1. Tell us a bit about your background, roots and DNA!
I was born and bred on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean.
I went to a girls Convent school and always wanted to be a nurse.
However, when I left school at age 18, I could not get into nursing because the entry criteria had been changed. Requiring all entry-level candidates to have certain science subjects which I did not possess. I went to work as an accounts clerk for a few years but absolutely hated the job.
After a few years, the government reverted back to the previous entry-level criteria as the number of applicants had dramatically reduced. So, I eventually did go into nursing and qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse in 1987.
In 1990 I came to London after being successfully interviewed for a nursing post.
2. What’s your passion in life and in business? Your mission and vision?
Ann-Noreen Bird, of GlobalDementiaCare.com, is a dementia care expert. For over 25 years, I have held various positions as a ward nurse, a community nurse, a turnaround specialist nurse, a practice development nurse, a ward manager, a teacher, a trainer, an educator, a nurse advisor and a lead nurse of a London borough, all in the field of mental health of the older person.
With populations living longer across the globe. The number of people living with dementia is set to rise worldwide. So now it is time to take action!
I teach people to recognize, cope with and embrace dementia. So they can help those living with the disease to live dignified, contented lives.
My mission is to inform, educate, empower people globally to recognize and understand dementia so they can appropriately care for those living with the condition.
I moved to London, England in 1990 after being successfully recruited by a London Mental Health Trust. Work in the UK at a Continuing Care Home for older people. Whilst still continuing my nursing education at the Royal College of Nursing. Finally receiving my Diploma and BSc from the University of Manchester.
I was awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing Education. Got MSc in Nursing from South Bank University in 2001.
The privilege of working closely with many different Consultants and Professors of Old Age Psychiatry throughout her expansive career. I note that constant learning has been essential to my work and treatment ethos in an age where truly effective medical advances in treatments have been made.
However, despite of our developed understanding of dementia, there is a lot of work to be done. In 2015 there were 47 million people worldwide living with the condition and that number is set to rise to over 131 million people worldwide by 2050.
Through education, discussion and raising awareness my contribution will diminish the stigmas surrounding dementia and enable those in need to be treated and cared for effectively and with the dignity and esteem, they deserve.
Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is What are you doing for others?”
This is my contribution to society
Will you support me on this journey?
Reach people living with dementia in all levels of society.
Demonstrate empathy and understanding to those living with dementia.
Educate and support those who deliver care to people living with dementia.
Provide up-to-date, effective, accessible information and training for people living with or affected by dementia in all its forms.
Empower people living with dementia to be active participants in their own care.
To educate relatives on how to improve their communication skills with their loved ones living with dementia.
Make literate healthcare staff as well as the general public to improve their knowledge. And understanding of the needs of people with dementia.
Equipping caregivers with the competence and confidence needed to provide person-centred care. Which looks beyond dementia and see the individual.
Helping make caregiving less stressful, so caregivers could get their lives back.
3. What was the most challenging/difficult/terrifying period in your entrepreneur career?
When I realized how many sharks and charlatans were out there taking the precious little money. I had and giving little in return. The amount of dishonesty that exists out there boggles the mind.
As the reality dawned on me that my business was so niche. The average person had no idea how to help.
I had to try and figure out by myself what I needed to do. I even thought of giving up, but that was not an option. As the need to help those living and caring in dementia was just too big.
4. Who do you admire and why? What would you ask them if you met them in person?
I admire Dr Martin Luther King Jr. His strength of conviction in the face which overwhelm odds against him.
Understanding, love, fight for justice for the down-trodden, forgotten and neglected in society.
THE QUESTION I WOULD ASK HIM IS THIS:
When you started your campaign of speaking out against injustices; you knew you were at very high risk of being silenced. What made you keep going?
5. What’s your message for your younger self?
There is no room for shyness or uncertainty.
If you have a seed of passion planted deep within you, you need to give birth to it.
Don’t rob others of that dream because you are too shy to speak out.