Last December I attended a Dementia Friends session. These free dementia awareness sessions, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, teach you a little bit about what it’s like to live with the disease and what steps you can take to make your community more dementia friendly.
The information sessions are held regularly in a variety of locations in the UK and if you’re unable to attend in person, you can watch a video online instead. I thought I knew quite a bit about dementia already, but I still learnt lots of new things so it was very worthwhile attending, after all there is precious little other training out there for carers.
After the session I pledged to wear my Dementia Friends badge, which I do with pride. I also said that I would tell my friends about the initiative and create awareness through a craft project, hence my forget-me-not family tree and this blog post.
The forget-me-not flower – an emblem of the dementia community – was an obvious choice for a project. The dark blue flowers represent all of the people that I know who have, or had, the disease. The pale blue flowers represent their close family members, also affected by the disease – dementia really does impact on the whole family.
If you haven’t attended a Dementia Friends session, I strongly urge you to do so. You may not have anyone in your life right now who has dementia but you will soon and the more information you have upfront, the better prepared you will be to support them and others through this cruel, spiteful disease.
Earlier this week I wrote about the lack of awareness about dementia and my frustrations as a carer. They weren’t the most positive of posts but they are my experience of the disease and my concerns, which are echoed by many across the country. By uniting together to make our communities more aware, and with the great strides being made in research, we can but hope for a more positive outcome in the future.