I received an email which said one word “Interested?”. It was information about a talk being given at the Derby Women’s Centre about Dementia Friends (find out more here) which is an initiative with the government and Alzheimer’s Society.
Should I go? Then I realised that although I knew about Dementia Friends I didn’t really know what to expect of them so decided this would be a good time to find out.
There were a good mix of people there, and I introduced myself to the speaker. Sorry but I can’t remember her name – I am not good with names, the whole world should start wearing badges with their names on!
She was pleased that I was attending and asked if I minded talking about my own experiences, which of course I didn’t.
What an excellent morning it turned out to be. The talk was tremendously appropriate and informative. I can see why they are so important to be spread across Britain – everyone should have the opportunity in taking part in one.
A Dementia Friend is someone who has learnt what living with Dementia can mean to people. Everybody has a different experience but it is important to treat everyone with the same positiveness of what they can do rather than why you think they can’t do. Never assume someone has less capabilities than they may have.
I was asked lots of questions about how I live with it, and was able to answer about how I experience my own cognitive difficulties. It was great to meet these people and learn about the Derby Women’s Centre. I hope to pop in again sometime.
This was my first time in public talking to strangers about myself living with Alzheimer’s and I think they were surprised because the image is always someone who is elderly and in the later stages of the disease.
How did this make me feel being there?
It was great to learn more about what education is available to everyone regardless of who you are, where you work, age, race or religion. Dementia has no cultural specifics, and how we educate the world should be in the same manner. I felt like I could contribute something positive, and show that life for me good. My glass is half full not half empty! I felt the warmth and interest of the people there and they reached out to me. Lovely 🙂