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International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference

Carers in conversation: Tomorrow might be better

Presentation Description

Tomorrow might be better – chaired by Marie Alford, Head of Business Development HammondCare

Tully Smyth was just 14 years old when her mother was diagnosed with younger onset dementia. Now 32, Tully is a social media influencer, journalist, podcast host and a previous contestant on Big Brother Australia.
Thinking back, Tully remembers signs much earlier than when she received her diagnosis, which was put down to stress or being over-worked. It began with the little things. But it was her changes in personality that were the most drastic. Being angry all the time and quick to start an argument or lose her temper.  

The stigma around what a diagnosis of dementia means affected Tully’s life as a teenager. She stopped inviting friends over after school, desperate to keep the family secret and embarrassed about what they might see.

As her dementia progressed these feelings moved to sadness with the family battling to cope and no support network. After placing Kay in a couple of care homes that were not suitable due to distance to travel to visit regularly, or the care environment, Kay finally settled at a care home Hammondville in New South Wales.

In July last year, after a 23-year-long battle, Tully’s beautiful mum, Kay, passed away.  Tully will be sharing her experiences and says “Tomorrow might be better but it also might not, and that's okay. Because we're all in this together.”

Join us to hear Tully’s story.

Other Suggested Presentations

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Day 1 Wrap
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2:40 pm
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Dementia Can Be Beautiful
Mary Jane Grant

5:05 pm
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Love in the time of Dementia: is care without love enough?
Prof John Swinton

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