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COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives but for most of us, once the crisis has passed, we will be able to reconnect with family and friends and get back to usual routines.
For people living with dementia, living in isolation can be a reality all day, every day.
That’s why Dementia Australia recently launched a campaign urging Australians to keep the world open for people living with dementia not just during the COVID-19 pandemic, but every day.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the experience of living in self-isolation has been challenging and insightful for many Australians and it’s an experience we can all learn from.
“People not impacted by dementia are now experiencing what life can be like being socially isolated when the world is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms McCabe said.
“Often, people stop talking to those living with dementia, staying in touch or inviting them to events. People living with dementia are often socially isolated all day, every day. That’s not dementia, that’s discrimination.
“Imagine if you were isolated every day. That’s why we are running this campaign now while people are more aware of what this experience feels like.
“As the peak body for people impacted by dementia we have a national platform to elevate the voices of people living with dementia and we are privileged so many Dementia Advocates have shared their experiences with us and with the media to raise awareness of this issue.”
Dementia Advocates shared some of their experiences which you can listen to by clicking here or read about below:
“Our own self-perception becomes damaged and we feel constantly in the wrong.”
“It stops you wanting to engage. It is devaluing.”
“Everyone wants to make decisions for me.”
“I stopped going out because people aren’t going to listen anyway or understand what I am trying to say.”
“You are constantly second guessing. Is it me? Is it my husband? When you hear about social events, you think I would have liked to go to that.”
As part of the campaign, Dementia Australia is asking all Australians to find out what they can do by visiting www.keeptheworldopen.com.au.
The keep the world open campaign is part of Dementia Australia’s ongoing drive to raise awareness of dementia and tackle discrimination. The campaign continues in June and July and will then be supported by Dementia Action Week in September 2020.