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irini commented on A Fountain of Inspiration for Meaningful Engagement

Dear Anne,

I joined this challenge, mainly because I was curious to find out the ideas and means in helping care partners of people with dementia...

Having my grand mother at the age of 94, recently diagnosed with dementia, my mum was her basic care partner and within a few months she almost collapsed... During my effort to help both my mum and my grandmother, I would spent as much time as I could (most of the days 2-3 hrs) asking my grandmother to tell me stories of her life time...she loved telling stories since we were really young, but now at her early stage of dementia, she told me stories she never mentioned in the past...she also sang...a lot and enjoyed it! As for my mum with a great help from my elder brother, we would always find something funny to make her burst into laughs and forget her problems... at least for a while.
My grand mother now lives in a nursing home close to us, that only provides the basics. I visit most of the times twice a week and whenever she has some kind of clarity, I try to "bring her back" by telling her stories or songs she used to love...and I sometimes see a smile on her face!
Through my grand mother, I realised the seriousness and the size of dementia issue globally, both for elder people and care partners. I find out that apart from lack of raising awareness on the subject of dementia there is also a lack of funding for research and cure not to mention support to the caregivers.
I was very pleased to find about your organisation, your purpose and your methods and your long time "travel" like Odysseus (I come from Greece)! I find your work empowering and one of the founding basis for a global platform that could not only give hope and connect both parts (elders & care partners) but also provide drastic solution for the care partners (main objective of this challenge). It could also be a chance for people from creative communities from around the world, to join forces and contribute!
My thought when I came across your website, was that it could be combined with a section of basic information about dementia and a clearer introduction on the "what & how" care partners can get trained and evolved: a creative process that could actually help them distress and get closer to their loving persons through this difficult time of their life.
I think that your website can be the basis for a global network of support, if redesigned and promoted correctly (e.g. campaigns, social networks etc) Volunteer help with translation and training through different countries would also be great!

Once again a big applause and many thanks
for introducing such a great and inspiring project!

I do apologize in advance for my English, my long sentences and any grammar mistakes...its been a while since I wrote let alone took part in a similar communication!