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Well I Know Now with Pippa Kelly

Author: Pippa Kelly

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Well I Know Now with Pippa Kelly is a podcast in which she and her guests discuss what their dementia experiences have taught them. From profound life lessons to the importance of professionals who truly understand and the joy to be found in the smallest things.

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19 Episodes
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Lesley Garrett

Lesley Garrett

2021-03-0246:41

International soprano Lesley Garrett has delighted the world’s biggest audiences for over 40 years – from London’s Royal Opera House to America’s Hollywood Bowl. She’s performed with every leading orchestra as well as with the likes of Bryan Ferry and the Eurythmics, with whom she sang on the eve of the millennium, and has produced over a dozen best-selling albums. She’s also a familiar face on our television screens, presenting and appearing in countless shows.Lesley encountered dementia when a close relative succumbed to it and says that even when her aunt became so ill that she couldn’t remember her own children’s names, “the sound of music she adored, sung by someone she adored had a tremendous effect on her. She would open her eyes, shake, and tears would pour down her face”.   So moved was Lesley by this experience that she became patron of a charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia through music. It’s called Lost Chord, and it is because of our shared passion to bring music into the lives of those with this incurable condition that she and I came together for this podcast. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed

2020-12-1551:06

Sarah Reed was an award-winning creative producer and single mother of two, when two events shattered her world. The first was a brush with death when a burst appendix left her unconscious for nine hours in A & E, followed by a four-day stint in intensive care. Four weeks later her dad called to say that her mum, Mary, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Sarah describes this as one of the worst days of her life.Before the diagnosis she and her mum hadn’t been that close; Sarah had left their home in Faversham, Kent for art school at 16, since when her life had been busy, revolving around her demanding film work and bringing up her children.Over the next decade, as Mary’s dementia progressed, a newfound bond developed between them. “We learnt a new, more grown-up confidence with one another”, says Sarah. “And learnt how to laugh at our shortcomings”. Sarah and her siblings supported their parents as best they could but their father struggled to cope and in 2000 Mary moved into a care home. Sarah soon realised that while kindly and well-meaning, the staff had little or no communication training – and her frustration developed into a passion to try to help carers provide better care. Over the course of the next few years, as her dad died and her mum was forced to move care homes, twice, Sarah’s knowledge of dementia grew and with it a belief that staff couldn’t hope to develop a relationship with their charges if they didn’t know anything about them, and in order to find out about them they needed to be able to communicate with them. Sarah decided to act. At a personal level she compiled an album of photographs from her mother’s early childhood right through to her years as a great grandmother. When Mary saw the album she glowed with pleasure – although confused by the present, her mum was brought alive by the past.And thus the idea for Sarah’s award-winning Many Happy Returns Chatterbox Cards was conceived. Painstaking research into not just dementia, but compassion, philosophy and reminiscence therapy, led to cards skilfully designed to prompt conversations with older people. Two thousand cards based around the 1940s were launched in 2008. The sets sold out in three months. Today, some 9,000 sets – of 1940s and ‘50s cards – can be found in care settings, libraries, schools and private homes around the UK. Sarah went on to develop interactive communication workshops to help care staff communicate more meaningfully with residents. She believes that “Good communication sits at both the heart and pinnacle of good care”.  Mary died in 2009, aged 92.  Dementia may have taken her mum from her, but Sarah tells me that it also, in a way, gave back. “Caring for a loved one helps teach you a love you did not know was possible”, she says. “It’s a feeling of understanding, forgiveness and, eventually, closure”.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mike Parish

