Broadcaster appeals for more support for people with dementia

Writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson is to speak in Dunblane about how dementia has affected her life.

When Sally’s mother Mamie Baird Magnusson was diagnosed with dementia, it inspired her daughter to keep a personal chronicle of her illness.

That memoir has brought together many of her mother’s stories about her life and experiences, as well as Sally’s personal experience of watching Mamie change as her health sadly declined, before she passed away in 2012. The book, Where Memories Go, was published in 2014.

Sally is the founder and chairperson of the charity Playlist for Life, and will talk about using music to support people living with dementia.

The event, at Dunblane Cathedral on Wednesday, November 1, is part of the dementia project, to support people living with dementia through promoting, supporting and developing dementia friendly communities.

In a previous interview, Sally said: ‘As I went through the dementia journey, I wanted to remember my mother and I started to record our conversations, so it became a chronicle for me, a diary, as I needed that to keep a record my own experiences.

Broadcaster Sally Magnusson

‘As I went further, I began to realise the magnitude of the social phenomenon we were part of – it was something being shared by a vast number of people around the world, but we weren’t talking about it. Everyone was keeping it to themselves, as there’s a stigma to talking about dementia, much in the same way was there was with cancer.

‘How could there possibly be any shame in developing a cancerous tumour? For a while, it was being talked about as ‘the big C’, and that was as close as you could go to discussing it.

‘Dementia is so common and there can be very few families who have not been touched by it in some way, either directly or through people they know.

‘I felt I should be talking about this – I’m a journalist and have got the skills to look and investigate, then ask the big questions about it, and report on my private story.

‘I had longed to have a book like this when I was going through it myself. I’m not the first to have done it, and sadly I won’t be the last, and I would love to have read about what others had been through, even if their experience wasn’t exactly the same.

‘I felt I had a moral responsibility to speak about this experience.’

The talk will take place from 7.30-9pm and is free. To book a place or make enquiries contact Bonnie McDowell on 07704 601983.