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Climbing the Dementia Summit

If we are talking about Summits, I suppose this one was the pinnacle (so far!) in terms of our ascent. Just the size of the event, the location, the number of attendees, plus the prestigious speakers, the care and the attention which surrounded the day, made it very special for both Peter and for me, although for very different reasons.

For Peter, as with all of his remarkable public speaking, the day, the hour, the minute, the moment has too quickly gone but, in that moment, he was - as he always is - the most inspirational of speakers. If one were to use hyperbole or metaphor ( which this one never would) one might say he had climbed to the Summit’s peak and through a loud speaker issued his clarion call to the attendees.

I have mentioned before that, as Peter's memory changes, we have had to tweak the way we deliver our talks. Rather than stopping presenting talks, Peter found a solution to accommodate his change in memory and so now we deliver our presentations in a Q & A formation. I find that this serves to point Peter in the right direction and creates a launchpad for him to deliver his ideas.

Here is just some of the feedback from social media we received during the day:

From my perspective I particularly enjoyed listening to Professor Martin Green whose presentation mirrored much of what Peter and I had said. I was really pleased that Professor Green referenced that as he spoke. Here in the room, in that very moment, Peter’s voice was really being heard and valued.

Impeccably and sensitively chaired by Sameena Ali-Khan and with a host of brilliant speakers throughout the day, each adding a different but equally valuable dimension to the title of day, it really WAS time to talk about dementia. And I think it’s fair to say that we did.

Towards the end of the day, we were introduced to Sue Mitchell, BBC investigative journalist and producer of World Service and Radio 4 Documentaries. Sue is creating a documentary on dementia. As I sat and listened to Sue interview Peter, I could feel how Peter’s passion and rhetoric wove a web around her and captured her attention. It was more than simply a recorded interview for her: it became an emotional journey into Peter's world and it became an education.

Thanks to everyone who organised the Dementia Summit: my contact with Simon, Michelle, Kara and Emma and, I’m sure, many others within Broadway Events , was absolutely spot on and both Peter and I felt very valued and both definitely experienced a great sense of purpose.

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