1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Yes, the annual appeal is in progress, and YES I have made a contirbution.

    My question, HOW CAN WE MAKE 'DEMENTIA' an acceptable ground for appeals. I am the treasurer of our local A.S. (for my sins), and I know just how hard it is to raise the awareness of A.S.

    We are the explosion waithing to happen. How do we raise awareness. Cares have more than enough to do caring for loved ones.

    Any suggestions. Keep smiling, Connie.
     
  2. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Swear! It has people coming out of the woodwork at all angles and gets 'em talking, then grab them before they meld right back into the rafters and ask them to do something useful.

    The problem with raising awareness is that Dementia is not pretty, no matter how you dress it up - children are, always. Perhaps somehow using both in partnership would have a desired effect. If I come up with anything, and I may have a cunning plan, I'll let you have details privately.

    I think you are doing a brilliant job.

    Regards
    Chesca
     
  3. Nessa456

    Nessa456 Registered User

    Nov 19, 2004
    131
    West Midlands
    I think links with people in the public eye (ie famous people) who either have had Alzheimer's/Dementia themselves or who care for relatives/friends with the condition can do a lot to raise public awareness of the condition itself and the Alzheimer's Society.

    I think the film 'Iris', starring Judy Dench is a good example, based on the life of the novelist Iris Murdoch and her partner John Bayley(?)s experiences of caring for her when she had dementia.

    If there are famous actors/singers etc who have had a relative with the condition, getting them to talk about this could be effective as the general public and media take a great interest in the lives of the famous.

    I know that Jane Asher is a patron of the National Autistic Society
    and I think that she is a perfect representative as she epitomises nice, safe, unthreatening 'normality' (cake-baking and all!) so she is a very good link in terms of educating the public about the condition, like a go-between.

    Nessa
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    #4 Sheila, Nov 20, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2004
    Hi Connie, if you look at our runner's room thread, you will see some pretty extreme ways of raising awareness. The Society itself is trying to do just that as you will know in your dealings with your local branch. We can all try to do our bit caring permitting though, can't we? I am hoping to open our allbeit very small garden next year, for a day, if I can just get enough plants to root as cuttings to sell and enough people to do a cake stall, teas and a raffle, as yet it is just my own very small plan, but every effort to get it in the public eye is worth a try as you so rightly say. We are sitting on the tip of an iceberg here and it does need bringing to public/governmental attention. After all, we are saving the state millions by being carer's. All we can do is our best. It is so difficult to care and fundraise at the same time. I was a 24/7 carer for my Mum till July when she passed away. Now, I will try, but it won't be easy as we are a disabled family, but WE WILL do something, I promise, now I am not caring for Mum full time. Love She. XX
     
  5. jools

    jools Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    39
    the value of profanity

    Hi Connie,

    Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I actually didn't watch Children in Need; the out of tune Girls Aloud singing at the start had me reaching for the switch button. I ended up watching a documentary about 'Mad Mitch' Colin Mitchell and the retreat of the Argyll and Sutherland regiment out of Aden in Yemen. I didn't really enjoy it; I was watching with the kind of fascination that you have when you're passing a car wreck; you know you shouldn't slow down to look but you ..just do. Anyway I'm sure it was better than watching Dick and Dom ('hose the buggers down') on Children in Need. I haven't given any money yet either. Terrible.
    Do any of you remember a programme called 'Keeping Mum' which was on the telly for I think just one series? I t was a guy looking after his mum who had Alzheimers and I absolutely loved it, cos it was funny and showed a funny side of Alzhiemers. He was bringing home girls and she was insulting them, and at one point she put a birthday cake complete with lighted candles, into the freezer. I think the problem is that it is still a taboo subject and that's prbably why it was taken off; we haven't quite got to the 'I-know she's got AD but she's being a twisted oul ******' stage.
    Apologise for my profanities; have been watching 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' tonight complete with swearing. The opening scene I'm sorry to say, is a pretty accurate portrayal of the point when I wake up in the morning. But in that film, it's the first time I've seen someone deaf being portrayed positively, swearing and all, and the funny side of sign language, which means you can insult someone without them knowing.
    More seriously, Rikki Fulton, who was a Scottish comedian and who died last year, was someone who raised the profile of AD in Scotland. He got AD and he allowed the Beeb to come into his home and film him. He used to do a character called Supercop, which was a takeoff of traffic policemen in all their shiny gear. When his funeral cortege went through Glasgow, the crowds went into fits, cos it was accompanied by six traffic policemen on their motorbikes, in full shiny gear and helmets! Right, here's my suggestions for better awareness,
    1. Swear. I agree with Chesca on this one.
    2. Break the taboo. Get a comedy script writer who will tackle AD as a rounded subject, swearing and all.
    3. Buy half price T shirts from French Connection (they've made a loss this year) to wear.
    5.Get some nice children and doggies (preferably cocker spaniels, nice brown eyes) for photo shoots.
    6. Film the AD sufferers saying ****** off, to aforesaid nice children and doggies.