Mike Parish

2020-12-0847:27

Mike Parish has been with his partner Tom Hughes for 45 years. Theirs is a love story, and I’ve found researching their lives, witnessing the tenderness, concern and pride that flows between them – very moving. And a reminder of the beauty to be found in us flawed human beings.But their story also has an ugly side. For much of their lives these two individuals have been the victims of prejudice, rejection, violence even. One of them still bears the visible scars. The unseen, emotional cuts run deeper still and have lingering consequences. Five years ago Tom was diagnosed with dementia and so, in different ways, they find themselves yet again confronted with discrimination. It’s not aggressive this time, or even intentional. But it’s there, in the preconceptions voiced as they attend countless medical and social care appointments, where they are routinely assumed to be father and son or a carer and his charge. In constantly explaining who and what they are they face a sort of endless coming out.I would love to have chatted to both men, but Tom is now non-verbal and in these strange Covid-19 times it simply didn’t work when we tried to include him in the podcast. It is so sad, but it reveals the stark truth about dementia: it’s a progressive disease, and there’s no getting round that.But as Mike and I talk, Tom is never far away. Mike says he and Tom are true soul mates, telling me about the Greek myth that lies behind the phrase – that we humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. But Zeus split us in two, so we’re all searching for our other half. To complete us. “I was struck by the power of that myth,” Mike says. “When the two halves meet there is an unspoken understanding of one another, they’re unified and know no greater joy. This was what we both felt when we met, and still do”.  I can see it when I watch the pair of them and hear it as Mike speaks of Tom.Just four years ago, in 2016, the two men married. Strange, almost unbelievable to think, that when they first moved in together in 1975, aged 20, they were living illegally. Eight years earlier their very sexuality, their gayness, was deemed a criminal offence. In 2015 Tom was diagnosed with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, or HAND, a very rare form of dementia. Soon afterwards Mike gave up his job with the fire brigade to care for him, experiencing what he describes as a tsunami of shock and grief.  It’s been through telling their story that he and Tom have found a way to move on. They started by sharing their experiences with dementia support groups and were soon invited onto national television and radio, and to speak at universities, hospitals, care homes. Being a same-sex couple experiencing dementia proved relatively rare and Mike felt a responsibility to reach out to others. It turned out to be of huge benefit to all.“There’s a powerful positive outcome from storytelling,” says Mike. “It comes from the hope that what you’re doing may help others and it also gives a sense of normalisation, validation and the strength to carry on”.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Kate Lee

Kate Lee

2020-12-0142:47

My guest this week is the chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, Kate Lee. As well as being a CEO, Kate’s a wife, mother and daughter. Her 80-year-old mum’s vascular dementia is now so advanced that she lives in a nursing home and can’t talk; the only way Barbara can show her daughter that she loves her is to hold her hand. At the moment, of course, along with thousands of others, these two can’t hold hands, or meet, or hug or be together in any meaningful way, at all.  A few weeks ago Barbara’s husband of almost 60 years was persuaded to go and visit her so that he could wave through a window. I saw a short video of this on Twitter and was very moved – the accompanying tweet said, “On a freezing morning, with our backs to the wind, we waved and shouted to mum through a window”. It was only on my second viewing of the shaky film that I realised that the daughter was in fact Kate Lee.  So it’s quite obvious that the woman heading up the Alzheimer’s Society brings a very personal perspective to her new role.  Since taking up her post just a few days before the country went into its first Covid lockdown in March, she’s not been afraid to talk about what she and her family are going through in the national press, on TV and radio, and on social media, particularly Twitter where she has well over eight thousand followers. She knew that it was vital to come up with a contingency plan ASAP. Since April, when it was feared that the society might lose half its voluntary income, she’s had to furlough 400 staff, lost about 320 colleagues through redundancy and and taken out £12 million of expenditure. In doing so, the projected loss has been almost halved, from £40m to just over £22m and, importantly, the society hasn’t had to renegue on any current research funding. We talked a lot about her own family’s story, about the challenges of being both the daughter of someone living with dementia and the CEO of the UK’s biggest, most influential organisation in the dementia sector, about the realities of the condition (which aren’t always quite as they’re portrayed in the movies), about the tricky role of a close relative who lives some distance from his or her loved one and isn’t a primary carer but wants to help.  And of course we talked about how the Alzheimer’s Society has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the vexed issue of care home visiting, and her vision for the organisation’s post-Covid future.https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Nicci Gerrard

