Like so many others, I first became involved with the elderly, their care and its funding when my own parents grew old and frail. The first piece that I wrote on the subject of mum’s dementia appeared in the Sunday Express ‘S’ Magazine.
To protect my parents, I wrote it under a pseudonym; years later it appeared online: Dementia: The longest cruellest goodbye . This was to be the first of many articles on the subject of the elderly and dementia to appear in newspapers, magazines and online.
From this modest start my campaigning work grew and evolved without me even realising it until now I not only write about dementia for national and specialist publications, I regularly speak about it publicly, appear on panels and advise others.
During the first Covid lockdown I launched my podcast, Well I Know Now, in which I chat to people affected by dementia in various ways, whether they live with it or care for someone who does, or have set up enterprises and charities based on their experiences. Guests have included celebrated actress Glenda Jackson who won a Bafta for her role as Maud, a woman with dementia, in the film Elizabeth is Missing, international soprano Lesley Garrett who shares my passion to tell others about the incredible role that music has to play in enhancing the lives of those with dementia. I’ve spoken to entrepreneurs, cartoonists, film makers and artists, daughters, spouses and widows, all with a wealth of experiences to share.
I also contribute to NHS leadership programmes, advising senior health and social care professionals how to harness the power of storytelling to help bring about change in their organisations. I love everything I do.
Receiving my Older People in the Media Award 2014 from John Sergeant
Here are a few of my appearances, articles and blogs:
Contributor to NHS 2020 Leadership Programme on Zoom on the power of storytelling and how I became a campaigner, April, May and September 2021
Jason Kotar’s Knowledgeable Ageing podcast talking about How I Became a Dementia Campaigner, November 2020
Speaker at NHS 2020 Leadership Programme on Zoom on the power of storytelling and how I became a campaigner, September 2020
Guest on UK Health Radio’s The D Word show with Pete Hill, talking about, among other things, how dementia is portrayed in the media
Speaker at NHS 2020 Leadership Programme, Royal Holloway, with Dr Adrian Hayter, commissioning GP clinical leader East Berkshire CCG, September 2019
Article on dementia and the stigma that still surrounds it for Saga Magazine, August 2019: Talking about Dementia
Contributed to Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) World Alzheimer Report 2019: Attitudes to Dementia. My expert essay, The Role of the Media: Help or Hindrance appears on p 95
Panelist on Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) global webinar, “Let’s Talk Dementia – maintaining hope when drug trials fail, May 2019. Click arrow below.
Member of panel at launch of Alzheimer’s Society media-friendly toolkit at Channel 4, September 2018 https://twitter.com/hughbon/status/1040516339415363585
Speech to Clapham Society, Let’s Talk About Old Age and Dementia, April 2018 which the chairman described as “great and inspirational”.
Telegraph article, April 2018, on soprano Lesley Garrett’s idea for the BBC to reintroduce its radio programme Singing Together, this time for older people and those with dementia Every Song He Sings Brings Him Alive,
Here I am at the Oxfordshire Carers Conference, November 2017. Afterwards the organisers were kind enough to say, “Inspirational, compassionate, thought-provoking – feedback from Pippa Kelly’s conference speech was outstanding”.
Speech on Invisible Ink & dementia in Clapham, September 2017 – over £700 raised for Dementia UK
Guardian, July 2017 Dementia Nurses Provide A Lifeline For Carers
Talk at The Haslemere Bookshop to promote Invisible Ink & talk about dementia, May 2017
Member of panel discussion We Need To Talk About Ageing at the Soho Theatre, May 2017
Guest blog for Contact the Elderly on the importance of social interaction for those with dementia, May 2017
Blog for the #AlzAuthors US website on how my carer’s guilt crept into my novel Invisible Ink, April 2017
The Importance Of Human Connections – guest blog for the Daily Sparkle, March 2017
Talk at The Bookshop, Topsham, to promote my novel Invisible Ink & talk about dementia, March 2017
A Tribute To Mum – guest blog for Hull University’s Remember Me project exploring the changing face of memorialisation, February 2017
My Call For People With Dementia To Stop Being Treated Like Second Class Citizens – Mirror Online, November 2016
My dementia story for the #AlzAuthors US website of dementia writers – June 2016
At The Heart Of All Care Is The Person – June 2016 – speech to NHS Confederation based on my introduction to the NHS Confederation report by the independent Commission on Improving Care for Older People http://www.nhsconfed.org/~/media/Confederation/Files/Publications/Documents/Growing%20old%20together%20-%20report.pdf
Warwick Business School Case Challenge – April 2016 – member of panel of experts advising competing MBA teams to come up with innovative solutions to enable elderly people with dementia to live in their own homes for longer
Can you tell that Paul, 58, has dementia? – Guardian, February 2016
Growing Old Together, an NHS Confederation report from the Commission on Urgent Care on Older People, to which I contributed (p5), January 2016
The Choirboy Sang And Mum’s Eyes Opened – Daily Telegraph, December 2015
The Danger of Making Assumptions – Huffington Post, December 2015
Society’s Treatment of Those with Dementia Reflects on Us All – Huffington Post, May 2015
If Julianne Moore bags an Oscar we all win – Huffington Post, February 2015
Mr Alzheimers and Me – My review of a ground-breaking TV programme on dementia, The Guardian, February 2015
Dementia stole my mother from me, but also revealed a shocking truth – The Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine, December 2014
German centres bring lonely older people and children together – The Guardian, October 2014
Will the G8 dementia summit improve care in the UK? – The Guardian, December 2013
Who’s really at fault over care for the elderly? We are – Thunderer column, The Times, June 2013
Please let doctors help the dying as they did my family – Thunderer column, The Times, November 2012
My father saved all his life – but was failed by the NHS – The Sunday Telegraph, March 2010
Lest we forget: There can be light in the darkness for those affected by dementia – The Sunday Express S Magazine, May 2013