Michael Alexander meets Dundee man Archie Noone who is fronting a new TV advert campaign to help reduce the stigma of living with dementia.
When Dundee man Archie Noone was told that he had dementia, he stayed in his house for three weeks because he felt “lost and frightened”.
But now the 77-year-old former Lochgelly coal miner, who chairs the Scottish Dementia Working Group, is fronting a new TV advertising campaign for Alzheimer Scotland to encourage the public to take action for dementia and to help raise much needed funds.
The TV ad features four separate films of people living with dementia talking about their intimate and emotional diagnosis stories – and the main message from the Dundee-based Fifer is that despite living with dementia: “I’m still Archie!”
📺 Have you caught our #imstillme donations ads over on STV yet?If not, don't worry! Watch all four of our heroes online now:www.alzscot.org/archiewww.alzscot.org/helenwww.alzscot.org/henrywww.alzscot.org/stewartIf our stars inspire you, you can donate £5 to Alzheimer Scotland by texting:ARCHIE to 70140HELEN to 70140 HENRY to 70140STEWART to 70140
Posted by Alzheimer Scotland on Wednesday, 15 November 2017
“I first became aware of dementia symptoms around 10 years ago when I experienced short term memory loss and ‘going blank’ all the time,” explains Archie in a frank and open interview with The Courier at the Alzheimer Scotland resource centre in Stobswell, Dundee.
“When I was told by the hospital I had vascular dementia, I was in limbo.
“ I really took fright because and I had no idea what to expect.
“I never moved out my wee house for weeks. It was like I was in a glass box watching the world go by. I wasn’t part of it and that’s not me.”
Archie eventually sought help from Alzheimer Scotland.
He was too frightened to go out into his own community and had no one to help him.
That was until someone from Alzheimer Scotland took him to the Scottish Dementia Working Group and it’s there that his life changed completely.
“Since then I feel like getting the dementia diagnosis has been the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he says.
“That might sound strange but I feel that way because I have had the support and help I need.
“I feel meeting so many people living well with dementia makes you feel like you’re not alone and that your symptoms are normal.”
Archie, who can speak at length about his remarkable journey from dyslexic Lochgelly coal miner to Queens University Belfast anthropology lecturer, does struggle with his short term memory – especially when trying to put anything together.
If he doesn’t have it written down he will forget. He admits this can be very upsetting and frustrating at times – such as the time he got onto a Dundee bus and forgot where he lived.
But he tries not to let it get to him. And he is grateful for the advice and support he now receives from the charity.
By standing up and by telling his diagnosis story, Archie hopes to challenge the stigma of dementia – the biggest health and social care challenge faced by society’s ageing population today.
“I feel people don’t understand that I am still the same person I was before,” he adds. “It really frustrates me when people don’t talk directly to the person with dementia and ask others how the person with dementia is. We all need to talk about dementia more so it’s not hidden.”
Anna Devine, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Alzheimer Scotland, said: “With the number of people living with dementia on the rise, it is vital that we fund raise in new and dynamic ways to challenge dementia which is now the biggest generational health and social care challenge we face.
“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a devastating and frightening time for both the person with dementia and for their families and friends but life doesn’t stop just because you have had a diagnosis.
“Staying connected to places and people who are important are so important to help those living with the illness and Alzheimer Scotland is working hard every day to put dementia firmly at the heart of the community to help those living with dementia live their lives for as long as possible.
“It is vital that we raise urgent funds to help us increase this vital support network and raise funds for urgent dementia research.”
Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge faced by society today. There are approximately 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and by the year 2020 there will be more than 1 million people living with dementia in the UK. Alzheimer Scotland is passionate that nobody should face dementia alone.
The ads are currently airing across STV with every penny raised invested back to help improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.
Viewers are being asked to donate to help Alzheimer Scotland make sure that nobody faces dementia alone. Donate £5 by texting 70140 and adding the name of the TV hero.