Helping a student journalist

In my mind, all students are a sponge waiting to soak up knowledge and information. I’ve worked and continue to work with student nurses and it’s been wonderful to see the change in their perception and the way they could change the attitudes in future nursing for people with dementia.

So imagine my delight when I received an email from student journalist, Charlotte Worrall, looking for help. Language used by journalist around dementia has long been an issue and continues to throw out challenges when faced with incredulous headlines such as ‘Dementia being infectious’ and stomach churning ‘dementia sufferer’.

I immediately sent Charlotte a link to 2 key web sites. The first is the journalism web site which has tips for reporting on dementia


The Power of Words

I asked Charlotte to write a couple of sentences about why she’d asked me. This is what she wrote:
I’m studying an MA in science journalism because I really want a career in health journalism. For part of my portfolio I have to write a profile about someone that will suit our class website called agewise (, which is all about ageing healthily and the science behind the ageing process. I saw Wendy’s story on a dementia forum and found her blog too. I thought she would be a really interesting case study as someone who has early onset Alzheimer’s, a condition that people aren’t very aware of and don’t often hear about as it typically happens to people above the age of 65.”

She wanted to interview me and through this process realised that not everyone can use every medium to communicate. I’m not good on the phone unless I have a set of prepared questions and answers, so we did everything via email. Charlotte sent me the questions and I answered via email.

Just as student nurses can learn so much from people with dementia themselves, so can student journalists. If we can influence the language journalists of the future use and raise awareness through them, I’ll be well please.

Can’t wait to read Charlotte’s article………no pressure…….😊


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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