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In July, the Lewisham Dementia Support Hub supported Vesna Okaikoi and Eurel Milne, to share their experiences as women living with dementia at Speaking from the Heart, a women-only event hosted by Jane Garvey (presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and the Fortunately podcast). The event was set up by the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) which is a network linking dementia peer support groups all over the UK.

The gathering included 14 women living with dementia, who spoke openly about specific issues facing women living with dementia. Dementia is the leading cause of death among British women and women are more likely than men to be carers of a loved one with dementia or be part of the care workforce.

The event touched on issues such as:

  • retaining femininity
  • respect in the workplace
  • incontinence
  • sex
  • role as a mother
  • changes to family relationships
  • living alone and concerns about safety.

Eurel said of the event,

“I really appreciated being chosen to attend the Women Living with Dementia event. I enjoyed learning of their different experiences, and how they cope, also what different groups are doing in their areas.”

Vesna said,

“It was very important to meet with other women and I felt I could speak openly about my experiences.”

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