We have attempted to shared as many #RememberMe stories as possible for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016, all either highlighting some very personal experiences of living with dementia, or some of them about some of the brilliant local, regional, national or worldwide advocacy some members are involved in.
Whether it is global, or simply helping the person next door, it is important work. Sharing a personal story via a blog, or at you local town hall or church, is just as important as making a video thy is shared more publicly. It is not a competition of who is doing more, or of the best.
There are simply not enough days in World Alzheimer’s Month to share them all, which also means we have many members stories to continue sharing over the next few months! What we did was to sent out messages to members to send in their stories, and the ones we have shared this month are simply from those members who responded. We have not even been able to add them all during September, but will endeavour to do so over the next few weeks.
That does not mean, of course, that there are not many other brilliant stories of excellent advocacy to share. Less than 5 years ago, there were not so many people with dementia actively working so publicly as advocates; today, we could (if we had the funds to employ someone!), write a daily blog every single day of the year, as so many are all over the globe are now doing wonderful things.
People with dementia have been sharing their own stories, in their own ways, of ‘Living with dementia’ for some time now. Each person’s way of raising awareness of dementia is important, whether it is a blog here or elsewhere, an article in a magazine, an event of some kind, a documentary or at a conference.
And all of these stories or advocacy work should be shared widely; this is in part what advocacy means.
We all have really important issues including reactions of close family and friends, coping with disability due to dementia, and even issues such as stigma, isolation, loneliness and discrimination to share, but also there are many stories of living well with dementia, in spite of it. These are equally as important, and just as important, are the events which may have limited or broad outreach, as raising awareness is.
So to end our series of daily blogs for #WAM2016 #DAM2016, we are highlighting a few things our members and others have been up to this month.
Wendy Mitchell, Jennifer Bute, Chris Roberts, Keith Oliver, Larry Gardiner and others in the UK have been involved in a documentary being made for Japan out living with dementia. Wendy lives in York and writes a great blog, including this one about having the Japanese film crew in her home recently. DEEP and YoungDementiaUK have been very include wiht a lot of activities this month as well, including hosting a conference.
There have been so many conferences in so many parts of the world this year for #WAM, we would need to write a book to cover them all. Nigeria perhaps was the most important one of all, as the less developed countries are needing so much more support to raise awareness than the developed countries; in fact, even for people to get a diagnosis is a major concern for them!
Chris Roberts and his wife Jayne and daughter Kate from Wales had a BBC documentary made about their story of dealing with dementia, and it was great news to read on Facebook it has been picked up by an agency for global distribution. Chris has also been nominated as a finalist in the National Dementia Care Awards and we wish hm luck again this year. You can view Chris’s documentary here…
Other members have been busy as well, and we celebrate again the prestigious Inaugural Richard Taylor Memorial Advocates Award won by Mick Carmody this year.
Some of our Aussie members such as Eileen Taylor and John Quinn and their care partners have been busy including working on a Dementia Friendly Community project. You can see a video of John Quinn talking about living with dementia here. Edie Mayhew and her partner Anne Tudor have also been very busy in Ballarat working on a campaign in their home town of Ballarat called Bigger Hearts.
It is not possible to cover everyone’s stories or activities today, and if we headed to America and Canada to give a preview here today, it would take too long to write, let alone read!
Susan Suchan though, has been involved in a documentary of her life and what it is like having dementia, and in particular living with the condition known as Primary Progressive Aphasia.
In our final blog for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016, we apologise to those we have not (yet) recognised for their advocacy or other efforts, but we hope you will think about sending us your stories for future blogs here.
It has been a very busy and productive month all over the world as we collectively raise awareness of “Dementia from the Inside Out”!