Dementia is the biggest health crisis facing society. Someone develops the condition every three minutes.
Many Dementia Friends are #UnitedAgainstDementia and are taking action in so many different ways. Whether campaigning for change, running for miles, jumping out of planes, or volunteering your time, we can’t appreciate your support enough.
Dementia Friend Dom Stevens is one of many supporters who are fighting to create change. He is aiming to raise £3,000 for Alzheimer’s Society by taking part in the ‘Super 7’ challenges across 2018!
Dom Stevens on right.
I have directly experienced dementia twice in my life, the first time as a 13 year old boy when my grandma was diagnosed with dementia. It was upsetting and hard to understand why this person that had cared for you and spent hours of your short life with you didn’t recognise you anymore. People just didn’t talk about dementia then, there wasn’t any real support our there and it was an upsetting time that still is very vivid for me.
Years later lightning struck twice. My mother in law was diagnosed with dementia at an early age and was cared for at home for a number of years, but is now in a full time care situation. My own sons are now going through the same experiences that I went through those many years ago. At least now times have changed and there are lots of great books for children. We are making sure they continue to have positive experiences with their Grandma.
Taking action create change
I signed up to become a Dementia Friend because I wanted to learn more about dementia and how to support those living with the condition. That way I could then commit to some positive actions to help as much as i can.
The actions I set myself when becoming a Dementia Friend were to raise funds to support research into finding a cure for and supporting those with dementia. I also joined the board of the Chesterfield Dementia Action Alliance to support their work locally and also committed to spread the word about the Dementia Friends and the work of Alzheimer’s Society. Proactively promoting the initiative to friends family and colleagues and encouraging them to sign up.
The 'Super 7' challenge
This year, I am completing the Super 7 for Alzheimer’s Society this started off as 7 challenges but has grown to 17 now. They range from running marathons to giving up cheese, caffeine, alcohol and crisps for 12 months and from a sky dive to the Yorkshire three peaks.
When you are planning these challenges you get nervous all the time. Some of the challenges require lots of training, out running and doing exercise a lot to complete the marathons, obstacle races and Three Yorkshire Peaks. The rest are all about mental strength, giving up things and jumping out of a plane. Families with loved ones with dementia face fair tougher challenges on a daily basis and will always remember that to push me out of my comfort zone.
One of the things I wanted to get across was that people with dementia and their families need support and you can’t do it on your own. Family and colleagues have joined me on challenges. It is amazing to see how many people have got involved over the years, by taking part in the challenges or supporting us with the fundraising or helping spread the word.
Dom’s fundraising page - www.justgiving.com/super718