I woke up a couple of Sundays ago to a post on social media from the #AlzheimersSociety

“Don’t try to be strong or stop the tears. Please be kind to yourself and make sure you make time and space to process all the negative things you are experiencing”

This got me really frustrated and angry. I know living with and supporting somebody living with dementia can be really tough. I should know, I’ve been there with both my Mum and my Mother in law. However, aren’t we putting too great an emphasis on the bad things about dementia?

I for one think we focus too much on the end stages of dementia and not enough on living with dementia. Is it society focusing on everything bad about dementia that is responsible for the alarming statistic published in the article in the Guardian that people receiving a diagnosis of dementia have a higher risk of suicide?

We don’t focus as much on the terrible things that happen at the end stages of other diseases. I have osteoarthritis and have had one hip replacement and have been told I need both knees and the other hip replaced as well. However, the advice and treatment are to keep active, train those muscles to cope with the achy joints and adapt your lifestyle to put off those joint replacements. It’s not about how my other joints may deteriorate or how the joint replacements won’t allow me to do everything I want to do.

So why aren’t we taking a similar approach to dementia? Why isn’t there more information about how you can your home and lifestyle to become more dementia friendly? Why aren’t there more examples of people with dementia doing extraordinary things?

I’ve met some marvellous people with dementia who are extraordinarily creative, a fantastic company with a wicked sense of humour who can still give lots to society, but we don’t hear much about these people with dementia. We just seem to want to focus on the bad things with dementia, just like watching the evening news.

I love reading Wendy Mitchell’s Twitter feed every day as she describes what’s good in life while getting on with the challenges she faces with dementia introduces to her life. I love watching Our Dementia Choir and seeing the enjoyment music can bring.

From my perspective, everything in life is about motivating people with either the carrot or the stick. Right now society is just using the stick for dementia which causes fear, distress, and despair.

It’s time to redress the balance and describe how people live through dementia so we can stop the fear and give people the confidence to live with dementia.

Let’s show people what people living with dementia CAN DO and not focus on what they can’t.

Share your story of what you can do with dementia.

Mine is my Mums relief at losing the concept of time. People may think that it’s dreadful to lose the concept of time. But, when you really think, its absence removes a tremendous amount of pressure, and there are always ways people and technology can help you to remember the time so you don’t miss those really important things.

Look forward to hearing your stories of what you Can Do with dementia so we can reverse the dreadful statistic about suicide rates following a diagnosis with dementia.

Lastly, please donate to support the Can Do attitude MindforYou has for the dementia community in providing their specialist dementia holidays as I attempt Velocity 2 the fastest zip wire in the world on Saturday 26th November