2011 The year of Hope

Hello to all my dear friends, I just thought I would take this opportunity to say thank you so much for all your support and friendship over the last year, your support has been un-measurable and just spurs me on even further to try and make sure that 2011 will be an even better year than 2010, and when you think about it, 2010 will take some beating!!

Please remember it was an incredible year regarding Dementia. We had the NICE (National institute for clinical excellence) U Turn regarding medication. The dementia strategy was announced by the government and the Dementia alliance was formed, just to name but three things that happened this year (2010) A good year by anybody`s standards !!!

What we must now make sure of my friends is now that the Dementia Juggernaught is moving and gathering speed we have to keep that momentum up and if possible make it go even faster. Never before have we had the chance to grab this momentum by the scruff of its collar and take it even farther as we do now. Never before has so much been put in place for us all to act on, and never before has Dementia been highlighted as much!!! The key to reducing the stigma of this awful disease is to bring it out into the open and educate people that this disease is the biggest health crisis in generations and we now have the chance to do something about it, we can’t let this opportunity slip through our hands and must act on it in the year 2011.

How do we do this?? It’s so simple when you think about it!! We all want the same thing, A CURE and an end to the misunderstanding and myths that surround Dementia. A way to achieve this is by sharing what we already know with as many as possible and I don’t just mean the professional bodies, but all across the world there are support groups who would love to hear about new idea`s, fresh initiatives and new ways of caring for those who are already touched by this awful disease.

The research centres are doing their upmost to find a cure for this disease, of that I am fully convinced, and they have the expertise, qualified staff and commitment to do just this. So, it’s then down to the likes of us, people with dementia, young and old, Carers and loved ones to get together and educate people about this disease as best we can. Carers or Caregivers as they are known in some parts of the world are the most under used experts around. Their knowledge and level of commitment far outweigh any text books you can buy and so they must be asked how they would like to take the dementia wagon forward and what practices actually work and what don’t!! And they must be listened to!!!

If we all share our ideas and hopes for the future I believe it will become a better world all round regarding the future of treatment and care for dementia, and also, as we all hope, for the demise of this terrible disease!!!

I have been discussing this week with a very good friend of mine in New York who has himself a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s about the benefits of a Memory cafe, what a memory cafe is, and how to set one up. I am so pleased to say that he is now in the process in conjunction with his church of setting one up and I look forward to hearing all about its progress and the benefits it brings to those with dementia. Who knows, it may just catch on all over the states and why not?? The doors are now open for us all to walk through together, share our ideas and experience and make that difference!!!

As for my family and me, well, it will be business as usual and promise I will do my best to take raising awareness to a new level and hopefully seeing a cure before the New Year ends!!!

So to one and all I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of my family and me wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year,

Best wishes, Norrms, Elaine, and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx