We’re better together; Dementia Awareness Week

I cherish my memories; I love it when I recognise a smell, a face, a song and when I suddenly get a thought that reminds me of someone; I love it. So, what would I do or say if someone was to tell me that one day, it would all be erased? I can’t even begin to imagine how I would cope with that, frankly I don’t think I would. Dementia is a terrible disease, it erases all our favourite things and leaves us (sometimes) with nothing to recall. It makes me so sad to think that the memories we build all of our lives can be taken away and that nothing can be done about it.

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My granddad was the most intelligent, switched on man I know. He was also generous, loving and we made some incredible memories with him. He had Alzheimer’s for 10 years before he sadly passed away in 2013. Now, I could share with you all my memories of my granddad but I won’t for a few reasons:

  1. That would take up my entire webpage and make a very, very long read because there are so many lovely memories.
  2. They are my memories and not for sharing, sorry but my memories are precious!
  3. I don’t need to, that’s not the point of this.

The point of this is to get people speaking about the horrible disease and get people doing something to help. Truth is, the majority of you reading this have been affected in some way, you are likely to know at least one person who has suffered with dementia and you probably know how truly horrible it can be and that saddens me. It saddens me to think that I can predict that a lot of you know what I mean! Sadly, with no disrespect intended, I don’t think some people understand how devastating Dementia can be. I mean, I didn’t before my granddad. In fact, I completely underestimated it. The person; the loving, kind, gentle soul, is taken from you before they are actually taken from you. Your best friend, your partner, your dad, your mum or anyone you love can disappear before your eyes and all you can do is watch and hold their hand. It can be an incredibly confusing, lonely and isolating time and no one, literally no one, can stop it from taking over; a cure needs to be found.

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A cherished memory.

This week (17th – 23rd May) is what’s known as Dementia Awareness Week so what better time to do this blog? The people of Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging us (the public) to do something new and use the hashtag #DoSomethingNew and #DAW2015 to let people know what you’re doing and how you’re getting on.  So, this week, I’m going to try something new. I don’t know what yet, but I will keep you posted or, if you have any ideas on what I could do, please suggest.

“Life doesn’t end where dementia begins” and this couldn’t be more true. Both my granddad and my gran dealt with his Alzheimer’s incredibly well and he had as much of a fulfilling life as possible for a long time during the years that he had. He played the piano for a very long time after the diagnosis and was dancing until the very late stages – some memories of mine that I will (hopefully) cherish for a long, long time! Some memories that you can read more about in my blog; Music; it’s in my blood!

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However, one thing that completely shocked me during this time was how expensive it could become if you needed support whilst caring for someone with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society needs all the help they can get in order to care for and support these people so it essential that people help them with this by raising money. So, with this in mind, I signed both Dan and myself up to the 10K Memory Walk in Cardiff, September 2015. We have done a Memory Walk in Cardiff before and it was such a lush day.

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A lovely fun day where we could create memories and fight to help save the memories of others.

It was so nice to be surrounded by people who wanted to help in the same way; people who had been affected by Dementia in some way and were fighting to make life easier for those who suffer in the future. In fact, my brother shaved all his hair off (and there was a lot) in order to raise money for my granddad. Click here to go to my sponsorship page if you would like to sponsor us to do this. Also, why don’t you try doing something new this week and share it with others? Like I am going to. If we can’t do anything else, surely we can spread the word, help raise awareness and help people understand how utterly terrifying Dementia can be.

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Don’t you want to keep your memories forever? Isn’t that the point of them? Help support this amazing charity who help us get closer to achieving this.  After all, we are better together…

jack johnson

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