Yesterday we learned of the death of Baroness Thatcher. I was hoping this would invoke some more talk about dementia, but the news coverage so far seems to skim over that she was suffering from it. This topic has given me a great deal to think about so apologies if this post is a little higgledy piggledy.
Firstly I wanted to elaborate on something I said on Twitter yesterday, 140 characters just doesn’t sum up my feelings well enough! I understand that some people have been deeply affected by policies implemented during Thatcher’s time as PM but I have heard some truly vile things being said the last 24 hours. And I do not think that is OK. It is bad enough to be disrespectful about the dead, throwing parties in the street to celebrate her death when her poor family are mourning?!, but as Lady Thatcher had dementia I find it especially harsh. The lady who dies yesterday would have been a shadow of her former self and it could be said that the Prime Ministerial Thatcher died many years ago at the onset of her dementia.
The second thing Thatcher’s death has prompted me to think about is that anybody can get dementia. It is not something you can avoid, or cure, no matter how rich and powerful you used to be, as Thatcher has sadly proved. It is becoming more and more common, yet is still something that many people view as “oh it won’t happen to me”. But it can, or to someone you truly love, and unfortunately, when it sets in they are no longer the person you love.
Finally I want to officially voice my disappointment towards the media, who could have seized this as an opportunity to raise awareness of dementia, carers, charities and support networks. But they have almost ignored it completely, some hardly acknowledging that Margaret Thatcher had dementia. Instead focusing on the negativity this event has brought out in some of the British Public, and giving them the media coverage they most certainly do not deserve or need.
Thankyou once again to all of you for reading and supporting this blog, it really means so much that it is being read and may be helping people open up about dementia and their struggles.