About the programme
With over half a million people diagnosed with dementia in the UK (Dementia Diagnosis Data, 2020), Dementia and Us is a two-part series following four people with dementia and their families over the course of two whole years. It’s a telling insight into what it’s really like to live with the condition over a period of time, as we follow the families through the ups and downs of life with a changing brain. This is the story of dementia, told by people living with dementia. The series is voiced by Dreane Williams, a dementia campaigner, amateur poet and retired NHS hospital worker who has vascular dementia herself.
Find out more on the BBC programme page, or see our exclusive short film following Marion’s story, below.
Marion’s story shows how she has faced the challenges of living with dementia. She still likes to be independent when she can, but she also appreciates it when her family and friends are there to support her. Of course, we all need to rely on other people throughout our lives.
Being diagnosed with a condition like dementia can mean that routines and hobbies that were previously enjoyed may no longer be feasible, for example, driving and perhaps doing paid work. It can be upsetting for the person with dementia to find out that some abilities that were a real source of pride have now declined. However, Marion’s experience indicates that it is possible to adjust your hobbies and interests to make them more manageable, but also to discover completely new interests. As Marion herself says, it’s important to be willing to try new things.
Marion continues to focus on enjoying her life. When she realised she could no longer drive, she started taking the bus so she could get to her hair appointment. Although she finds drama too difficult now because of her memory problems, she has lots of fun when she goes ballroom dancing. She is no longer working, but she volunteers at her local library instead and has taken up cooking classes. She loves spending time with her children and hugging her grandchildren. For Marion, playing with her grandchildren is worth a million pounds. Click here to watch her video.