    Jools

    PS no offence meant, esp not to cocker spaniels, I've got a cutie called Sweep.
    PPS Sheila, it isn't millions that we save the government - it's BILLIONS. £34 billion per year, to be precise.
     
  6. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Folks

    Jools, I know! What a racket! Girls Allowed Singing Barred would have been more appropriate. Next door's cat had to be taken off in a straight jacket!

    Down to fund raising ideas. Yes, there are incredible people lacing up their boots and trecking, running, abseiling and engaging in all manner of magnificent and extrovert activities, but the fact is that it no more heightens awareness of Alzheimers to the wider public, than would me setting fire to myself (dampen your hopes, you on the sidelines there!). Undoubtedly these intrepid acts raise money and my admiration knows no bounds but it isn't for me - though pass me by and I'll empty the contents of my purse into your hand with pleasure. I think it is more about raising awareness and not just about the victims, but their carers and the impact that caring has on our lives. And before people get cross with me, I am not undermining the hard work put in by those people who are already aware; I just want MORE people to be aware which equals funds (hopefully) - I knew nothing about any of this until I joined TP, for example.

    I could be wrong (it can happen!) but I think what Connie is talking about is something we have ripped into before on an earlier thread 'Who cares for the carers?' Brilliant ideas about using celebs but how do we go about getting them.

    How about we approach Who Wants to be a Millionaire? featuring the £34 billionaires, to mount a one-off show on behalf of the AS with teams of two consisting of a celeb sympathetic to the cause and an AS member, during a week-long very public campaign to highlight international AS day next year - the theme of which could be 'It could be you! Too!' (that being AS). Love the idea of the spaniel and the littlun'!

    I need to get a life!

    Chesca
     
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    "How about we approach Who Wants to be a Millionaire? ..... to mount a one-off show on behalf of the AS with teams of two consisting of a celeb sympathetic to the cause and an AS member, during a week-long very public campaign to highlight international AS day next year "

    what an excellent idea!
     
  8. Anne54

    Anne54 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2004
    147
    Nottingham
    Dear Chesca

    What a brilliant idea, how do we contact Millionaire? I have been trying to raise awareness, as you probably know I’m going to Peru, well I was offered a Table at a local Brownie groups fund raiser and I took along lots of Alzheimer’s leaflets. I had to watch people turn their backs looking embarrassed when they saw my tee-shirt; it made me so sad, how do we overcome such prejudice. I did talk to a lot of others, usually people who already had some experience of AD, gave out a lot of leaflets but it feels like a drop in the ocean.

    Anne.
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Chesca, what a brilliant idea, where do we start d'ya think? Love She. XX
     
  10. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Sheila

    As for brilliant ideas........am typing this rather quickly as have just blended something rather tasty and guess who didn't put the blender lid on properly? You should see the mess! Or perhaps not! Will get back to you as soon as I've redecorated the kitchen..........or later, which ever comes sooner.

    Chesca
     
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Now Ches, don't start putting pictures in my head, or you might get a saga coming on, hold the horse and cart, woa Neddy !! Love She. XX
     
  12. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Sheila

    As things turned out, the fountainous blender may have been a blessing in disguise - what should have been rather tasty may find its way to the back of the freezer next to the dinosaur, only to emerge in the event of severe rationing. And, even then, I'm not sure...........I'm sure the tiles were peeling from the wall, last time I looked. Ah! such is life. Not so much your domestic goddess as domestos dreadnought.

