When I was looking around to understand what my parents were dealing with, I realised that there’s so much that people don’t know. Even our doctors. It’s been a mission of self-education, but with an emotional aspect.
To advocate for Dementia means several things to me:
– It means creating acceptance, empathy and understanding.
– It means closing the gap between people with dementia, and everyone else.
– It means creating understanding about a misunderstood condition that has different causes.
– It means conquering fear.
– It means getting over guilt and shame.
– It means being up for a challenge or adventure.
– It means creating a system so that we can all thrive and survive.
At the end of the day, to be aware of someone with dementia means to appreciate them, and the people who care for them. And appreciating that we all change and will change, regardless of whether we have someone with dementia to care for, or whether we have dementia or not.
I choose to be pragmatic in some ways but it doesn’t mean that I am invulnerable. However, I am not alone and I am very grateful for that.
Dementia has brought us together in different ways and to recognise the essentials in life – namely time and the company of others. I am in a better position now to understand what happened to my mother. And, although it is not easy for those involved, this shared education has been important.
I hope that my contributions will help make the path easier for people facing dementia.
‘Facing Dementia’ will be aired over 5 episodes starting on 13 November 2016, Sunday at 8 pm on Channel NewsAsia.