2020 saw a global pandemic accompanied by sweeping shutdowns and stay-at-home orders along with worldwide travel restrictions. Dementia Alliance International (DAI) members – and our families and supporters – were not exempt from these very difficult restrictions and challenges.
In fact, COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever before what people with dementia often experience from the time of their diagnosis, or when they disclosed their diagnosis of dementia.
- Social isolation
- Physical distancing
- Physical isolation
- Normal human responses to the changes and disabilities brought about by dementia (not BPSD)
As we reflect on this tumultuous year and embrace the new one, we pause and reflect on 2020. Importantly, we can still look ahead with anticipation – and hope – to 2021.
Before we reflect though, it is very exciting to be able to celebrate our 7th birthday today!
Seven years ago today, DAI was launched by 8 co-founders from 3 countires, who were all were diagnosed with dementia. They had worked on it for many months, and were initially using Google Chats to communicate, followed in 2013 by zoom.
DAI were very early adopters of zoom! Thankfully the rest of the world has now caught up.
People without dementia are also now better understanding how draining and tiring zoom meetings or chats can be. It’s very likely there will be lots of research money now spent on ‘zoom-fatigue’.
If only it hadn’t taken a pandemic…
It’s easy to dream! Our founders all had their own individual dreams and wants. Many of these dreams have become the ‘collective DAI dream’, and include the following ery reasonable dreams.
- Our dream: to provide support for other people also diagnosed with dementia.
- Our dream: equal inclusion.
- Our dream: to provide a network of people with and without dementia to advocate for better care.
- Our dream: for more relevant research, that actually makes a tangible difference.
- Our dream: for Universal health Coverage, including rehabilitation.
Our unofficial ‘motto’ has always been the famous quote by Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. (Margaret Mead)
Our next blog will include the reflections from 2020, referred to above! For today, let’s all celebrate how far people with dementia have come, running their own unique global organisation. It’s at least a triple celebration considering DAI has no paid staff, three incredible volunteers, and almost no funding!
You are not alone.