    Where were we? Fund raising and ways and means. Well, the hows, whys and wossnames really depend on the AS, if it is to be under the auspices of, which is the banner we march under. So, I have to throw it back at you; as a moderator you have a direct line to God and could maybe don your Morse bonnet and see what you can find out about the policy on such activity. There is quite a department therein already geared to such matters, I gather. I'll quite gladly do any donkey work - I do have the cart, don't forget, it just needs a bit of muck shiftin'.

    Did you know the AS are holding a raffle, prize a motor?

    I really do need to get a life!!

    Chesca
     
  13. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Chesca
    I recall Nada saying that the PR? department were interested in ideas,perhaps Nada could highlight your millionaire idea?
    You have a life, a very useful one.
    Were we not trying to put together a list of living well known people,MPs,actors etc etc who had some connection with AD therefore some sympathy and understanding for our cause?
    What happened to that idea?
    Cheers
    Norman
     
  14. jools

    jools Registered User

    Jun 29, 2004
    39
    Hi Folks,

    Great idea Chesca! Maybe the BBC website would be the best place to approach this. I'm going to have a look.

    I was thinking about this problem of awareness of dementia; not so much awareness, as acceptance of it. People are terrified of it, and of people who have it. Personally I don't think my mum's behaviour is any stupider than a lot of people who should know better, but you are treated differently. The image of carers is very negative as well. Carers are always portrayed either as saints, victims or both. You could sum it up in one word; losers. The very idea that a carer might smoke, drink, or wear clothes that fit in with this years fashions, is anathema to programme makers. I have an aversion to stripey jumpers, cos in dramas the carer is aways wearing a stripey jumper that is shapeless and too big for them. They might as well pin a target to their backside saying 'Please kick me hard'!They are always surrounded by beastly relatives being beastly to aforesaid carer, who is always a nice doormat in return. There is absolutely no humour included and the misery is unremitting.
    When Iris came on in the cinemas, I didn't go to see it. I didn't because I was afraid as it was 'serious drama' that it would be unremitting. I still haven't seen it. Kinda unfair I suppose, but I felt it would be the last thing I needed. Humour is my way of coping with my situation; i think it is for a lot of us.
    I don't know if any of you lot down south have seen Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan in 'Chewing the Fat' or 'Still Game'.
    It has become compulsive viewing up here on the same terms as 'Little Britain' or 'Father Ted'. 'Still Game' is basically about two pensioners Victor and Jack working their way though the day in one of Glasgow's worst housing schemes. It doesn't sound promising material, but it is gut wrenchingly funny. It has an edge to it as well; it isn't just mucking about. One episode was called 'Hypothermia'. In it, Victor and Jack and all the pensioners are freezing, cos it's winter and none of them can afford to turn the heating up. There's a local guy who can 'fix' the meter, and the pensioners have got him round, but Jack is too honest to do this. Down at the pub, they are running a hypothermia stake on who's going to die and the odds are chalked up on a board. There's also a huge frozen puddle that hasn't been gritted,and Jack and Victor are getting their entertainment watching people slip on it. Finally Jack gets the 'leckie' round to fix the meter, he switches the heating on and you see all the lights in Glasgow go out. Thing is, everyone watches it, and I'm sure more than one person must have checked on their neighbour to make sure they were ok. If they got a hold of all the potential material for humour in Alzheimer's, they would absolutely go to town. Mum has just gone up a size in pads, and I received the new ones a couple of weeks ago. On opening them, I thought they were like parachutes! I couldn't get them on Mum properly, managed to rip the lining, and to cap it all, Mum did her 'sticky toilet seat' act, where she sits down on the toilet seat and refuses to get up.
    Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan actually drink in my pub. I wonder if I could get them to take an interest. When's Alzheimer's week?
    Sorry, this is a bit of an essay folks!

    Jools
     
  15. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Jools, why is this not on national, it's just not fair!! Sounds so real. Know what you mean about the pads, I've split more than a few in my time when co-operation was not forthcoming. Chesca, I will send a message, but I think this is open forum stuff because we need all the ideas and input we can get. I made celery soup today, but I kept the lid on the blender so cart was not needed. I did have a really bad experience with home made apple wine in the 80's though. One glass layed me off work for two days but the other five and a half bottles cleaned the loo wonderfully nearly till Christmas! (God works in mysterious ways!!) Love She. XX
     
  16. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Chesca, you have hit the nail right on the head - we do need to raise awareness of AD as well as money. I was feeling quite down when I started the thread, but everyones response has given me back a bit of hope. Keep smiling, Connie
     
  17. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Jools, do you need to ask?

