This week’s guest on my Well I Know Now podcast is the wonderful Wendy Mitchell. Full disclosure, Wendy Mitchell is one of my all-time favourite people. She is positive, witty, resilient, genuine and wise. She is the author of Somebody I Used To Know, a ground-breaking memoir that sat on the Sunday Times best-seller list for weeks, if not months. She is also living with dementia.

Seven years ago at the age of 58 Wendy, a former NHS manager, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In a classic stroke of down-to-earth genius, she started a daily blog to serve as her memory. It is called, cleverly, Which Me Am I Today, and it is insightful, compelling and beautifully illustrated with her own photographs.

She loathes her dementia for stealing away everything that once made her who she was, but she also recognises that it has given her a rare perspective on the world.  She has capitalised on this as a first-class dementia champion, her new life becoming as busy, in different ways, as the life she used to lead. Pre-pandemic, Wendy was to be found travelling the country by rail, bringing her trademark humour and insights to primetime television and radio shows, conferences and colleges.

As with all the true greats, whatever their field, Wendy makes it seem easy. In truth, each cab and train journey involves meticulous preparation, military timing and countless Ipad reminders. And as she once discovered, she can never stop pushing herself on. To stop, to take time off, is to let Alzheimer’s win.

So Wendy Mitchell keeps on writing, her camera keeps clicking as she trundles round her village or, as she’s recently started doing again, traversing the country, opening all our eyes to what dementia is, and how it’s possible to live a successful and rewarding life with it.