Why people affected by dementia are opening the Alzheimer’s Society conference

It's vital that the voices of people affected by dementia are heard at our annual conference. Wendy Mitchell, who has early-onset dementia, tells us why.

After being diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease aged 58, Wendy Mitchell helped form the Three Nations Dementia Working Group. Here she describes some of the work they’ve been doing and why it’s so important they’re opening the Alzheimer’s Society conference this year.

Three Nations Working Group smiling

The Three Nations Dementia Working Group. Wendy is at the back, third from the left.

Imagine yourselves being given a diagnosis of dementia……imagine what that feels like for you and your family. Imagine if you’re still in work, who would YOU turn to for support and advice? Imagine the financial uncertainties, the emotional uncertainties. Imagine not knowing what you were entitled to seek because of that diagnosis.  Imagine not knowing where to turn for advice, for support, for the knowledge you’d then need to be able to live with dementia……Imagine how you might flounder in your search, feel isolated, feel abandoned and sink into depression.

A few years ago, the sentence ‘Rights of people with dementia’ would not have existed. But thankfully that’s all now changed……..

The Three Nations Dementia Working Group coming together

Now imagine a group of people coming together. A group of people who would never have otherwise met.  All of different ages, from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. All coming together with one thing in common – a diagnosis of dementia.

We share our views, we share our laughter and we share our reality of living with dementia, but we also share a common interest – the Rights of people with dementia.

Together, these people formed the 3 Nations Dementia Group. We are the 3 Nations Dementia Working group, formed with the financial support of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Opening the Alzheimer’s Society conference

We’re now just over a year old and we will be opening this year’s Alzheimer’s Society two day conference. We want to make this a memorable opening. Who better to open the Conference than people with dementia themselves?

Last year we took to the stage with Bill Turnbull to deliver the revised Dementia Statements. The most outstanding difference with the old ‘I’ statements, is that now they all start with  ‘We have the Right’………. reflecting that when we get a diagnosis, our family and all those around us get the diagnosis as well and that we have Rights that can no longer be ignored.

This year we want to build on what we began to put together last year. We, in the 3Nations Dementia Working Group, want people with dementia, all over the country, to join us in whatever way they feel comfortable; from the comfort of their armchair to joining us on campaigns and from using us as an information resource to expressing their opinions.

If you or someone close to you was diagnosed with dementia tomorrow, would you know what Rights you had, as someone living with dementia?

Come and hear what we have to say at the opening of this year’s conference.

After all we have the Right to be heard…….

Attend the conference

Book your tickets now to see the Three Nations Dementia Working Group at the Alzheimer’s Society conference.

From Tuesday 22 to Wednesday 23 May in London,  this year’s conference theme will be ‘Taking Action on Dementia’ – what needs to happen to ensure people with dementia can live the lives they want today and give hope to future generations for a world without dementia. Take a look at the full programme.

Find out more about the Three Nations Dementia Working Group.


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So proud of the 3 Nations Group I am founder member of the Scottish Dementia Alumni Group ( wish we would be considered to be involved in this group could we not have made it the 4 Nations and included the Scottish DEEP GROUP members )

I love the tweets and being kept up to date with our UK dementia efforts
ACTIONS are so important

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Iam taking care of my elder sister aged 79. Its so difficult to figure out everything about what she wants. She can't remember anyone or thing. She talks of her childhood. In my country l have never heard of any home or facility for Dimensia or Alzheimer. I need someone for advise.Thank you.

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Hi Priscillah - thanks for your comment.

Which country are you based in? We are a UK-based charity, but at the very least we might be able to point you in the direction of some local support.

You could also give our helpline a call on 0300 222 11 22 for tailored advice, or speak to others in your situation through our online community Talking Point.

Hope this is useful. Please let us know if you have any other specific queries.



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as a carer for my husband it would be impossible for me to attend and he is too ill to be left,how can i be
kept informed about what the outcome of these conferences?.

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Hi Eileen, thanks for getting in touch. We're sorry you can't attend the conference, but it’s great that you’d like to be kept up to date with it. We’ll be posting details at the end of the conference on our website, including some of the slideshows from the day. So please do keep an eye out here: alzheimers.org.uk/conference If you have any other questions, let us know. Thanks again and all the best to you and your husband.

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So wish I could get there, but all these things happen in London, too far for many people living with dementia in North of England to manage logistically.

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Hey Julie, thanks for your comment. Would Scotland be more convenient for you? If so, there’s a conference coming up in June, which you can find out about here: https://bit.ly/2JasXo0 We also post details of upcoming events, some of which are in the north, on our website here: https://bit.ly/2vv5tbg

Alternatively, if you’d like to get involved in the work of the Three Nations Dementia Group, please do email [email protected] for more information. They’ll be able to keep you up to date with events across the country, as well as other ways to hear about our work.

Hope this helps! Thanks again and all the best.

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