    Sheila, you don't think my ideas are for free do you, when there are people being paid to do this? Don't think so! In mitigation, I knew a horrible advertising copywriter once, the most despicable plagiarist I ever met - even won a contract courtesy of a line taken from the mouth of his daughter and took the prize without acknowledgment, a backward glance or so much as a new Barbie Doll. I divorced him some time later.

    Jools, call me a loser and we're back to that bar, zimmers at closing! The only stripy woolly jumper seen on my back is that earlier today which started it's life black (permanently in mourning for me life, always in black but sometimes slinky given the right inducement - actually it just makes me look like I like what I see in the mirror in a bad light) and courtesy of a loose-tooped blender I became a little retro crimplene, stripy, maiden in texture and colour. Well, you wouldn't even bother washing it would you - I put it with the rubbish that had fallen onto the floor out of the bag readied for the bin and which I tripped over in my haste to switch off the blender! Now, I knew slut; just like Mum used to tell me when I painted my toe nails scarlet and shiny. My kitchen was a slut! I saw in a moment exactly her vision - blast from the past.

    The only time I'll be saying 'kick me hard' you can guarantee I'll be wearing black and slinky - and we ain't talking bin bag..........more your reinforced garden type of sack jobby only in black....and I'll be doin' the orderin'.

    Why go see Iris. Come see Mrs Pumblechook, my mother - we wrote the movie that's why we don't want to see it. But every little helps. As for Father Ted: is father Jack not the quintessential (don't believe I'm saying quintessential, bare with me) anarchist, the ruling body that becomes AD. And actually, yes, I do know he was a raving alchoholic (see aforementioned copywriter).

    Jack and Victor and their 'leckie'. Can you send them to me because I have oil fired central heating and perhaps they could start a little gulf war of their own. I love them already, why don't we have them down here. And so, you unstripy, dare to be chic and upbeat carer, you, yes you! you mean they drink in your pub? the pub holding the zimmeradiators fest? Do you think they would? Could we hope they might? I'll buy the next 42 rounds of whatever! Right fingers on the black humour button, if you ask me, which you didn't, but anyway..........when can we come to your pub and when can we see them on the box down our end? ..........and, She, could you let me have some of the apple wine for my kitchen tiles, I'm worn out domestos goddessin', particulary in this slinky, UNSTRIPED, number! Fake fur mattin' is not a breeze to clean - can I claim compensation for trauma by blender at the hands of AS? Is there life after........................

    You are all just incredible me thinks and on this one I'm not even qualifying it, you are all incredible, peeeeeeeeeeeeeersonlly speakin'.
    Yours with the big cheek and much love
    Chesca
     
  18. MariaM

    MariaM Registered User

    Dec 15, 2004
    1
    High Profile Names

    Hello
    To everyone that's been emailing regarding getting high profile supporters on board - thank you very much.

    The Society has recently asked me to help in that very way - so I now work 3 days a week contacting celebrities, people in the public eye who may help in raising awareness of what the Society does and why we do it.

    We're very lucky as we already have many high profile people willing to help us out - ie Anne Robinson, Fiona Phillips of GMTV - to name just two.

    But we're always looking for more people tp help us get our messages across, raise more funds and make a real difference.

    We're just at the beginning stages of this - and it's a long road ahead - but my aim is to make a significant contribution to the work that the thousands of volunteers and carers do across the country.

    I'll keep you posted
     
  19. Anne54

    Anne54 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2004
    147
    Nottingham
    Dear Maria
    If you are contacting all these famous people what about one of them putting a poem or two to music, those poems are lovely and sad and inspiring and lots more, couldn’t they make a good song for Alzheimer’s awareness week?
    Anne
     
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hey, Magic, where are you?? This is your time girl, at the very least you can get the focus going. While we're on the subject, lets all put a bit down, I thought that poem from Stark was brilliant. We can surely cobble together something equal to Keats or the poet laureate can't we?? Love She. XX
     

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