Tag Archives: picks disease

RideLondon Training Update #1

Very nearly one year ago I joined a big family group to do the  Memory Walk in Sutton to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. We were walking in memory of my Dad who suffered from Pick’s Disease, a form of Dementia. We had a great time and smashed our fundraising target, generating over £1,000 for Alzheimer’s Society!

Next year, on what would have been my Dad’s 67th birthday I’ll be taking part in another Alzheimer’s Society fundraising event – RideLondon. It’s a 100 mile bike ride starting and finishing in central London and taking in the Surrey Hills. I’m targeting £600 as a fundraising target, but I’d really love to double that. Take a look at my Just Giving page if you haven’t already.

This is the first of weekly – I hope – updates on my training progress. I also want to outline what my training plan looks like.

As part of my training I’m using British Cycling’s couch to 50k plan. It’s a bit tame to start with, for me, because I cycle a reasonable amount already including tackling a 5% gradient pulling a trailer with my 3 and 5 year old in! But it’ll get tougher, and then I’ll move onto the Improver’s Training Plan which should get me capable of doing a 60 mile ride before March.

Beyond that, I’m not sure what I’ll be done to get ready for 100 miles, but being able to do 60 miles in March gives me the spring and most of summer to work up to 100 miles. I’ll be looking out for organised rides to take part in during those few months to both get experience and build confidence. Maybe I’ll even join a local road cycling club!

That’s the plan then… but I’ve already started! So what have I been doing?

Well, week 1 is pretty tame:

  • Monday – Rest (yeah, weird to start with a rest day)
  • Tuesday – 30-minutes steady ride
  • Wednesday – Cross training/rest
  • Thursday – 30-minutes steady ride
  • Friday – Cross training/rest
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – 30-minutes steady ride

This week I did the Tuesday and Sunday rides (see all my rides on Strava) but as the kids were with me it was harder to stick to the plan. I did more than that though, riding a total of 15 miles over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday pulling the kids around. I probably exerted myself more than the training plan demands of me!

Week 2 is pretty similar, with slightly longer rides, presumably to help build stamina – one thing I definitely need to improve on. Cycling makes me feel really good, so I’ve enjoyed this week 🙂 Looking forward to week 2!

Donate now if you haven’t, and if you have, maybe you can help me with some supplies?

The tablet that knows you’ve swallowed it

Photo credit: kjarrett

When my Dad – a sufferer of Pick’s Disease – was still living at home, there was always concern about whether he was remembering to take the many tablets he was prescribed.

There were many times where he’d be trying to figure out which day it was and therefore which partition he should open on his very handy seven-day pill dispenser.

Now, though, forgetting to take pills might not be a problem any longer, thanks to advancements in technology.

GigaOm has gone through a bunch of biotech offerings, including an edible microchip that sends a signal to a sensor placed on the skin to indicate that it is being digested.

I bet Jonah wouldn’t mind one of those microchips!

The actual implementation of such technology probably has a lot of factors to consider but it could be hugely useful to Dementia sufferers like my Dad.

Imagine, by mid-morning, having a text message saying “Looks like your Dad forgot his Aricept today. Better check that out.”

Ten minutes later, the pill is being swallowed and doing it’s job.


Tagging Alzheimer’s Sufferers

Having a Dad with Pick’s disease my eye was caught this morning by a headline from the BBC, charity supports dementia tagging, which reports the news that the Alzheimer’s society has given its approval to the use of electronic tagging of dementia sufferers.

I knew why instantly without reading the article – my Dad used to wander around himself and with him being a bit of a rambler he was more inclined to do so.

The idea itself sounds to me like a good one. If sufferers walk off it can be hard to track them down. We gave my Dad a cheap mobile phone so that we could call him to find out where he was. However, more often than not he’d forget it or switch it off. Even then, he rarely realised his pocket was ringing and would probably have trouble answering it despite how easy we tried to make it. In that situation a tag would have allowed us to even use a mobile phone to find out where he is and pick up him. I remember one morning, driving around our village looking for him because he’d gone out when he was supposed to be at home waiting to be picked up for his visit to the day centre.

There is another big concern though. The normal dangers of everyday life, such as traffic, are magnified with dementia sufferers. One particular example that comes to mind is the time my Dad stepped out in front of a moving car because he recognised the driver. She had to break suddenly to avoid hitting him. My Dad was completely oblivious to the danger of doing something like that, such was the effect of the disease. A tag would do nothing to allay fears of similar or more disasterous events taking place.

An idea did come to my mind though. A tagging system could work very well in a ‘controlled community’ – a sort of cross between a care home and sheltered housing. With care homes, patients are very restricted in their movements. Using tags could allow patients to wander more within a larger space whilst close enough to supervision to enable the level of care needed. In a such a place, technology such as RFID could be used instead of GPS, tracking movement in and out of individual rooms and proximity to the perimeter of the ‘community’.