Nicci Gerrard

2020-11-2443:21

Author, journalist and campaigner Nicci Gerrard is a pocket dynamo of warmth and energy.  She speaks quickly, her lyrical, thought-provoking words tumbling out of her mouth, compelling us to see things in new and different ways.  In 2014 she co-founded John’s Campaign with Julia Jones. Its aim is simple: “that the carers of those with dementia should have the same rights as the parents of sick children to accompany them to hospital” and its inspiration came from her late father, the doctor and scientist John Gerrard. For ten years John, who had a deep love of nature, lived well with dementia. “He was”, says Nicci, “going gradually into the darkness”.  But this ended with a “sudden rupture” when John went into hospital with leg ulcers and remained there for five weeks. Strict visiting hours, plus an outbreak of norovirus, meant that this man, who’d entered healthy, mobile, articulate and contented, emerged skeletal, immobile, inarticulate, unable to recognise people he’d lived with for decades.  John’s experiences and the resulting campaign led Nicci to explore dementia practically, through talking to doctors, carers and those living with it, and more profoundly, in philosophical, almost existential ways.  The result is her quite beautiful book, What Dementia Teaches us About Love. “What happens when memories are lost? Who are we then?” she writes. “If we are out of our mind, where have we gone? If we have lost the plot, what happens to the story we are in?”Most recently, as Coronavirus has swept across the globe and the doors of this country’s 21,000 care homes have clanged shut, John’s Campaign has turned its attention to those who live in them, 70 per cent of whom have dementia. Their relatives have been unable to visit them for months, leaving these vulnerable people bewildered and heartbroken because they think they’ve been abandoned by those they love. Which is why John’s Campaign asked the Government to review the guidance around care homes. Family carers, say Nicci and her fellow campaigners, are not visitors but vital to the health and selfhood of people with dementia, and should be recognised as such, and given the same protection, testing and status as key workers.“In the name of infection control, great harm is being inflicted,” Nicci wrote recently in the Guardian. “People can die of heartbreak.”  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Dr Jennifer Bute

Dr Jennifer Bute

2020-11-1746:42

Dr Jennifer Bute regards the dementia with which she was diagnosed in 2009 not as a life-shattering disaster but a gift – to use her words, “a glorious opportunity”. She is a remarkable individual who, despite facing many adversities, and supported by her strong Christian Faith, remains brimming with hope and gratitude.  It is a sign of her fortitude and determination that she was the first woman in Hampshire to become a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners – and this when she was already beginning to display symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. She says that her condition has enriched her life because she now knows the condition, not just as a professional, or as a relative (her father also lived with dementia) but from the inside. In 2018 her book, Dementia From The Inside, A Doctor’s Personal Journey of Hope, was published and is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dementia-Inside-doctors-personal-journey/dp/0281080690/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=. Her website http://www.gloriousopportunity.org/ contains a myriad of resources, including information on the fascinating Japanese Memory Groups that she runs at the dementia-inclusive retirement village where she lives in Somerset. Dr Bute also has a Facebook page, again called Glorious Opportunityhttps://www.facebook.com/gloriousopportunity. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Professor Sube Banerjee is that rare beast: an esteemed clinician and academic with a tremendous way with words and bucketloads of empathy.Last year he was appointed Executive Dean of Plymouth University’s cross-disciplinary Health Faculty, where along with his many other responsibilities, he jointly heads up Radio Me, a ground-breaking project that uses artificial intelligence to tailor live radio to an individual’s needs. Previously, while Professor of Dementia and Associate Dean at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, he led research into the quality of life and care of those with dementia. “We have to focus on what individuals can do”, he says, “not what they can’t. Kindness is the core. And hope. I sell hope”.  Professor Banerjee also pioneered a world-leading education programme in which healthcare students regularly visit and talk to families of people with dementia to gain a deeper understanding of the long-term impact of the care that they themselves – as future doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physios – will deliver. In 2008, he led the development of the country’s first national dementia strategy – a huge step towards changing the way the condition is viewed, by both Government and public. The professor was determined that it should be crafted and informed by those who really understand dementia, that is the people living with, and affected by it. Today, this approach is becoming more common. In 2008-2009, it was nye on revolutionary. Professor Banerjee describes dementia as the prime exemplar, globally, of the complexity of challenges facing health services of all sorts. I totally agree, which is why I was so keen to talk to this warm, articulate professional. I hope you enjoy listening to him as much as I enjoyed (virtually) meeting him. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jenni Dutton

