With Dementia Awareness Week in our midst, now is the perfect time to stop and reflect. It has been estimated that there are over 35 million people living with Dementia worldwide. Every 20 years, the numbers are expected to double.
The question I found myself asking was: “What can I do?” I knew that a number of my new colleagues were Dementia Friends and it seemed like a great thing to be a part of. I was intrigued. It is a straightforward yet informative process which only takes around ten minutes to complete online. You will be asked to watch two short videos to increase your knowledge of Dementia. I found that practical and helpful tips were given on how to assist those affected. And you’ll get a certificate at the end.
Through working in the field of Private Client, I have been lucky enough to meet many clients from varying backgrounds. A client that stood out to me as a ‘favourite’ (in an impartial sense, of course) was an elderly lady who was suffering from the early signs of Alzheimer’s. I took to her instantly. She was feisty and witty, softened by a gentle demeanour. Alzheimer’s was, sadly, her source of frustration.
I often visited this client at her home. A home which was surrounded by books and paintings, demonstrating her love of travel, language and the arts. Asking about a photograph she clutched in a frame would start her reminiscing of holidays she had and the wonderful adventures she went on. I loved to listen. Yes, her memory troubled her but words of reassurance went a long way. We had wonderful conversations which would always leave me knowing something new. She taught me a lot and also reminded me never to disregard anyone because of their health.
I would encourage everyone to consider signing up to become a Dementia Friend. You never know what you might learn.
On May 31, 2016