“Making Memories” by Chris Roberts

Dementia Carer Voices

A very warm welcome back to the wonderful Chris Roberts, who has written some fantastic blogs for us before which you can read here. In this post, he tells us about his travels to Australia to attend the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference, sharing his insights and the memories made in the process.

This week marks Dementia Awareness Week in England and Wales. You can find out more about this awareness week and what you can do to get involved on the Alzheimer’s Society website here.

Thanks again to Chris, we’re so pleased to be able to share an update on the wonderful work he’s doing, raising awareness all year round.

One important thing about having dementia is making memories !

Which we definitely did in May of this year, we travelled half way across the world to visit Australia and the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference, 2015 in Perth with my wife…

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Dementia friendly Communities

EVERYONE HAS HEARD THE WORD DEMENTIA, BUT THE TROUBLE IS, NOT MANY UNDERSTAND IT ! …….”INCLUDING ME AND MY FAMILY BEFORE I WAS DIAGNOSED,
BUT, WITH UNDERSTANDING, FEAR CAN BE REDUCED,
ITS THE UNKNOWN ONE FEARS THE MOST !

THAT’S WHY A DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY SHOULD BE BASED FIRSTLY, ON EDUCATION,
EDUCATION WHICH SHOULD START IN SCHOOLS SO NO MORE
MIS-UNDERSTANDING AND STIGMA ABOUT THE ILLNESS WOULD THEN EXIST, CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE AND AN IMPORTANT ASSET, THEY SHOULDN’T BE LEFT OUT OF A DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY.

THEN START TO EDUCATE THE SHOPS AND BUSINESSES, THE BANKS AND POST OFFICES, NOT JUST THE OWNERS BUT ALL THE STAFF,
THEN THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT STAFF, TRAINS, TAXIES AND BUSES !

IT IS EASIER TO START WITH THE SMALLER, INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES, THEN THE LARGER ONES, THE CORPORATE MULTI-NATIONALS WILL FOLOW TOO.

MOST PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA LOSE THE CONFIDENCE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES ONCE DIAGNOSED……….I KNOW I DID !

THEN GO INTO THE CARE HOMES, THE NURSING HOMES, SURGERIES AND HOSPITALS, EDUCATE ALL !

THEN THE PUBLIC……… BECAUSE WITH EDUCATION COMES UNDERSTANDING,
WITH UNDERSTANDING COMES SUPPORT AND CARING
KNOWLEDGE IS A POWERFUL TOOL !!

THEN THE RESCUE SERVICES, THE POLICE, AND COUNCILS,
WORKING EVER UPWARDS AND OUTWARDS.

THEN COMES CHANGES TO THE ENVIRONMENT,
WORKING WITH THE ARCHITECTS, ESTATE MANAGERS AND THE BUILDERS.
LOOKING AT THINGS LIKE SIGNAGE, LIGHTING AND LIVING ACCESSORIES,
ALSO THINGS LIKE MARKING STEPS, ESCALATORS AND PAVEMENT EDGES ETC,

ALL THE THINGS THAT CAN SUPPORT SOMEONE AND GIVE THEM CONFIDENCE WITHOUT TAKING THEIR DIGNITY AWAY

A BIG THING NEEDED IS INCLUSION, PLEASE ASK US WHAT WE NEED, WHAT WE WANT, IT SHOULD BE NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US !
WE ARE, AFTER ALL, THE EXPERTS IN LIVING WITH DEMENTIA, WE ARE THE EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE,
US, AND OUR CARERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS.

YOU HAVE A WEALTH OF INFORMATION BETWEEN US !

PLEASE DONT FORGET THAT DEMENTIA IS A DISABILITY,
A DISABILITY YOU CANT ALWAYS SEE, THERE ISNT A LABEL

SO IF YOU GET IT RIGHT FOR THE PERSON WITH DEMENTIA THEN YOU GET IT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE !
ITS ABOUT PUTTING COMMUNITY SPIRIT BACK, SOMETHING THAT CAN BE SADLY LACKING, IN LOTS OF PLACES THESE DAYS.

ALL THESE THINGS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO MAKE GOOD PLACE FOR SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA,

DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT EVERYONE AT ALL AGES AND AT ALL STAGES OF THE ILLNESS,
MAINTAINING THEIR CONFIDENCE AND BOOSTING ONE’S ABILITY TO MANAGE THEIR EVERY DAY LIFE