Jenni Dutton

2020-11-0342:31

Jenni Dutton’s Dementia Darnings comprise a series of large works formed with running stitch that explore the effect of the condition on both her mother and herself. Jenni says the Darnings became the constant thread binding her life together and stopping it from falling apart. “How will I unpick my life from my mum’s life?”, she asks as the years pass. The Somerset-based, multi-media artist wanted to evoke the sense of disjointedness and abstraction, of displacement and insecurity that her mum’s dementia aroused in her – and she has certainly succeeded. “There is a fascination with the very gradual, slow process of building the layers of threads until they become closely interwoven; I’m working at ways to describe the harshness of dementia, exposing the loss associated with the condition, the unravelling of the personality and eventual emptiness,” she writes in her diary.The Darnings have been exhibited throughout the UK, in Dublin, the Hague and China, with plans to show them in the United States and Australia in 2022. Jenni tells me that people’s reaction to them has been extraordinary and continues to move her. You can see these on Jenni’s website atwww.jennidutton.com/dementiadarnings and on Instagram at Jenni Dutton 9342 https://www.instagram.com/jennidutton9342/?hl=en See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Glenda Jackson

Glenda Jackson

2020-10-2834:54

I couldn’t have hoped for a more wonderful guest to launch my second series of Well I Know Now than the international star of stage, screen and television, Glenda Jackson. The actress has added a BAFTA to her glittering array of awards (two Oscars, two BAFTAs, one Tony, one Golden Globe, two Emmys …. ) for her portrayal of Maud in the BBC film of Elizabeth is Missing. This intriguing whodunnit, based on the excellent novel by Emma Healey which I reviewed here https://pippakelly.co.uk/2014/08/elizabeth-is-missing/) also provides a deft exploration of dementia and the strains that it places on family life. Glenda plays Maud who, while in the early stages of dementia, sets out to find her missing friend Elizabeth and in so doing solves a 70-year-old murder mystery.The actress and I chat about why she took on the role; how we as a society can no longer ignore dementia; the financial, emotional and practical challenges facing those who live with it and their families and the role that the state plays in all this.  We also talk about ageing, which Glenda believes fractures and frays the gender boundaries – a fascinating idea which I’ve not previously encountered. And the way in which an ideal society has parallels with one of those magical pieces of theatre that completely captures its audience – both are bigger than the sum of their parts, require everyone involved to play their role and generate a positive, reciprocal energy. The daughter of a bricklayer and a cleaner, the girl from the Wirral has come a long way and never lost touch with her roots, her work ethic or her humour. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
8. Sally Magnusson

8. Sally Magnusson

2020-07-2851:43

For my series finale I chat to Sally Magnusson, distinguished broadcaster, journalist, author and founder of the music and dementia charity Playlist for Life.  When her mother Mamie Baird developed the condition Sally started writing about her in an attempt to hold onto the wonderful woman she loved so much. The result is a tender letter from a daughter to a mother. It is also a reporter’s investigation into one of the most feared conditions of our time. In Where Memories Go, Sally explores dementia, and what it does to an individual, through the eyes and heart of a loved one, through the theories of neuroscientists and quantum physicists, through the beliefs of theologians, and the words of poets and philosophers. Her investigations reveal that music is the one thing dementia cannot destroy. Which is why, up until the final stages of her life, when Mamie is lying in bed little more than “a breathing cadaver” she still whispers the words of a song. “For you and me, for us and we/All the clouds have rolled away”.  And why, after her mother’s death, Sally went on to found the highly regarded and successful Playlist for Life.Her book is about that most slippery of concepts, the self. And about society’s morally questionable view and treatment of those in danger of losing this most precious, intangible thing to dementia.  As her mother nears her end, Sally muses on her unconquerable soul, her indestructible identity. “You are Mamie, the only one there has been or ever will be. You are you”.Playlist for Life can be found at playlistforlife.org.uk and Sally’s latest novel, The Ninth Child, published by John Murray, is out now and available on Amazon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
7. Zoe Harris

