Thanks to our good friend Norrm’s McNamara over in the UK today is the first Dementia Awareness Day. Norrm’s started this movement over in the UK, thinking it would only there, but he was wrong! People around the world have embraced his vision due to his social media movement. You may or may not know, September 17th was yesterday in the UK. Here in the states we are one day behind, but it makes no difference. Celebrate the day anyway you can. If you release balloons, have a get together, kiss your loved one with dementia, or just talk to others about Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease you have contributed to the spirit of awareness!
I have not talked with Norrm’s personally to find out all that went on, but he did give me permission to share just one of many notes and letters he has received regarding the excitement from those organizing events throughout his county. Norrm’s has received heart-felt letters like this around the world.
Keep in mind, Norrm’s himself has Early Onset Alzheimer’s and only started this movement 9 months ago. Over 12,000 people have signed up to support DAD. Next year I hope to take a more active roll in organizing an event. This year I just could not find the time between rolling out Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio and bringing the first UK Memory Cafe Concept to the US. The cafe was another thing Norrm’s hand his hand in, as it was Norrm’s who informed me about them and connected me with those setting them up in the UK. We are trying to coordinate a time to have Norrm’s on the radio show to share all the exciting news on DAD. Also I have to say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORRMS'”
Here is the letter… It brought tears to my eyes as I am so proud of what Norrm’s has accomplished
We are in the office early getting ready for tomorrow- all very excited. We start with a presentation in the |Market Place attended by 7 different organisations including ourselves! The Mayor will officially open it at 11.am and the Dementia Choir will be singing ( that should make it rain!!) At 1.45pm John Suchet is arriving and will stay to the close. All day Blackpools town crier wil be in full regalia blowing his horn and ringing his bell rounding up people in the town centre and sending them our way.
At 12 noon some of us will be going up to the Reebok where Bolton are playing Norwich. We have a presentation from 12 – 3 in the Premier suite and then just before kick off my grandson Scott and his 2 cousins who have all helped to raise funds for us in the past, will be guided on to the pitch with one of our members, all wearing black t shirts with the star on and carrying a DAD banner, where just before 3 they will be sending up star shaped balloons. (PLease hope they go up and don’t interfer with the match!!!!!) The club are putting up our logo on their large screens and making a short announcement explaining what we are doing. The Club have also given us a half page in their programme to explain the day and their Chaplain is also writing a piece in the prog. We then have tickets to watch the match. Delia Smith is a Director of Norwich and also a celebrity patron of the Alzheimer’s, so BWFC are getting in touch with her to explain.
And then after that – we are going to a residential home in Astley Bridge which is perhaps our best home supporting people with dementia, having a party with the residents and staff to celebrate DAD and your birthday and setting off the rest of the balloons and Chinese lanterns.
And finally on Sunday all churches in Bolton have been asked to light a candle and to pray for everyone affected by dementia.
In case we are too exhausted to tell you on Saturday we hope you have the best birthday ever with lots more to come.
Love to you and Elaine
BOLTON DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP
Please keep in mind
If you are a person with memory loss I hope you will join Norrm’s and many other like him with memory loss to help make changes in the world as to how dementia is perceived, received, and care delivered to those diagnosed. Others with the disease making huge impact are Dr. Richard Taylor and Rick Phelps, who you might want to goggle. If you are interested in possibly being a guest on the radio show Alzheimer’s Speaks please shot me an email.
When disease hits it is not the time to give up, but to forge forward with a passion for change and improvement.