It was World Dementia Day on Sunday.
I decided the best way to mark such an occasion was to get out in the fresh air and celebrate life to the full.
That’s why I came up with the idea of a Following Footsteps walk – inspired and created as part of the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk series 2014.
It’s a 2.5 mile scenic circular route between the villages of Tipton St John and Harpford, along the banks of the River Otter, also taking in the old Sidmouth rail line.
Together with friends and family – including my dad Bernard, who’s had vascular dementia for 3 years – we walked the route on Sunday and laid out a trail of footstep signs for people to follow at their leisure over the next month.
The signs start brightly, then fade to a faint outline to illustrate a fading memory. The last sign is bright again, demonstrating that you can stand up to things as cruel and terrible as dementia – you can fight them.
And also that even when a loved one has dementia, you can still have some great memories of your time with them – as I hope these pictures with my dad, mum Rosemary, brother Jules, nephew Huw, along with friends and other supporters show.
And it raised £100 for Alzheimer’s Society too!
Thanks to Kit Woodcock http://www.runcw.org.uk/ and Laura Joint http://www.brilliantautobiographies.co.uk/ for these excellent photographs. Thanks to Ann and Terry Knight and Sheila Boyes for the excellent cake afterwards.
You can find out more about the walk at http://www.followingfootstepswalk.wordpress.com