For the past couple of years we have greeted the New Year here on the blog with a round-up of some award winning mental health blogs. Some of these bloggers, such as Mental Health Cop, are well-known and have attracted large numbers of readers. The more niche the topic, often the more useful the information/comment provided by these blog authors.
This year, however, we have decided to focus on dementia blogs. With the growing success of dementia friendly communities around Powys, and an increasing awareness around dementia with schemes such as Dementia Friends, it seemed not just appropriate but high time!
So here are some of our favourite dementia blogs, written by people with dementia, those close to them, and others who are working to support them – whether in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors.
We hope you enjoy dipping into their blog pages, and if you know of others you would like to recommend just add a comment below. We would really like to hear from you.
1. Adventures with dementia
“My wife has dementia. She first attended a memory clinic in 2000, aged 52, and suffered a marked decline in the autumn of 2011. Since then there have been some improvements, despite the fact that she has now (after 12 years investigation) been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
We try to follow the advice of our Guru: 'Live a Good Life'. It's not easy but there doesn't seem to be any better advice around.
I found myself saying to a friend that I would find my wife's condition very interesting if I wasn't so involved. I've realised now that I do find it, and the issues it raises, interesting.”
This blog was started in 2011 and is packed full of useful information. The latest posts focus on A visit to the dentist, Paying GPs £55 for diagnosing dementia, and Disability Living Centres.
2. (Dementia just Ain’t) Sexy
“No photos of wizened hands here! Not a daily care blog or advice site, this is a place to share thoughts about the impact of dementia on those who live with it – who could be any of us.”
3. What I’d have done differently if I’d known my Mother had dementia
“I thought I didn’t know much about dementia until I read a research proposal on unusual experiences of people living with severe dementia – such as confusion, hallucinations and delusions. Suddenly an old and squeaky door opened and I found myself looking into a dark and scary room in broad daylight for the first time.”
A post on the Changing Minds, Changing Lives mental health and learning disability website that has provoked some interesting comments too.
4. Living in the shadow of Alzheimer’s
“This blog is about life with my husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Frontal Lobe Dementia in 2008. He was 64 at the time although now, knowing more about the disease, Alzheimer's was present many, many years ago, which is why early detection is so important. As you read the blog "Al" represents the way that Alzheimer's is invading our daily lives.”
Daily updates on living with Alzheimer’s from across the Atlantic, but so many of the day-to-day issues are relevant too here in Wales.
5. A dementia voice
“You can still live a life with dementia” is the strapline of this community of bloggers from across the UK, some of them living in remote parts of the Scottish Highlands. Several are members of the Scottish Dementia Working Group.
6. Dementia Journeys
“We aim to share dementia related news and information from around the world as well as sharing your Dementia Journey stories.”
Dipping into recent blog posts we find articles on Activities and stories to share with adults with dementia, Hospices and their ethos of care, and raising awareness of dementia with The Purple Angel – a new symbol emerging from Dementia Action Alliances in Devon.
7. Pippa Kelly
“I write every day about one thing or another, mostly about the elderly, their care and its funding, and about dementia, which stole my mum from her family in a drawn-out 10-year raid.”
Pippa originally wrote an article which appeared in a Sunday newspaper called Dementia: the longest, cruellest goodbye.
In 2014 she received an Older People in the Media Award from John Sargeant.
8. Young Dementia
This site has links to numerous blogs, some written by people with young onset dementia, and others written by the family members of those with this diagnosis.
So, that’s a lot of reading to dip into! We hope you find a blog that can help, inform, interest or inspire you – but if there are others out there you want to let us know about, please comment below.
And if you would like to write about your experience of dementia, especially if you are based in Powys or have a family member or friend who is, please get in touch.