My mother died nearly six years ago, I haven't been able to write about it until now.
The Proximity Button is a small badge that is worn by the person with dementia. The Button connects to the Proximity app on the carer's phone via Bluetooth. If the person wearing the Button wanders too far from the carer and their smartphone, it will alarm to alert them. Simple.
The second reason I'm a fan is the many similarities between my motivation for my work and James' motivation for his. James' mum had younger onset dementia, and he gave up his career to care for her. His experiences with his mum have underpinned everything he's put into creating and now running Unforgettable.
For people with mental health conditions in inpatient wards, loneliness is compounded by stigma and shame. While everyone else on the outside world is carrying on with their lives, they feel shunned and forgotten about.
It has arguably been a bleak few weeks when it comes to news about dementia. First, we heard that dementia has overtaken heart disease as England's b...
Brexit continues to dominate the news with a host of unanswered questions. Will it really be triggered by the end of March? Will it happen sooner than that, thanks to a snap early general election? Will it now not occur at all, thereby returning everything to how it was before?
Social care in Britain is not even an afterthought, it is wilfuly ignored. Provision has been cut, cut and cut again since 2010, when the coalition government came to power. The £72,000 lifetime cap on care costs was abandoned last year and nothing but a void of inaction has replaced it. We are in the midst of a crisis that nobody wants to talk about.
When I first began working as a dementia consultant for MacIntyre in 2013, I was struck by how their learning disability services encourage the people they are supporting to be front and centre in their work.
Dementia has always been personal to me; it has touched my family since I was nine years old and by my mid-teens both of my grandmothers were diagnosed with the condition. Yet, I was too young to understand fully what was happening to them and how I could help.
Dementia doesn't stop at UK borders and stigma is still rife in parts of the world. In some countries, people with dementia are locked away or seen as being "mad". I've heard about people losing relationships, jobs and friends because of misconceptions that exist around the condition. I've raged on my sofa at comedy panel shows and TV sitcoms that have reduced a person with dementia to a poorly drawn caricature or the butt of a lazy joke. At the moment, there's not nearly enough awareness around dementia and as a global society we have a duty to change that.
These fond memories of my granny are bittersweet. I never really knew my granny. I was never able to talk to her about her experiences at Bletchley Park or ask how she made such beautiful and intricate stuffed toys from start to finish.
Having lost my wife's car keys this weekend - I forgot I put them on a café table when we were out shopping - I can testify that forgetfulness is something we are afflicted by throughout life. As anyone who has experienced dementia in a loved one will be quick to tell you, we are not talking about forgetting where our keys are, but rather what keys are for.
Everything we do at the charity - whether that's our innovative research programmes, or our campaign work - considers how we can do things differently to reach our ambitions and create change more quickly. If there's one health issue that demands some different thinking from all of us, it's dementia.
When Daniel, a 64-year-old with Down's syndrome, began getting irritable and depressed several years ago, his GP and family associated his behavioural changes with his learning disability...
Great progress has been made on dementia, but that these misunderstandings still put people off addressing their fears shows that we have a long way to go. Now is the time for all of us to tackle dementia by confronting it head on - in Dementia Awareness Week, and beyond it.
As a scientist, I cannot express how exciting it is to think about a problem in the laboratory, design experiments, and seek and find answers to these problems, in ways that are relevant to finding an end to the tyranny of diseases like Alzheimer's. This, to me, is the most rewarding gift for one's passion in science.