Dementia patients not alone

Dementia Awareness Week
Dementia Awareness Week
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As a child of the ’60s I really cannot remember a world without the annual torment and – occasional – triumph of Eurovision.

A brilliant excuse for a family night in, with the essential pick ’n’ mix, bowls of crisps and fizzy pop. For decades we have laughed, despaired, stared open- mouthed in disbelief and cheered at the never less than colourful parade of Europe’s decidedly unique song offerings.

Melanie Hewitt, community fundraiser for St John's Hospice.

Melanie Hewitt, community fundraiser for St John's Hospice.

The torment is, to be fair, more recent, as we have had our three worst results in the last decade. We have won the contest five times – but the last time was in 1997, when some of those watching last Saturday night would have been very young or not even born.

So, as we watched and smiled along with our neighbours across the channel and beyond, it is perhaps worth remembering that, whilst there have been conflicts in Europe since 1945 – and currently sadly in Ukraine – we have not seen a war on the scale of that the generations before us had to deal with.

With all its silliness and at times predictable voting for neighbours or political allies, its value as a marker of how far we have come since the end of the Second World War is invaluable and a cause for celebration. The invasion of Europop in the charts is better than the ones that have so many times come before.

Each generation has its cross to bear, whether it’s global warming, terrorism, unemployment, poverty or simply the challenges that life can throw at us. As with most things it’s how we meet them that matters. It also makes a huge difference if we each try to understand each other’s problems, across the age divide that can disunite and distract us from reality that at the end of the day we are all people – with hopes, fears and dreams.

Some of us just happen to have been here a little longer.

Across the country every day, in our towns, streets and homes, support and love across the generations is something being shown tirelessly and quietly, by people caring for those with dementia.

Perhaps one of the most important messages to get across for those who are living with or caring for someone with dementia is you are not alone. This will be the focus of a special event in Doncaster next week.

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, there is a Living Well Dementia Event on Thursday, May 22, from 11am to 7pm, at St Catherine’s House, Tickhill Road.

Free advice and information about services available to support people with dementia and their families and carers, from agencies and organisations both local and national will be highlighted.

For more information or to let us know you are attending please contact us on 0800 0150370 or email ftmembership@rdash.nhs.uk or simply drop in on the day.