Over half of us know someone who had been diagnosed with Dementia. So Age UK asks, “why is there still so much stigma around the condition which affects 1 in 11 people over 65?”

During Dementia Awareness Week (15th – 19th May) and beyond, Age UK Bath & North East Somerset are asking you to challenge your perceptions about Dementia with new artwork to get people talking more openly about living with this condition.

Paul Watermeyer, Memory Group Lead said: “Our mission is simple really, we want more people to be talking about dementia and how we can all play a part in helping people to age well. More of us need to recognise that issues with memory are not uncommon and that early to mid-stage dementia does not necessarily stop someone from leading an active and happy life.”

The ‘Changing Perceptions’ art display, touring libraries and public spaces in the area, has been created by group members from the charity’s ‘memory groups’ and local artists. The display is an honest, moving, and frank explanation from people who are living with Dementia about what it is like and how they feel they are perceived.

Comments include:

“Where oh where has my memory gone, it was fine yesterday but now it’s gone”

“I know what I want to say, but I can’t find the words”

“If there is something I can’t do I find a way to do it”

“I feel that people see me as an idiot”

“I’ve kept my sense of humour”

“Sometimes I feel terrified and isolated”

“I’ve learnt how to live with it and I’m not scared of it anymore”

Age UK Bath & North East Somerset offers memory groups that are empowering and fun, specialising in Maintenance Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCST). Due to a significant rise in demand, they are expanding their services and will soon be running eight groups per week.

Paul Watermeyer continues, “Over three thousand people are living with Dementia in Bath and North East Somerset – quite a number! So it is no surprise that our groups are in high demand. We are all about adapting to the needs of our wonderful community and are genuinely excited to be expanding our Dementia service ensuring that everyone has the support and information they deserve.”

Currently, the display is in Keynsham Library but will be moving around public areas throughout Bath & North East Somerset. To find out more about the Memory Group Age UK Bath & North East Somerset run, the artwork or for any dementia support please visit www.ageukbanes.co.uk or Call 01225 466135.