Today is Red Nose Day – when millions of pounds are raised to help work in this country and abroad that improves and changes people’s lives.
I have mixed feelings about a charity fundraising event such as this, and my reasons are that it highlights the gaps in humanity’s care of the sick, old, poor and vulnerable. It tells us that as a society – whether at home or across the world, we are failing to help and support the most vulnerable people among us.
But I suppose that is all because we live in a world that distances itself from God and all that is good. So much needs to change in our attitude towards people from whatever background or situation they are in. Everyone needs the opportunity to live life to the full. So thank you to those who will be raising our awareness of people and groups who have been forgotten by us, but who with the right help and support will flourish and prosper as God desires for all people.
One area of work I am pleased they are highlighting is that of dementia, a degenerative illness with a variety of causes, but which the symptoms are the same. Memory loss, in ability to understand, remember and undertake routine daily tasks we all take for granted, in time they do not even recognise those who have been closest to them throughout their lives. The truth is dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is a disease that for too long has not be researched and treated. When I worked as a district nurse, I used to support many husbands and wives and families, who were travelling a lonely road in caring for the loved one who no longer recognised them. At last this devastating illness is known more widely and more importantly funding being given for serious research. Hopefully as the disease is better understood, treatments will become available that will stop the damage caused to the brain, so our loved ones will still know us, even towards the end of their lives.
So let’s all do something funny today and give a bit to Red Nose Day.