This year we made the decision to change the name of Dementia Awareness Week to Dementia Action Week.
While we will continue to raise awareness and offer support, this week is about going further to create the changes in communities that people with dementia want to see. But what are those changes?
We asked people with dementia what small actions people can take to improve their everyday lives, and this is what they told us.
What actions could improve the everyday lives of people living with dementia?
Ask me if I need help
Going shopping can be difficult and confusing – finding your way around, remembering what you have come to buy etc. If I seem confused, ask me if I need help. I would feel somebody cared about me”
Understand I’m still me
[I want people ] to understand that I’m still the person I always was, but now I have memory and cognitive problems. My diagnosis of dementia doesn’t and shouldn’t define me. I am still me.
Keep in touch
[I appreciate] friends who still keep in touch. Facebook messaging as I live in a remote rural area, and taking it in their stride that my memory is all to pot!”
Allow me to keep control
It would be helpful if people took the time to explain things more fully and then make sure I have understood, rather than assuming that I’ve understood. If I understand fully then I can make an informed decision. This allows me to keep control of my life.”
Talk to me about dementia
I want to talk about dementia, it helps me to talk about it. By talking about it with my neighbours I get help. They take me shopping once a week and that really helps.”
Give me information in small doses – not too much at once. Inclusion [is important] so I don’t feel lonely. There’s nothing worse than feeling different from everyone else”
If in doubt, ‘be more cat’
If I say I have dementia, the way I know if people have understood is if they say they will slow right down and stay stationary and then actually do it. My cat has really cracked this! She sits silently when I talk, she never finishes my sentence, she listens and doesn’t interrupt, she never contradicts or corrects! She stays still – she doesn’t talk to me when she is walking in and out of the room. Please be like my cat when you have a conversation with me.
- Choose and share an action to take this Dementia Action Week
- Join the conversation by sharing your action with the hashtag #DAW2018