“I have dementia, I also have a life”

I’ve just seen the new Department of Health/Alzheimer’s Society ad campaign featuring Carol and Peter. I think the ads are fantastic – very clear and simple messages. These ads were designed to challenge the stigma and fear attached to dementia and I suspect they’ll do a good job.

The two videos feature two middle aged people with dementia both of whom speak to camera stating they have dementia, explaining a little about it but asking people not to run away – to learn more. The key messages are that dementia doesn’t stop you having a life and that the more we all know, the more we can help.

The campaign website features five simple ways to help someone living with dementia:

  1. Respect and dignity: Focus on what the person can do, not what they can’t.
  2. Be a good listener and be friendly: Support and accept the person, be patient.
  3. Do one little thing: Cook a meal or run an errand, it all helps.
  4. Make time for everyone: Partners, children and grandchildren will be affected. Could you do something to help one of them?
  5. Find out more: Understanding dementia makes living with it easier.

I hope that these ads continue to spark some discussion and raise awareness, if my twitter stream is anything to go by they are starting to do so already @ernmander @hgholt and myself were talking about them tonight.

If you have time then it’d be great if you’d take a look at them and share your thoughts – the more we talk the more the fear diminishes.

2 thoughts on ““I have dementia, I also have a life”

  1. I sent off for one of the information booklets from the DoH and I have a half-written post about the campaign which is now a bit out of date but basically I like it. I think a lot of people (and this is no criticism, it is just a part of the human condition) like to think of dementia as affecting ‘other people’ unless they have had personal contact with it and I like that the publicity allows the personalities to come through (to an extent).
    The thought of losing ones’ mind and memory and personality and perhaps what makes us and our experiences unique is so frightening but a little understanding can go a long way!

  2. Thanks for starting the discussion over here. In my experience people rarely think that any diseases/illnesses/situations are likely to affect them – I guess it is in some way a coping mechanism, even if at a subconscious level.

    I agree about the power of little understanding and I also think that once you voice a fear and discuss it, it somehow diminishes. So hopefully that will help too. Here’s hoping for lots more, ongoing, discussion by everyone. I’m not sure what the most recent stat is but there is a considerable chance dementia will affect you at some stage in the future, even if it hasn’t yet. So the more we know the better, in my opinion.

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