Kiwis share their dementia experience in documentary

13th August 2018

Kiwis share their dementia experience in an international documentary
Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia.

Before Helen Doyle’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, she knew something was wrong. She just didn’t know what.

Helen, who lives in Whanganui, was relieved when she finally got a diagnosis, so she could “keep on keeping on”.

Her experience, and many like hers, has been given new precedence in a documentary produced by Alzheimer’s Disease International and ITN Productions.

The nearly five-minute short film shows how Alzheimers New Zealand is working to support New Zealanders living with dementia to live well with dementia.

It is being launched ahead of the start of the World Alzheimers Month campaign, which will begin in September.

Ms Doyle’s friend, and carer, Maxine Pringle, hopes people will one day see Helen and others for who they are, and not just the condition they’ve been diagnosed with.

Ms Doyle is one of a growing number of New Zealanders living with dementia, currently totalling nearly 70,000. That number is expected to almost triple to 170,000 people by 2050.

Mike Bailey and his wife Lesley also share their personal experience of living with dementia, and how best they can be supported to maintain independent, fulfilling lives.

The four bring a personal touch to the full-length film ‘Every 3 Seconds’ that discusses the risks, growth and future response to dementia here in New Zealand.

Alzheimers New Zealand chief executive Catherine Hall praises the courage of Ms Doyle and Mr Bailey who shared their stories in the video.

“This video draws people’s attention to the fact that New Zealand simply cannot afford to do nothing about dementia.

“As a society, we must do more to support people living with dementia to live well and play meaningful roles in their communities.

“The sooner we fully implement the New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care, the better it will be for the many, many thousands of Kiwis affected by dementia.”

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