My name is Ann Johnson. I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when I was 52 that is 10 years ago now. The main problems we have our short-term memory By that I mean like 5 minutes ago is gone, 10 years ago is fine It’s not just short-term memory, it’s things like visual-spacial problems For example, I can tell you what you do with ‘that’ but what ‘that’ is called I have no idea My typical shop experience? Well, I have to take my list with me My list is vital I may not know what I’m going for I might find out that I want something green but might not know how to describe more than that When I see it I know it’s that but if your staff and colleagues are there they can tell me what I’m looking for and direct me And please don’t use right and left because that means nothing to me You can say, “go this way, go that way”, that would be fine that would get me there, yes It has to be easy to navigate because you need to know where you’re going and what you’re heading for If you can read the signs, that’s fine but what I want may be part of that but not identified by the sign itself And that’s why I need somebody on the floor to help me What I find difficult is if they’ve changed the store round from the day before and put things in different places the signage, I have difficulty with signage but you can normally hone in on things like say exit But, you know, is the sign for the toilet there I mean, can I work out in the toilet how to use the taps and things Because this is the thing that you would not realise that we have difficulty with things like taps and flushing systems At the checkout, that would be a problem for me because I can’t count money so I expect the staff at the checkout to be able to count it for me and say Look, this is what I want, this is what I’m taking, and give me back the rest I have to trust them, which I do. The best thing they can do is if they, if they, see somebody’s got a problem whatever the reason, they can say, “Can I help you, please” If they can be there to help us and support us, that would be wonderful I am an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society I was given an MBE three years ago The citation was ‘Nurse Educator Lecturer, Alzheimer’s Campaigner, Services to Healthcare Awarded by Prince Charles’ It was a huge privilege to be there on that day and to highlight the reason I got it was vital I think people are scared of the word dementia they shouldnt because it’s just a word And I always say, “Never walk by the side” I just say, look, the best you can do is love me, be with me if you love me, be with me, I will love you forever.