i hjemmeplejen og plejeboliger, et serviceeftersyn af reglerne for beskikkelse af en værge og hurtigere udredning.

Regeringspartierne vil prioritere 400 millioner kroner til demens fra 2016 til 2019 med udmøntning af satspuljen for 2016.

Disse mål skal nås inden 2025

Demensalliancen præsenterer fire nye ambitiøse mål for demenssygdomme i Danmark

Demens er en folkesygdom i voldsom vækst. Det er i dag den femte største dødsårsag i Danmark. Hver tredje time dør en dansker af demens. Derfor har Alzheimerforeningen, FOA, Ældre Sagen, Dansk Sygeplejeråd og PenSam dannet Demensalliancen. For at skabe et bedre liv for personer demens og deres pårørende og sikre, at ingen er alene med demens i Danmark.

Læse min indlæg om Denmark’s National Dementia Plan

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Dementia village coming to Denmark!

Odense to build Denmark’s first dementia village

Du kan også læse denne indlæg på dansk her.

04. June 2015
Odense bygger Danmarks første bydel til demente

OK-Fund contacted Odense Municipality about a year ago to create a one-of-a-kind dementia offer in Denmark. It happens now with the construction of an entire new district with dementia. The key for us was to find a municipality that is willing to take the lead and dare to think new , says OK Foundation director Michael Brostrøm who here signs the agreement with the Mayor Anker Boye ( S ) , Councilman per Berga (EL ) and urban and cultural councilor Jane Jegind (V).

Inspired by Holland included new dementia city precinct – OK Foundation builds and operates the “City of Life.” The ground has yet been found.

Odense: “City for Life” is the name of a whole new city precinct; a district which from 2018 will house between 200 and 300 people with dementia.

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Denmark’s National Dementia Strategy

While it is great that Denmark has actively worked on developing a National Dementia Strategy, there are a few issues I am concerned about.

The first, is that the strategy ran for three years, from 2011-2014. As far as I can tell to date, there is no new version of the National Dementia Strategy. After some digging, I did find that Demensalliancen has set forth some goals in a national dementia plan through 2025. These 5 goals are given at the end of this post.

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Demensbydel kommer til Odense!

Odense bygger Danmarks første bydel til demente

04. juni 2015 10:26
Odense bygger Danmarks første bydel til demente

OK-Fonden tog kontakt til Odense Kommune for omkring et år siden for at skabe et enestående demenstilbud i Danmark. Det sker nu med opførelsen af en hel ny bydel til demente – bygget efter hollandsk forbillde. – Det afgørende for os var at finde en kommune, der er villig til at gå forrest og tør tænke nyt, siger OK-Fondens direktør Michael Brostrøm, som her skriver aftalen under med byens borgmester Anker Boye (S), som er flankeret af ældrerådmand Per Berga (EL) og by- og kulturrådmand Jane Jegind (V).

Efter inspiration fra Holland opføres ny demensbydel i Odense – OK-Fonden bygger og driver “Byen for livet”. Grunden er endnu ikke fundet.

Odense: “Byen for livet” bliver navnet på en hel ny bydel i Odense; en bydel, som fra 2018 kommer til at huse mellem 200 og 300 mennesker med demens.  Continue reading