Never before in recent years can you hear so much about dementia. Up to five million Americans today suffer from dementia, a number that is expected to triple by 2050, as people live longer and the elderly population increases.
When one is diagnosed with dementia, the family is naturally moved to experience a sense of impotence and frustration.
Although the use of public services or private assistance is increasing, families find themselves having to transform their balance into a new, often unknown way of life.
The news of the diagnosis is often suffered and marks the life of the person and the family in a clear way, generating comparisons between the before and after of disease.
There are numerous information about what the disease takes away, the phases that may be there during the years and more that emphasizes the limits.
In reality, opportunities can also be disseminated that give quality to life despite the diagnosis.
An innovative project is being developed at a national level, the Sente-Mente® Project, born in 2014 from an intuition of Letizia Espanoli, trainer who has been working seriously and professionally in the social-health environment for 30 years.
The name of the project stems from a cultural transformation of the term “De-mind” (no mind-outside mind) into “Feel-Mind”, in fact, thanks to recent studies it has been shown that emotional life is preserved in people living with dementia. Although their ability to retain memories, language or reasoning may deteriorate, their ability to feel emotions and perceive the emotions of others remains strong until the end. (Feelings Without Memory in Alzheimer Disease).
The person is no longer considered demented, but a person who feels his emotions and those of the people next to him.
The disease, therefore, is not just a time of effort, but it can be the beginning of a journey that opens up new opportunities.
The Sente-Mente® project gives voice to families and people who live with dementia and creates training opportunities to unveil, with simple and innovative tools, the possibilities that exist despite the diagnosis.
WE GIVE VOICE TO THOSE WHO CONVERS WITH THE DISEASE: True teachers are those who live with the disease.
But who are the real masters? People who live with dementia are those who deserve to be the first to speak. That’s why Letizia Espanoli chose to write her next book “Life does not end with the diagnosis” by creating a space dedicated to these voices.
Extraordinary people who distil the real possibilities that exist in this new way of living life.
“To live beyond the diagnosis means to me, I have Alzheimer’s, but Alzheimer’s does not have me. Even though I have been diagnosed with this incurable disease and knowing that fate awaits me, I do not want to give in to this disease and hide behind it … The time has come to understand the person, not just the disease. “
It’s Harry Uban talking, a brave and simple person who has been living with dementia for about 14 years. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Hazel, and every day he publishes on his personal Facebook page post with really interesting reflections and ideas that smell of life.
Sente-Mente® never stops and is in continuous training, research and evolution and for this reason it is not limited only to the Italian borders.
As Letizia Espanoli claims: “To understand dementia we have to get out of the common patterns. We need a breath of fresh air to create new words, paradigms, possibilities and insights. I realized that in every person who lives with the disease, there is a potential for life, there is a vital presence that deserves to be met “.