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.
The dates of Dementia Awareness Week always have a massive circle around them on my calendar. Whilst I passionately believe that it's important to raise awareness all year round, there is no doubt that a week of concentrated action definitely helps to put dementia higher up the agenda.
Being a carer does not come naturally to me. My mum's inability to perform theoretically simple tasks often frustrates me. Every time I find myself getting annoyed, or expressing my irritation, I feel enormously guilty. I know that none of this is her fault, but the bitterness rises in me every time I go home.
Why highlight dementia on International Women's Day? It's important to recognise that the burden of the disease falls disproportionately on the shoulders of women. Half a million women every year are living with dementia in the UK according to a report from Alzheimer's Research UK.
When I arrived home from my year abroad in France I was ecstatic to be leaving behind nine months of bad manners, public urination and pretentious att...
I love the NHS and want it to succeed as much as the most ardent NHS supporter. My care had everything - professional, knowledgeable staff who were compassionate, friendly, supportive and caring, combined with outstanding facilities. As a new mum I could not have asked for more for me or our daughter.
The latest report from Government has revealed new steps to encourage hospitals and local authorities to work together with out-of-hospital services to alleviate the issue of people being kept in hospital longer than necessary. A very positive step forward in my eyes and the only way to ensure people, especially older people, are recovering in a suitable environment.
Hopefully you've had the chance to take a look at our thought-provoking new campaign film #sharetheorange featuring Alzheimer's Research UK supporter Christopher Eccleston. Why have we taken this unusual approach to communication? And what's with the orange?