A while ago it was the outpourings of a so-called 'celebrity' on Twitter which had me speaking on the local Radio at silly o'clock during drivetime. This was my initial reaction which I posted on Facebook:
"Saddened by the comments of somebody called Katie Hopkins who has referred to people with dementia as "bed blockers", stating that she would prefer to be "banged over the head" if she developed dementia. As someone who has tried, for the last 10 years, to help de-stigmatise this dreadful disease I refuse to share her disgraceful outpourings on here. I've already been asked for my reaction by a local radio station and will be speaking about it later. Mental illness is not a life choice by the person who suffers. They need our support, not condemnation."Having given my initial reaction I was then able to use the opportunity to plug Join dementia research so at least some good came from it. In fact I'm getting rather adept at managing to get plugs in for both ARUK and JDR at the same time. Speaking of which, there are now 7369 people registered on JDR. How fab is that?!
Sadly though Ms Hopkins did have a point in that dementia patients are often just left in hospital because there is nowhere for them to go. If she'd chosen her words more carefully it would have made an interesting debate about how we can deal with the issue. Words are very powerful and can be used for the greater good if chosen well.
I read another very sad story in the newspaper in which a decorated Second World War veteran kept a loaded revolver by his bed to kill himself if he succombed to dementia. The 89 year old now faces jail after admitting hoarding weapons. The court heard that he had seen many friends reduced by dementia from "towering figures to wisps of men".
Also in the News was this article about a chemical in the blood which could indicate whether someone will have declining brain function. There's so much going on at the moment that it's hard to keep up but I'm not complaining as it's about time dementia was given centre stage!
Most recently we saw Alzheimer's Research UK launch their 'Fightback' campaign which involved their first ever advert on National TV throughout the month of June. Wow and double wow! That was such a major step forward and they asked me to write a blog post about my thoughts which you can read here.
The other day I had an email from Carol, seen here (seated) when we had our audience with the PM at the G7 Summit last year:
Unfortunately Patrick had a rather spectacular car crash recently, involving a tree, and has written-off their car. Thankfully he doesn't have any major injuries, mostly bruising, but it now means he is no longer allowed to drive which is always a hard thing to face. Although Patrick is still able to play golf and tennis and can read the newspaper he is getting rather bored now. Carol and Patrick are amazing campaigners for ARUK and are always planning fund-raising events.
More marathons required so we can fund more research to learn how to stop this dreadful disease………….. (speaking of which, my next one's in 3 weeks).