Last Tuesday I went to a truly uplifting and inspirational presentation at the University of Leeds by Age UK. It was inspiring because it enabled me to see the 'bigger picture' of where my dementia research might fit into the world. I've been getting a bit lost in the nitty gritty of the detail and it made me see there are millions of people out there, who I could help, because I am looking into the reasons why some people who get dementia seem to slip through the social support networks of friends and family. The presentation was also incredibly upbeat. Yes, we have an ageing population - and isn't that fantastic? I truly believe that it - human longevity - is the greatest achievement of science. It's wonderful that people born when I was born can expect to live a good twenty years longer than people born when our great grandparents were born. OK, there is inequality which we must also do something about, but the progress in us living longer is truly astounding.
I got into correspondence with Age UK, saying how much I enjoyed the presentation and they asked me if I would consider blogging for them about my research, or related topics. And it made me think 'what can I blog about?' My research is in its infancy - in a way I am overwhelmed by what I feel we don't know. I don't feel in a position to start broadcasting to the world on my findings so far - there aren't any. But I feel passionately about a number of things that are related to ageing, one of those things is opposition to 'Dignitas'. I am sick of hearing about what a 'burden' older people are. Then I saw this article in the Telegraph today basically saying what a huge resource our pensioners are. Feeling I had to act with my feet to help say to older people 'you're worth it!' I then signed the declaration of support for Care not Killing. But I suppose I would support that wouldn't I? To expect anything less would be like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.