After being diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease aged 58, Wendy Mitchell helped form the Three Nations Dementia Working Group. Here she describes some of the work they’ve been doing and why it’s so important they’re opening the Alzheimer’s Society conference this year.
Imagine yourselves being given a diagnosis of dementia……imagine what that feels like for you and your family. Imagine if you’re still in work, who would YOU turn to for support and advice? Imagine the financial uncertainties, the emotional uncertainties. Imagine not knowing what you were entitled to seek because of that diagnosis. Imagine not knowing where to turn for advice, for support, for the knowledge you’d then need to be able to live with dementia……Imagine how you might flounder in your search, feel isolated, feel abandoned and sink into depression.
A few years ago, the sentence ‘Rights of people with dementia’ would not have existed. But thankfully that’s all now changed……..
The Three Nations Dementia Working Group coming together
Now imagine a group of people coming together. A group of people who would never have otherwise met. All of different ages, from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. All coming together with one thing in common – a diagnosis of dementia.
We share our views, we share our laughter and we share our reality of living with dementia, but we also share a common interest – the Rights of people with dementia.
Together, these people formed the 3 Nations Dementia Group. We are the 3 Nations Dementia Working group, formed with the financial support of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Opening the Alzheimer’s Society conference
We’re now just over a year old and we will be opening this year’s Alzheimer’s Society two day conference. We want to make this a memorable opening. Who better to open the Conference than people with dementia themselves?
Last year we took to the stage with Bill Turnbull to deliver the revised Dementia Statements. The most outstanding difference with the old ‘I’ statements, is that now they all start with ‘We have the Right’………. reflecting that when we get a diagnosis, our family and all those around us get the diagnosis as well and that we have Rights that can no longer be ignored.
This year we want to build on what we began to put together last year. We, in the 3Nations Dementia Working Group, want people with dementia, all over the country, to join us in whatever way they feel comfortable; from the comfort of their armchair to joining us on campaigns and from using us as an information resource to expressing their opinions.
If you or someone close to you was diagnosed with dementia tomorrow, would you know what Rights you had, as someone living with dementia?
Come and hear what we have to say at the opening of this year’s conference.
After all we have the Right to be heard…….