Dementia UK launched a film in which young people share their experiences of supporting people with dementia.
The project was produced and supported by Central England Co-operative, Dementia UK’s corporate charity partner.
Under the tagline ‘Dementia doesn’t define us’, the campaign was set up to tackle stigma among young people and teenagers. The film features stories about how young people aged 16 to 20 have coped with members of their family being diagnosed.
Stories include a poem by Denneil Dunbar, an aspiring spoken word performer from Croydon, who describes how he is supporting his mother.
He said: “I was inspired by the emotions that my mother’s condition evokes. My reason for taking part in this film is to provide a voice for the young people like me, who otherwise don’t see any sort of representation, and thus it’s easy for them to feel alone.
“I know I felt alienated from other kids in certain situations because I felt like what I was going through wasn’t normal. That’s why things like this film are important.”
Three other young people – Emily, Sam and Joe – also talk about how they have supported a relative with dementia.
Through its Admiral Nurse helpline, Dementia UK provides expert guidance and practical solutions to families affected by dementia.
Rachel Thompson from Admiral Nurse said: “Young people can find the changes in a relative with dementia very distressing. If it’s a grandparent, then they might be witnessing the impact that caring for that person has on their parents. Or if it’s their own parent, they might end up being their parent’s primary carer. Their relationship might change, and it can be a lot to process.
“We want every family affected by dementia to have access to an Admiral Nurse – who can understand their situation and offer advice and support to help them get through the toughest times. Until that happens, we will create resources like these films and the information on our website, so that everyone, of every age, can get the information they need to face dementia with more confidence.”