Vital: WE'RE NOT STUPID

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), March 24, 2008 | Go to article overview

Vital: WE'RE NOT STUPID


Byline: By Samantha Booth

FANTASY author Terry Pratchett has donated one million dollars to help find a cure for Alzheimer's, after he announced nearly four months ago that he has an early onset form of the disease.

The money is sure to give those with the condition a fresh hope for the future, especially as figures for dementia diagnosis, including Alzheimer's, are set to soar.

At the moment there are around 60,000 people in Scotland living with the condition but reports suggest that as people live longer and the full consequences of our binge drinking culture are revealed, that number could easily double in the next 10 years.

Which is why the work of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) is so vital.

The group was founded six years ago by dementia patient James McKillop after he got frustrated by the lack of interest in what those with the condition had to say.

The aim was to raise awareness of dementia, give those with the condition a voice and let people with a dementia diagnosis know that life goes on.

James, 67, of Glasgow, said: "The group is about meeting with like-minded people to improve life for ourselves and for others that are coming after.

"I set it up to give people with dementia a voice and to try and dispel this idea that the condition means you are no longer relevant

"Everyone else from nurses to carers have their groups and organisation but we had nobody and I felt the message had to get out there that people with dementia can still have a life.

"We can have a normal life, but we can still have a life.

"Since my diagnosis my life hasn't changed that much and it is certainly still worth living."

The group, which was the first of its kind in the world, have achieved an amazing amount.

They have helped give people under NHS Lothian full access to a successful Alzheimer's drug, forced a pharmaceutical company to rethink an advert for a dementia drug because they believed it gave out a negative message and are in constant touch with health minister Shona Robertson about the issues which affect those with dementia.

Their work has also caused a stir in dementia care circles around the world.

In the last six years they have taken part in two Japanese documentaries about the issue, have inspired new dementia programmes in Mexico and Norway and have a German social worker coming to spend a month with them this summer to observe what they do.

Now, the group's 60-odd members are on a mission to change the world's perception of the condition they live with.

Not only are they battling to lift the stigma surrounding dementia, they also want to show that having the condition, in particular early onset dementia, does not mean they are no longer able to live a full and active life.

James, who was diagnosed in 1999 after forgetting how to do his job as a civil servant, insists that rather than being referred to as a sufferer he is known as a "dementia enjoyer" as he feels he now enjoys a better quality of life than he did before his diagnosis.

He said: "The term sufferer makes people think of people in the late stages of dementia who are totally dependent and unable to think for themselves.

"But everyone in our group is in the early stages of the condition and we are far from depressing, in fact there are always plenty of jokes and we all have a good time.

"Since being diagnosed I have met so many nice people and am doing things I never before had the chance to do.

"Of course, there are some things I can no longer do, like driving which I miss, and there are some things I need help with.

"But what I can do, I make the most of and since my diagnosis I have even learned new skills like how to use email. I have even taken up photography."

And amazingly the stigma surrounding dementia is so strong that many people treat those with the condition as stupid, incapable or irrelevant. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Vital: WE'RE NOT STUPID
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.