Hiking with and against early onset dementia
Early September, a group of adventurers went on a trek through the Italian Alps. Amongst them were four people with young dementia and some of their caregivers. The adventurers call themselves the “Brain Adventure Team”. They want to create a movement that can inspire, motivate and support people with a psychological disorder. As a team they work towards destigmatising psychological problems. By organising group hikes, they show that brain diseases can destroy a lot, but not everything.
In 2015, they went on their first hike in the Himalayas in Nepal. "Staying active also slows down the decline," said Christophe Naessens (64) from Stasegem. He was diagnosed five years before, but still joined the Nepal expedition together with his wife Winnie.
One of the Brain Adventure Team members is Professor Mathieu Vandenbulcke, geriatric psychiatrist and scientific chair of Mission Lucidity. “It is fantastic to be able to do something like this: the common joy of hiking largely reduces the boundaries between patient and caregiver. I strongly believe in these kinds of models for dementia care: where people with and without the disease, both young and old, find each other in activities that each of them enjoys. Connecting people is one of the major challenges of our society.”
Check out the blog and read more about the Brain Adventure Team (website in Dutch)
(Pictures: © Brain Adventure Team)