November is the month for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo and I bravely (stupidly??!!) signed up to give it another go this year. I am way behind the 1600 words per day they suggest you write to keep up, but if I get all my other writing finished by the middle of next week, I’ll give it another crack! It was a lot of fun last year, and although I’ve done nothing with the 50,000 words I wrote last year, it definitely cemented the discipline of daily writing and blogging.
Having dementia does not mean you have to give up doing crazy and fun things like NaNoWriMo, or blogging, or living beyond your diagnosis. For some, following a diagnosis of dementia, their whole life become about dementia, and many forget to keep living the other parts of their lives. It is not because they mean to, but probably a negative side effect of the ‘Prescribed Disengagement’ given out to us following a diagnosis. Writing or other creative therapies are brilliant for helping people manage grief and loss, and the negative emotional effects of terminal or chronic illness, or other crisis, and is known to be healing.
An article today, Dementia Friendly Communities – Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room which obviously is about dementia friendly communities, is something I have had a dream about for Australia since March this year. It links in with my belief people with dementia must stay engaged in their pre-diagnosis lives for as long as possible, and for younger people, to remain employed for as long as possible, requesting assistance in the same way as a person who has been disabled by other illnesses or an accident. Just an idea which might help to remove the discrimination, stigma and isolation, and will help others see that people with dementia are still very capable of contributing positively.