Most years, I am more than frenetic throughout September, ensuring Dementia Alliance International (DAI) has blog content to post for every day of World Alzheimer’s Month also know as Dementia Awareness Month, and blog content to post here every day. For all sorts of reasons, including health, that has not been possible.
I have certainly been wondering, what’s all the fuss, effort and money put into WAM about anyway?
This year, a new approach seemed more appropriate anyway; less blogs, and much deeper thinking. But also, I have published less as there is almost no ‘air time’ during September each year, mostly due to every other very well-funded organisation having the ability and teams to ensure they fill the space. DAI and I do not have funds to put a social media campaign together, nor provide content and activities with a team of staff to support that. DAI has not staff, and my 300+ emails received every day, more often than not get forgotten until someone send a reminder!
Furthermore, I continue to question what all this attention via the online space does anyway? It may help raise awareness for organisations, and definitely raises funds, and sometimes even raises awareness of dementia. More often, it highlights the tragedy of dementia, rather than the very real fact most of us live a life with dementia, with often as many ups and downs as we had before dementia. It is little different to life before dementia, apart from the stigma and discrimination, the many misperceptions , and the reality that many people move out of our life, as if it is contagious.
Oh, and the lack of services. Let’s not forget that.
If all the money spent on conferences, events, video productions, awareness raising campaigns, DFC initiatives, WAM activities and even things like publications was spent on services, I suspect it might make a real difference to the people with the lived experience of dementia and our families. Instead, the activities keep a lot of people employed, and organisations and companies afloat, and meanwhile, we generally still struggling to get more than a few hours of less than optimal support.