Dementia Awareness Week – over milking the fear card ......

It’s Dementia Awareness Week and I took a peek at the Alzheimer’s Society website to see what was afoot. I was interested to encounter the public facing platform of this important appeal week. 

The message is simple - we must all unite against what is set to become the biggest killer in the UK to raise funds that will support a better life and better responses for people diagnosed and living with dementia - crystal clear and certainly a fighting campaigning stance in pursuit of crucial and necessary aims.

But it left me a bit puzzled. Whilst understanding the desire to compel us all to exceptional action to raise funds I found it, perhaps perversely, uninspiring to be invited to ‘fight’ or to see dementia personified as ‘a killer’.

This to me over milks the fear card and leans us back into the helplessness of the dominant medical model perspective we tried so hard to escape in the seventies and eighties.

To me the biggest threat to us all from dementia is not being killed by it, that’s not the scary part – it’s about us being socially disabled in ways which have us suffer unnecessarily before we die, whatever the final cause that is declared on our death certificate.

My personal inspiration this week has come from a care worker taking an interesting journey to support a better life for someone living in care - a story that turned life around for someone in care.

Here’s the link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp6c_oG1SBk

Jude Sweeting, Director of Quality & Enjoyment