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Why do we fear dementia?

My name is Jane Lowe, I have been working in the dementia field for over 20 years and am involved in ongoing dementia research.

In 2009 I founded the Ivy House Day Club, and nine years later it’s more than just a club. It’s a lifeline for people and families living with dementia and an environment which is noticeably non-judgemental – something which is fundamental for anyone on this journey.

Some of the questions that I am asked over and over again are “what is dementia” and “what can I expect”?

Why is living with dementia one of the hardest journeys you will ever experience?

Simply put it isn’t logical or predictable but in fact, so much of our day to day behaviour is exactly that!

People are still in fear of talking about dementia and learning more about it – which is bizarre as 1 in 3 of us will have dementia by 2019, despite media engagement.

Let’s change the fear to a positive. The key elements to living well with dementia are simple:

  • Get support

  • Accept

  • Be open

The importance of sharing is vital

Many families and carers I meet feel guilty for seeking outside support because they feel that it’s a family and carers duty to cope alone. This should never be the case. Taking regular breaks and socialising is so important.

Much of my work in the community is with families and every conversation is confidential. I can assure you no two cases are the same and dementia is no longer an elderly related illness, people under my care range from 45 years old up to 98 years old – a broad range of ages.

I believe that although dementia is an illness it shouldn’t be feared. The person is still the person and more often than not the care can be simplified with understanding, patience, love and acceptance.

You can live well with dementia.

If we allow ourselves to fear dementia instead of confronting it then dementia wins. People don’t need to be “suffering” with it but “living” with it!

If you do need support or have any questions call me for a confidential chat at Ivy House 01323 431801 or email me direct


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