Dementia awareness advocate Sarah Ashton has taken part in filming ahead of an ABC television series You Can't Ask That episode.
The topic of dementia is set to take centre stage as part of You Can't Ask That's seventh season. Production is underway in preparation for the new season to air in 2022.
The award winning ABC television series breaks down stereotypes and answers questions people are afraid to ask.
Sarah was involved in filming for the ABC program at the Glasshouse studio on Thursday, October 21.
The questions asked were engaging, interesting and lively, she said.
"There were questions that caught me off guard emotionally that drew a range of emotions," the Port Macquarie resident said.
Sarah's early onset dementia diagnosis at age 56 turned her life upside down. She is living with a mixed form of dementia caused by hydrocephalus and a vascular component.
She hopes the You Can't Ask That episode will elevate dementia awareness in the community.
"There are certainly a great many misconceptions that the community holds about what it is like to be dealing with dementia yourself and how it impacts upon you," Sarah said.
"It is about trying to clear up a lot of misconceptions about how people perceive the issue of dementia.
"It's hard enough for people to deal with the diagnosis without having to deal with other people's misconceptions."
Sarah is among an estimated 472,000 Australians living with dementia. It is estimated almost 1.6 million people across the country are involved in the care of someone living with dementia.
Sarah hopes people will remember the ABC program.
"I want them to remember that story," she said.
Meanwhile, Sarah also gives talks to a range of groups to raise community awareness about dementia.
"We desperately need to get the voice out there so people have an understanding of dementia and what it's like to be dealing with it on a daily basis and for families to deal with it," she said.
Sarah has also told her story in an awareness raising video.
The Mid North Coast Local Health District, which made the video, shared Sarah's story about living with dementia in 2020 to help educate the community.
The video chronicles Sarah's story touching on themes from noticing memory loss to symptom progression, the diagnosis and beyond. It provides a message of hope.
Dementia Australia dementia prevalence data shows there are an estimated 2689 people living with dementia in the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area in 2021 with that figure estimated to rise to 3580 by 2058.
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