Dementia is a bastard.
Actually, dementia is worse than that; but my lovely editor would have apoplexy if I used the correct expletives to describe this insidious condition. Strictly speaking, dementia is not a disease; it is in fact an overarching term used to describe a group of conditions that cause brain cells to stop working properly. You will likely be familiar with Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most common cause of dementia, and you may have heard of vascular dementia which occurs when some of the many small blood vessels that supply the brain are damaged. However there are several other, less well known causes that can affect young and old alike. Overall, estimates suggest that there are approximately 944,000 people living with dementia in the UK right now and it is the leading cause of death in this country (https://dementiastatistics.org/about-dementia/). Sadly, there is no cure for dementia. Its progress can be slowed and managed; but it is relentless.
Why am I telling you this? Well, over half of the people reading this review will likely know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia. Some of you may have previously cared for or are currently caring for someone with dementia and will know how it robs not just the sufferer of their identity but also steals them away from their loved ones. Speaking from first hand experience, I know what it is like to witness someone slowly fading away until they become a shell of the person that you once knew and loved.
As I said, dementia is a bastard. Which is why events like Dementia Aware Fest are so important. They raise awareness and, importantly, they raise funds to support families living with dementia through the provision of specialist nursing services. If you would like to help and you are able, please visit Dementia UK (https://www.dementiauk.org/donate/) where you can make a donation.