As our number of pledges creeps towards 3,500 it is important to reflect on the difference that Tommy and the campaign are making.
With pledges from the First Minister to the student nurse, from consultants to carers, we collectively recognise that the voice of people with Dementia and their carers must be heard. That each of us has a role to play in taking small steps to make a big difference. In terms of our campaign that is 3,500 steps towards a better tomorrow for people like Tommy and his mum.
Terry Pratchett on receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s said that he felt as though he was standing on the beach, that the tide was receding and that he felt totally alone. Loneliness, loss and isolation are recurring themes that we hear about the carer journey. Someone once described it to me, as though it was a pencil sketch, that was being rubbed out little by little every day with the nightmare that by the end there would be nothing there.
Living with dementia is a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs that defy description. The sheer joy on a good day, when a glimpse of your loved one shines through and the dark shadow in the next hour, as that precious moment that you are desperately trying to hold onto, dissipates, in front of your eyes.
The isolation of lack of understanding – people can be unintentionally cruel, the loneliness of “not enough time”, the constant fear of loss and the worry of what tomorrow will bring.
Make a Difference highlights how little things – a touch, a helpful word, a listening ear can make carers feel that they can go the extra mile.
“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it back to me when my memory fails”.
Let us all make a difference, let us each in our own way sing a song, be a voice for someone with dementia.
As mums and dads, grans and grandpas, neighbours and friends, they have collectively given so much, all of their lives. Most stories that we hear from Carers are about love and sacrifice.
Make a Difference Campaign is an opportunity to give something back. Its not about fundraising, it’s not about passing exams or taking tests, it’s a small thing that you can do to give a voice to people with dementia, to hold a hand and be that smiling face, and that listening ear.
3,500 “thank you`s” from people with Dementia, their carers and the Dementia Carer Voices Team.