7. Zoe Harris

2020-07-2147:431

When her husband Geoff went to live in a care home several years after he developed dementia Zoe Harris soon realised that his lack of verbal communication was not only impacting on his quality of life but severely compromising his health. Because Geoff couldn’t tell his carers that he liked his coffee black they made it white, he didn’t drink it and in the space of two days became dangerously dehydrated. Never one to sit and moan, Zoe took matters into her own hands. Nothing radical. She just jotted down Geoff’s preferences on post-it notes and stuck them round his room, thus ensuring that all his carers – even new ones or holiday replacements – couldn’t fail to see them, read them and act on them.  This simple personalisation process proved so effective that very soon the care home manager asked Zoe if she could replicate the system for other residents. And from these humble beginnings grew Zoe’s various award-winning enterprises – all designed to ensure that people with communication difficulties (whether because of dementia or other conditions) can convey their wishes. Zoe went on to found first carechartsuk.co.uk, then mycarematters.org and myfuturecare.org See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
6. Susanna Howard

6. Susanna Howard

2020-07-1441:47

When her own life hit a rough patch and she was brought very low, actor, writer and television producer Susanna Howard quite literally wrote her way out of it. She let her words flow onto paper, never letting her pen stop and not allowing herself to think too much. The results surprised her. “I was reconnecting to myself,” she says.  Realising she was onto something, she decided to share the idea and help others who, like her, had found themselves in a dark place, for whatever reason. Susanna believes, wonderfully, that “If you believe in people they can achieve anything.” From a pilot project in the elderly care unit of Guys and St Thomas’s in 2006 her work has grown into the charity Living Words. Now Susanna and her team of trained artists run three month long care home residencies, working one to one with people in the late stages of dementia who would normally be considered unable to communicate, carefully and skilfully enabling them to do so through their own words. The charity’s work has been showcased at prestigious venues throughout the world and in 2014 Living Words published its first anthology of words and poems of people experiencing dementia. Called “The Things Between Us”, it was acclaimed by no less a person than former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion. Last year Susanna was named on The Independent’s Happy List celebrating the 50 most inspirational people in the UK, whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery have made Britain a better place to live. This week’s podcast is played out with Funny Old World, lyrics by John Offen who is living with advanced dementia and Susanna Howard, founder of the Living Words charity. John's words were set to the music of Marit Rokeberg and sung by London Contemporary Voices. You can find out more about Living Words (and listen to Funny Old World) on their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/livingwords.org.ukTheir website is: http://livingwords.org.uk/And more support for those with dementia and their families can be found athttps://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
5. Tony Husband

5. Tony Husband

2020-07-0846:02

Creative from the tip of his head to his northern roots – he was born in Blackpool – cartoonist Tony Husband shows no sign of letting up as he approaches his seventies. His spare, witty drawings have appeared in virtually all of our national newspapers and magazines, and following the death of his dad Ron in 2011 Tony has turned his considerable wit and skill to raising awareness of dementia.  Ron lived with vascular dementia for his last few years and in this podcast Tony tells me what his dad’s experience has taught him about the power of creativity, humour and music to connect with others. Most of all, he says, it’s shown him that no matter what dementia stole from his dad, he always remained just that, his dad.Tony mentions his work with the Exeter branch of Dementia Action Alliance. The alliance has just moved from dementiaaction.org.uk (the website I gave) to nationaldementiaaction.org.uk, though all relevant information can still be found on the old website.  You can buy Tony’s cartoon book Take Care, Son: The Story of my Dad and his Dementia from Amazon.  And, as ever, for more help and support for anyone affected by dementia you can visit dementiauk.org and alzheimers.org.uk See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
4. Suzy Webster

4. Suzy Webster

2020-07-0139:15

Young mum Suzy Webster is quietly very strong. She has a softness about her that belies her courage and determination. Not many of us possess the generosity of spirit or wells of emotional, physical and mental strength to invite our elderly parents come and live with us, particularly when one of them has dementia. This young mum from Chepstow, ably and wisely supported by her husband Andrew, does. She never shouts about it, or judges others against the way she lives her life, she simply gets on with it with steely, dignified grace. She will kill me for writing this, but she humbles me. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
3. Sally Knocker

