#PPLCharity – Fiona Visits Dementia Adventure – People’s Postcode Lottery

#PPLCharity – Fiona Visits Dementia Adventure – People’s Postcode Lottery


– Well, I’m in Glasgow today to meet someone I’ve long wanted to talk to. His name is Neil Mapes. And you are the founder of Dementia Adventure. – Yeah, really pleased to be here – Yeah, I’m pleased to meet you, because my parents both had early on-set Alzheimers, and I know of your work, but I need to find out more. What is Dementia Adventure? – Dementia Adventure has got a very simple mission really. To get people outdoors, connected to themselves, to their families, to their carers. Also their local communities, and retaining a sense of adventure in their lives. And the way that we directly do that, and help people is to deliver these holidays and short breaks, where the person with dementia comes with someone from their family normally, somebody that they know well. And we support them to go on holiday in a range of locations all over the UK. – We’re about to hear from a couple. James, who has dementia, and his wife Maureen. What are we about to hear do you think? – James and Maureen are so articulate about their life with dementia, the reality of their life with dementia on both sides of the coin, if you like. When I first heard them deliver their talk, called ‘Both Sides Now’. And it absolutely blew me away, in terms of, well, everyone needs to hear this. And so I’ve dreamt about them doing this piece of work to camera for a long time, and I’m really pleased that we’re now going to hear from them. – Yeah, and everyone does need to hear it. So here are James and Maureen. – So, I’m going to tell you a little about our family life before James was diagnosed with vascular dementia, and during it, and up to the moment we’re at just now. So when I think back to when we first got married, I had this perception of married life. Most people do. We’d have a lovely house, we’d have lovely children. And what a good job it is we don’t know what’s ahead of us. – I was shocked to hear I had dementia, as I’d met it in later stages many a time when I worked as a Junior Auditor in mental health hospitals. I was devastated. I imagined I would be like those poor souls any day now. How much time have I left before I end up in hospital or a care home? How long would it be before I recognised no-one? – Caring means not only helping with things medication, and there’s a lot of it. I also have to make sure he eats his meals, because he forgets to eat. So I have to remind him with a phone call if I’m out. I have to leave constant reminders about general everyday things. It also means I have to be on my guard 24 hours, because I never know what he’s getting up to which might cause him harm. Life was never going to be the same again. – Well, James and Maureen, we’ve just seen your story, told by you. So, so powerful. Is that hard for you to do? – Not as hard now as it used to be. In the earlier days, when things were quite raw. It’s hard to talk about it. And it’s hard for me to say things about James. Because I think when you’re married to somebody, it’s like you’re betraying them, by saying things that are happening in the house. But, after a number of years, we felt, look, we have to discuss it. And if people want to know about dementia and how it is for people, we have to tell the story. So we decided to do it. – When people use Dementia Adventure, what impact does it have? – Well, there are various videos, that’s showing people doing things they thought they would never do again. Say like sailors, they thought they could never go out on a sailing boat. Dementia Adventure looked into the matter, weighed up the risks, and provided it. It made people feel alive again. People write you off when you get diagnosed with dementia, and say, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Whereas, they say, you can do this.

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