A dementia friendly life

No time to write yesterday as friends took over the day.  In the afternoon I went with a group to sing along to Mama Mia 2.  I realise that this might not be everyone's cup of tea but we had a ball.  We went to the local cinema (which was full) and sang at the top of our voices to every song.  There was even an interval ('how quaint' I hear you say) with time for a cup of tea before the second half where we sang even louder.  Came out feeling amazing.

Got home in time for another cup of tea with Ash before we headed across the road to the village hall for the Harvest Supper.  We spent the evening with around sixty of our friends and neighbours eating sausage and mash, bidding for produce in the auction afterwards and having a brilliant time. 

In many areas there are dementia friendly cafes and dementia friendly activity groups which I know are a great way of getting to know people if you don't have friends around and can also be a source of support as you meet those without dementia who are living a life similar to yours.  There is also talk of the benefits of setting up dementia friendly communities as though these will be in some way new, exciting and different.  These seem to me however to be something apart from real life.   What if, instead, we turned to the communities we already have, gave them the information they need and allow them to be our support.  Dementia can be very frightening not only to those affected by it but to those whose only knowledge of it is the image of people sitting in a corner of a nursing home unable to communicate with those around them.  Earlier this year, after Ash's diagnosis, the team from The Contented Dementia Trust came to my village and held an information session.  Twenty people came to see what they had to say and all went away with a new perspective on what we were going through.  That was enough.  Since then I/we have had offers of help, encouragement to visit,  invitations to events and a complete acceptance from everyone.  That's what I call a dementia friendly community and it doesn't have to be unique.  Wherever you live you can set something similar in motion.  Take the bull by the horns, organise an information session, let people know what's happening in your life and then sit back and watch what happens.  I think you'll be surprised.