Couple on mission to reduce dementia stigma

Keith and Wendy Glance.
Keith and Wendy Glance.

ARDROSS couple Keith and Wendy Glance know first-hand the challenges of living with dementia.

Mr Glance was diagnosed with the disease three-and-a-half years ago, with once-easy routine tasks becoming increasingly difficult.

Mrs Glance said the reality of how life would change for the couple took a long time to sink in after the diagnosis.

“Obviously it is a bit of a roller-coaster ride and it took a good year to realise the full extent of what this meant for us,” she said.

“Keith’s life has changed immensely – he no longer works or drives and he has had to change many lifestyle habits, but fortunately Keith is a naturally happy and positive person and has embraced every resource made available to him.

“Raising awareness is extremely important to us because we would like to assist in reducing the stigma around dementia and make it possible for those with dementia to live well in the community.

“He wants people to realise he is not stupid or lazy or scary, he is someone who has much to offer and his dementia is only one aspect of him.”

As part of Dementia Awareness Month, Alzheimer’s Australia WA launched the Dementia Friendly Communities Project in a bid to increase awareness and understanding of what it is like to live with the disease.

Alzheimer’s Australia WA chief executive Rhonda Parker said there were 32,000 people living with dementia in WA, and with the numbers set to grow in the next decade, they were looking to reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.

Call 9388 2800 for information on how to create a dementia-friendly community.