It’s been rather an odd day. After working in various roles for the BBC for more than a quarter of a century, the boot was very definitely on my other foot today as I was a guest on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire to talk about dementia. The BBC is focussing on dementia for a week and I was invited to talk about my experience as a carer and a campaigner. I was joined in the studio by two other guests, Emmy a full-time care worker and Phil who runs the care company for which she works. I think he was a little disappointed that the conversation centred on the recent CQC report which was so damning about dementia care. Yes, there are positive stories of people living with dementia but we’re kidding ourselves if we think those stories in any way balance the real picture.
For those of us who campaign and try to raise awareness, as well as those who care whether in the family home or on a professional basis, it’s essential to take opportunities like the one offered by the BBC to tell it how it is. I’m lucky that Mum seems content and is in a home which really cares for her. I fall asleep at night knowing she’s well looked after. But that doesn’t mean I won’t rail against a system which punishes those living with dementia and their families twice – firstly with the disease itself, then with the financial and emotional consequences.