Monthly Archives: May 2016

20 things NOT to say or do to a person living with dementia

Kate Swaffer

When it comes to identifying the things that have the power to annoy, hinder or offend someone coping with dementia, Kate Swaffer should know.

Not prepared to accept that life was over when she was diagnosed with dementia , this 57 year old Australian mum-of-2 has spent the last 8 years turning herself into a prominent campaigner, international speaker, PhD academic, and published author.

Not bad, considering she was advised by medics simply to give up her job, put an end to her studies, get her affairs in order, and enjoy the time she had left.

Kate has semantic dementia - a rare form of frontotemporal dementia which affects the part of the brain that controls behaviour, language skills and movement.

Early symptoms, for her, included difficulty finding the correct word, no longer understanding what the word means, and difficulties recognising objects.

She passionately believes ​that her symptoms should be treated as disabilities that can be dealt with given appropriate support and understanding.

To this end, she has produced the following list to help people see things from her perspective and support her quest to assist others to live positively with their dementia.

Some of the points have generated argument from others...but from Kate's point of view they are valid. What's your view...?

Kate Swaffer Dementia advice

Kate Swaffer writes a blog that is read by thousands of people every day, and earlier this year published a book entitled 'What the hell happened to my brain? Living beyond dementia'.

Click here to visit her website


Doing something positive with dementia..Stroud Memory Walks

Established in 2014, and going strong ever since, Stroud Memory Walks have become a popular and  well established event on the calendar for anyone living with dementia in the Stroud and surrounding district.

The aim of the dementia-friendly walks in Stroud's beautiful Stratford Park is to do something positive for dementia. The walks provide an opportunity to socialise and make friends while getting some fresh air, gentle exercise, and enjoying nature.

The video below gives a flavour of what the walks mean to those taking part...

The Stroud Memory Walks are a joint venture involving Fair Shares, the Museum in the Park, Stroud Valleys Project and Dementia Adventure.

Emma OrdonezWalks Coordinator

“The idea behind these walks is to give people a chance to get out into nature and enjoy the sensory experience that being in the great outdoors brings. We encourage people to smell the flowers and touch the bark of trees, watch the squirrels and try to spot the resident cat.

People living with dementia will need to bring a carer with them as the volunteer walk leaders will not be carrying out a caring role.

Participants will need to wear appropriate clothing and we would encourage people to bring a packed lunch so that we can sit down afterwards and enjoy each other’s company.

 Although we are promoting these walks to people living with dementia, they are open to anyone who would enjoy a sensory walk in the park”.

The walks, which take about an hour, have been specially designed to be accessible to those living with dementia at all stages, and are wheelchair friendly.

Carers, friends and family are encouraged to come along and the group is very friendly and welcoming.​

All the walks are free of charge and refreshments are available. 

Walks  are planned throughout the Summer months, the next ones being Friday 13th May and Friday 27th May​. Meet at 10.30am in the Courtyard outside the Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stroud GL5 4AF.

For more information and to book a place,
contact Chris on 01453 706555 or visit