Season 2 Episode 6 Julia Hailes’ Story – Dementia, Care Homes and COVID-19

General content note for this episode: suicide, assisted dying

Julia Hailes is a sustainability pioneer who started her career in the 80s. She has had a tremendously close relationship with her mum for the whole of her life – as a mother, friend and confidant.

Her mum’s subsequent diagnosis of dementia has had a huge effect. Julia has navigated these difficult years with her whole family and in particular, her sister, Amanda Campbell, who has been incredibly supportive. They have really appreciated each other throughout the process of caring for their mum – even more so with COVID-19 creating new and difficult challenges.

From being able to tell her anything, Julia and her sister have had to watch as their mother slips away from them, with the pain of never really being able to say a proper goodbye.

With lockdown restrictions in place, Julia and I were able to connect via the internet for our conversation. This is her story.

For more information on Julia’s work, visit

Please be aware, this episode mentions suicide, assisted dying and Dignitas, the Swiss clinic which helps people to end their own lives.

If you’re in the UK and in need of someone to talk to someone, call The Samaritans on 116 123. For those outside the UK, you can call: Argentina: 02234930430; Australia: 131114; Austria: 017133374; Belgium: 106; Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05; Botswana: 3911270; Brazil: 212339191; Canada: 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal); Croatia: 014833888; Denmark: +4570201201; Egypt: 7621602; Finland: 010 195 202; France: 0145394000; Germany: 08001810771; Holland: 09000767; Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000; Hungary: 116123; India: 8888817666; Ireland: +4408457909090; Italy: 800860022; Japan: +810352869090; Mexico: 5255102550; New Zealand: 045861048; Norway: +4781533300; Philippines: 028969191; Poland: 5270000; Russia: 0078202577577; Spain: 914590050; South Africa: 0514445691; Sweden: 46317112400; Switzerland: 143; USA: 18002738255

Discovering Dementia is produced and presented by Penny Bell, with original music by Leila Mitwally

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