Dementia Diaries Sept/Oct 2023

We’ve a lot of work to do to make sure that Dementia Diarists are as diverse as the communities in which we live.

But we’ve benefited hugely from the words and advice of diarists over the years who bring our attention both to the diversity and difference of the dementia experience, and our need to do more to reflect it.

Here is a selection of diarists who have helped us along the way.

Dianne Campbell has been campaigning on behalf of both younger people with dementia, and those from the African-Caribbean Community for more than a decade. She is driven by a recognition of both the special needs of younger people, and the need for wider engagement with and within diverse communities.

dementiadiaries.org/entry/diarist/dianne-campbell/

Dianne is a very active member of Dementia Voices Brent, an active part of the DEEP network – and you can learn more about their fantastic work, and hear more from Dianne here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeNaTlPcUzY

“Women are disproportionately affected by dementia. But whereas the statistics relating to women and dementia are clear, the voices of women affected with dementia…are missing” (Dementia Through the Eyes of Women – JRF 2015).

Nada Savitch and Emily Abbot authored this work for Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Nada is a founder member of Innovations in Dementia, and Emily is a long-term associate.

Dementia Diaries has always provided a platform for the voices of women with dementia, and offshoot groups like the ZOOMETTES provided a crucial support group for women with dementia to be together and inspire each other, not least during lockdown.

In this diary, Dory describes the impact of meeting other women with dementia has had upon her own journey:

dementiadiaries.org/entry/13860/dory-is-feeling-strong-and-independent-on-international-womens-day/

Women with dementia have inspired each other, and have also been a source of great inspiration for men too. Nigel Hullah pays tribute in this diary to the women who have inspired and supported him since his diagnosis:

dementiadiaries.org/entry/10562/nigel-pays-tribute-to-the-women-he-has-worked-beside-since-his-diagnosis/

Ronald Amanze’s diaries are unusual in that they usually involve music, which elevates his already beautiful voice and phrasing to new levels. Ronald has had a life in music, and is very active in promoting the power of music to bring joy and expression to people with dementia. Here is the first diary he ever recorded, and it still packs a punch. Just wonderful.

dementiadiaries.org/entry/10124/the-mountains-i-still-climb/

Daithi Clayton has always challenged us to do better in the way in which we work with members of LGBTQ+ communities. Along the way,Daithi  has made a series of brilliant diaries, including this one in which they celebrate finding the support they need to be as fabulous as they are…..

dementiadiaries.org/entry/20793/its-happening-for-me-what-a-joyous-and-affirmative-diary-from-daithi

 

Steve Milton is a director of Innovations in Dementia