3. Sally Knocker

2020-06-2440:20

Sally Knocker works tirelessly to enhance the lives of older people and those with dementia. I doubt she even sees it as work because she is so naturally compassionate and empathetic. For her – as with other guests to whom I’ve spoken for this podcast – there is no them (those we are caring for or those with dementia) and us. There is just us. This ethos lies at the heart of all that Sally does. She is generous of both her time and her emotions and she is genuinely interested in other people. All other people. This wonderfully engaging woman is perfectly suited to her work which, at the moment, is on behalf of an agency that partners with other care organisations to support those with dementia to live meaningful lives. They can be found at meaningfulcarematters.com.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Chris Roberts has the most fantastic attitude to life. “Take it by the danglies,” he cajoles us all. “And run with it!”  This enviably positive approach might be because of – or despite of – his dementia, which he began to develop a decade ago when he was just 50 years old.  It’s a view that is undoubtedly strengthened by the deep love and support of Jayne, his wife of 26 years.It was a joy to talk to the couple down the line from their home in Rhuddlan, North Wales during Covid lockdown. I’ve long admired them for their wit and wisdom, their courage and powerful insights into living with Chris’s mixture of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia – with a dollop of the lung condition emphysema thrown in for good measure. “I’m just greedy,” laughs Chris. And my conversation with them didn’t disappoint.Theirs is, in fact, a love story that opens with the flighty giddiness of youth, develops into the multi-layered complexities of family life and, after taking a seismic hit in the form of early onset dementia, subsequently adapts to the devastating fall out as the pair of them mine new depths of mental and emotional strength in adversity.“Chris has always been the man I’ve loved,” Jayne told me. “But it has only been since his dementia diagnosis that I’ve seen what he is capable of”. The podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested, not only in this incurable condition, but in life, love and relationships, in honesty and trust.Useful websites: www.youngdementiauk.org; www.alzheimers.org.uk and www.dementiauk.org See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
1. Nula Suchet

1. Nula Suchet

2020-06-0842:51

In my first podcast I meet the acclaimed interior designer Nula Suchet whose late husband began to develop Pick’s disease, a rare form of dementia, when he was just 57. This warm, passionate Irish woman tells me that she didn’t even know what dementia was when James first started to show symptoms. She describes how isolating it was as she struggled to look after him and her shock at the lack of support. We hear how her extraordinary love for James remained undiminished even as dementia stole him away and how she found new happiness with broadcaster and journalist John Suchet, whose late wife Bonnie also developed the condition. Nula and James’ story is told in her book The Longest Farewell and, though one of sadness and pain, it is also – wonderfully and surprisingly – one of hope.Nula’s book, The Longest Farewell, is available from www.amazon.co.uk and other useful websites are www.raredementiasupport.org, www.alzheimers.org.uk and www.dementiauk.org See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sally Knocker is passionate about dementia care. When I asked her what she knows now that she didn’t before becoming involved in the sector her answer came back loud and clear: not to see people living with dementia as different from the rest of us. This misguided approach, says Sally, lies behind all poor practice. Although I’ve come to know and admire this big-hearted, compassionate woman over the past few years, I was taken aback by her profound insight into this most complex of conditions. She is genuinely curious and interested, not merely in those with dementia, but in everyone. Her observations are fascinating. Meaningful Care Matters works with care partners to support those with dementia to live meaningful lives and can be found at meaningfulcarematters.com Other useful sites for those with dementia and their carers are www.alzheimers.org.uk and www.dementiauk.org See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In my first podcast I meet the acclaimed interior designer Nula Suchet whose late husband began to develop Pick’s disease, a rare form of dementia, when he was just 57. This warm, passionate Irish woman tells me that she didn’t even know what dementia was when James first started to show symptoms. She describes how isolating it was as she struggled to look after him and her shock at the lack of support. We hear how her extraordinary love for James remained undiminished even as dementia stole him away and how she found new happiness with broadcaster and journalist John Suchet, whose late wife Bonnie also developed the condition. Nula and James’ story is told in her book The Longest Farewell and, though one of sadness and pain, it is also – wonderfully and surprisingly – one of hope. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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