It is predicted that by 2025, over one million people in the UK will be living with dementia.

That means, that at one point or another, most of us will have known or loved someone affected by the illness. All of us here at LOVELIVE realise that you don’t have to work in the healthcare industry to know about the heartbreaking effects of dementia, and how extremely complicated and multi-faceted it can be.

Everyone living with dementia experiences the symptoms in different ways – from small things, like forgetting how to count out the correct change for the shopping or struggling to find the right word in a conversation to more severe symptoms like forgetting your way home from the corner shop you visit daily or being unable to recognize your loved ones’ faces.

With our population getting bigger and lifespans getting longer, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 people born today will develop dementia at some point in their lives. While it is easy to talk about the cruel facts and statistics, it is a whole different story to see someone you love living with dementia, which is why it’s important to know what we can do and discuss the topic with people who experienced it first-hand. Here LOVELIVE’s co-founder Kim Collier shares her story and how she is helping in the fight against
the disease.

I sadly lost my Stepdad in October 2015, after his long battle with Vascular Dementia. As a dedicated Probation Officer, he had so much compassion for people and such a mature outlook on life. He was also always armed with advice, wisdom and a cheeky sense of humour for when family and friends needed it the most. We bonded regularly through our love of art and design, his aging record collection and generally having a good giggle. To watch all the amazing qualities that make a loved one truly unique and special to you deteriorate over time is heartbreaking not to mention the cruel physical decline at later stages of the disease.

There is unfortunately still a stigma attached to dementia and sadly, all too often, I hear jokes relating to people forgetting things, “Oh gosh that’s the Alzheimer’s kicking in” they might say. It makes me cringe and frustrated that the disease is misunderstood by many. To those diagnosed and their families, dementia is most definitely no laughing matter.

10+ years ago, following Gordon’s diagnosis, I made a personal pledge to raise as much awareness as possible about dementia and help raise funds for vital charities. In September 2022, I will be taking part in the Great North Run, to raise money once again for Alzheimer’s Society, who helped us through some pretty tough times. This also marks 10 years since I last ran the same half marathon for the charity, when I just happened to be pregnant with my first son (bad planning on my part).

If you’d like to support me in raising much-needed funds for the charity to help them continue their fight against dementia, please click on the link below. Any small amount would mean the world.

This year during the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Action Week’ the focus is on diagnosis, encouraging those who are concerned they or a loved one may be experiencing signs of dementia to contact them for support
and guidance.

To support the initiative, we’ll be following Kim’s fundraising journey to the Great North Run in September and encouraging others to share their stories of how dementia has impacted their lives.