Hiya everybody just thought it was time for a little catch up.
Its five years ago now since I had the devastating news I had a diagnosis of Dementia and the only advice I had on that day from the consultant was “Use it or lose it” The one thing I soon found out was the absolutely SHOCKING news that there was very little support for people with Dementia out there and even less, in
My first ever blog was called “Me and My Alzheimer`s” which turned out to be the very name of my first book and I posted it on the Alzheimer’s site “Talking Point” The rest, as they say is history !!
So, how far have we come, how much progress have we made and what of the future?
I personally think we have made HUGE strides, admittedly things could be better, they always can, but these are some of the changes I have witnessed in the last five years in the world of Denmtia, so i would like to thank all those who played a part in these changes, however small. however big, for making these wonderful changes possible
There are more memory cafes now than ever before, and not only run by the Alzheimer’s society! We have hundreds of cafes all over the country run independently because people started to realise the need for them. Also the emergence of them all over the world as well, especially in the USA, the very first one being in Minnesota in which I played a very small part in.
Without a doubt the word DEMENTIA has never before been bandied about or made the headlines of newspapers as much as it has been in the last five years!! The highlight for me was the FIRST EVER TV ADVERTS regarding Dementia being shown on UK TV. Let’s hope they take it one step farther next time and actually use someone with Dementia just to make it real and put a face to this awful disease. Radio Programmes are awash with Stories on Dementia (I know I have spoken on many of them) and the social media has been a wonderful tool in raising awareness.
Love or hate this subject it affects almost every part of our lives. Now I don’t care which government is in power and who deals with what Department, I only care about how they are going to improve things. For years the Illness of Dementia has always been a poor cousin of the other big charities when it comes to handouts. We have always got just an EIGHTH of monies given to other large charities. But not this year, we had £34 Million pounds promised to us with more to come, we were also given a £10 million pound pot to share amongst people who are trying to improve Dementia care, and on top of that History was made when the very first UK Prime Minister stood up and publically announced the fight against Dementia would be made a Govt priority and the Dementia Challenge was born.
On ground level, as I call it, Dementia Action Alliances are popping up all over the country, here in Torbay we were recognised by the PM himself for all the work that’s being done here in The south west of England. Up in York they call it Dementia “Without out Walls” and have a great project going on. We attended a conference in Birmingham where people from all corners of the UK came and we got together to discuss this TABOO subject (AS WAS!!) And how to improve all aspects of life for people who are unfortunately touched by this disease.
The Alzheimer’s society in the last five years have really got their act together (A personal thank you must go to Jeremy Hughes CEO ALZ Soc for this and his forward thinking)
More memory cafes have been opened, Dementia advisors have been employed, and there is more continuity than ever before. I know that two premises here in Devon are being sought to house even more Dementia advisors and this is happening all over. The Monthly magazine is now called “Living WITH Dementia” which sends out a great message. Help lines have been set up with more in the pipeline.
The Mental Health Foundation along with The JRF and Innovations in Dementia are undertaking a two year survey which will bring groups of people with Dementia and their carers together and able to network and share ideas for the future. The Royal College of Nursing has just published a paper and video of Improving Dementia care in our Hospitals.
All this in the last FIVE years, and much more I haven’t even mentioned!!! Even so, I just know there will be some out there that will think more could have been done, and in some circumstances I certainly agree, but as the old saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and the sheer amount actually DONE in the last five years is nothing short of ASTOUNDING!! It does make you wonder what CAN BE DONE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS!!!
Let us not look back and think what hasn`t happened in the past, but let us look forward and think about what CAN HAPPEN in the future !! And if the last five years is anything to go by, it’s a future to look forward to where Dementia is concerned.
On a personal note, as ever, we (My Angel Elaine and I) will promise each and every one of you that we will do our upmost to do what we can to improve things for people in the future, and if the time ever comes (I SAID IF LOL) for us to step down, we can only hope the legacy we leave will inspire others to carry on the good fight.
All our love, Norrms, Elaine and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx