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Petri Lampinen,member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, takes part in a video to help spread awareness

Wednesday 15 May 2019

I was pleasantly surprised, when I was contacted by the Alzheimer’s Society. They told me about a joint international project between them, Dementia Alliance International and the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group. I had previously heard about this project, which was looking for some active dementia speakers around the globe and I accepted the task gladly. It is great to be involved in this international project. I feel that my active work has been noticed and I am on the right track, having been asked to be a speaker on many occasions. Although, at first I pondered this request for a while, because my English pronunciation is a bit bad. They told me I could speak in my own mother tongue, that is, in Finnish. The video would have subtitles in English, so my speech would be understood.

The day of filming was very nice and the cameramen were professional and easy to work with. The filming was done at the local office of the memory association (Muistiliitto – The Alzheimer Society of Finland). I got very good help from the association’s employees and the fact I had already been involved in some filming before made it easier to do this one. I was able to be relaxed and wasn’t nervous about the interview. I felt I could also talk about how I became an active speaker.

After the interview, I remembered something that took place a few years ago. In the early days of my condition, I searched for a lot of information about dementia on YouTube. Especially information about living with dementia and the changes it brings to many things. Through watching videos, I noticed the importance of sharing things and that is why I do this work with pleasure. It is good that we share information with each other, around the globe. The same problems, such as stigma, affect our lives in many ways. When speaking at meetings, in the media, and at various events, we can change the perceptions of living with dementia. By being brave, I have overcome many obstacles, when doing this work. The feeling after making a speech is unique, when you notice its impact on the audience. Inclusion is sharing things that concern us all. It is great that there are active players around the world. This is how we spread awareness, together.

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