World Alzheimer's Day
I have had the privilege of being an ambassador for Alzheimer's Society for a number of years now. My grandmother, Nans, lived with Alzheimer's for half the time that I knew her... Here is my plea. This World Alzheimer's Day - and beyond it - let's do everything in our power to make sure people don't have to face dementia alone. Let's speak up and speak out about dementia so awareness and understanding across society is improved. Let's come together and unite against dementia. If you have a loved one with dementia, spend time with them. Love them, the same way you always have.
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.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is not easy. I've had countless interaction and conversations with carers over the years. At times, it can be challenging, tiring and upsetting. They carry out difficult and demanding roles, often with minimal training or preparation.
Muhammad Ali came with a legend surrounding him. I interviewed him four times and was fortunate to map out the rise and fall of this fascinating man. He was an extraordinary man, and a great athlete, with charisma; nobody I have ever met had that in such abundance as he.