Meet Sarah Weir, a member of Alzheimer’s Society’s Board of Trustees.
Why dementia, why the Society?
My father and mother both lived and died with dementia, and I saw first hand the deep, profound and lasting impact it had on them, on me and on our family.
I couldn’t not get involved in order to help change that situation for others.
How to fill an unexpected day off?
After over a year of lockdown and shielding, I’ll let my imagination go far and wide. The day would start with my partner in Cornwall, followed by a trip around the UK on bikes, trains, canal boats and our own two feet.
We’d take in majestic landscapes, delicious food and copious amounts of art and music, with enough conversation to build memories for years to come. No pictures would be needed.
We’d end the day in a luxurious treehouse in the Highlands. Then, as if by magic, we’d be back in our own house the next morning, reinvigorated and ready for anything.
Personally, my civil partnership and our 28-year relationship. Professionally, my BA and Honorary Fellowship from Birkbeck, my Honorary Doctorate from University of the Arts, and an OBE from the Queen.
Worst advice you’ve been given?
Over my career, I moved from the City to the arts, visual arts to theatre, heritage to design, large scale to small.
Each time, without fail, someone advised me that this was a terrible, wrong or crazy move.
Whilst this always made me quail, it also made me think that sometimes people give that advice because they wouldn’t want to do it. So I kept calm and carried on, worked with brilliant teams and together we created some interesting footprints to leave behind.
Biggest priority for coming months?
Ensuring that, as the world learns to live with COVID-19, the Society’s new strategy meaningfully impacts the lives of people affected by dementia, in ways that work for them.
Most important thing learned from a person with dementia?
Patience. This probably wasn’t a strength of mine, but after spending a decade with my father and then my mother living with dementia, I found and tried to develop it. It is a skill which has helped me in making Companion Calls over the last year, as well as my day-to-day life.
Most looking forward to?
A new pair of lungs – I’m on the waiting list for a transplant. Not having to shield, sanitise everything and put all items into quarantine before opening them.
Watching the government actually act on its pledge to prioritise and fund social care.
We need your help
We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.