With permission granted, I am publishing some words by a gentleman in the UK who is living with younger onset dementia. Norrms McNamara is inspirational, and is one of the founders of the Purple Angel movement, educating whole communities about what it is like to live with a diagnosis of dementia, and how to help us. Globally many diagnosed with dementia are speaking out about what is best for us, and together we hope to break down the barriers of stigma, discrimination, ignorance, isolation, and to change the language about us from derogatory and offensive to respectful and centred on our humanity, rather than our deficits. Norrms words are powerful:
“Mock ” my Dementia, I was once like you, I once worked full time to keep and provide for my family. I had so many hopes and dreams, I STILL DO !! You don’t even know me, you have no idea what I have achieved in the past and what I hope to still achieve now, please don’t mock me just for being ill, I wouldn’t if roles were reversed, you don’t even know me, please don’t mock me just because I have dementia.
” Stare at me, let`s stare together at the changes that are now being made within the world of dementia, let us stare together in wonderment at how the stigma of this disease is being disassembled before our very eyes, brick by brick the wall of Stigma is coming down.
“Ignore Me” I have so much to say, I have early stages of dementia, have you even heard of that? Dementia doesn’t just suddenly “Happen” it creeps up on you slowly, in stages, but if you LISTEN to me I can help you recognise the signs of early dementia so you can help your loved ones to carry on living a full life.
“Tell THAT Joke” about dementia, I have heard them all, and they are not funny!! When you forget something, why do you think it’s funny to say “Ha ha, I must have dementia” If you got a pain in the back or abdomen would you say “Ha ha, I think I may have Cancer ??? I think not!!! Dementia is a terminal disease with no cure at the moment, nothing much funny about that!!
“Write us off ” We have so much to give, so much to do, so many more people to meet, to laugh with, to love, to cherish. So many more grandchildren to see born and to teach the ways of the world, I am not finished, in fact I am just beginning to see life for what it really is, short, but beautiful, and so can you, if only you embrace it fully.
I am me, i am Norrms, Just a boy from Bolton who has been diagnosed with dementia, please see me and not my disease xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Norrms McNamara diagnosed at the age of just 50 yrs old nearly seven years ago now.
Please share, please copy, please print off and please put up in workplaces etc.