WRITER , performer and lover of books, Emma Decent is on a mission to get people talking about dementia - and to make them realise, it is not all bad.

Earlier this week she performed her autobiographical story ‘I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed To Be Doing’, a tale of mother-daughter love and living with and through dementia at Ilkley Literature Festival and on Friday, she will be performing in Settle, as part of Settle Stories autumn and winter programme.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing’ was something Emma’s mum said repeatedly in the early days of her dementia.

More than 10 years later after her mother died, Emma finds herself asking the question for herself. Using storytelling, photos, and library books, she weaves a funny, moving and inspiring tale following the progression of dementia, love and life re-evaluation.

Both performances fall in this week’s National Libraries week which is also significant to Emma. Her mum was a librarian, and Emma herself is a library assistant. In fact, the story is dominated by a love for books.

“Challenging the stigma surrounding dementia is important,” says Emma. “Sometimes we forget that people living with dementia are mature, complex and beautiful human beings. We just see the label ‘dementia’ and everything else falls to the side.

“We think of dementia as just a negative. It can be sad, very sad. But, it’s not all bad. My mum’s dementia allowed us to have a different type of relationship. One where I saw her humanity more and one that was more tender, more loving.”

The show parallels the lives of two women of different generations, as well as charting the sometimes fraught nature of a mother-daughter relationship.

There is humour as Emma remembers the upset her mother caused with ‘Vote Labour’ posters in their suburban street in 1979.

And, there is tension in the adult dreams and frustrations for both women and their difficulty being friends. But the story comes to a peak when Emma’s mum hits old age and all memories are thrown into a jumbled heap, to make sense at last or be lost entirely.

Ultimately the piece ensures its audience is not only submerged into the world of Emma and her mother but reassess their own views on dementia.

The show is part of Settle Stories autumn and winter programme of events.

I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed To Be Doing by Emma Decent on Friday, October 12 will take place at The Joinery, Dawsons Court, Settle, at 7pm. Tickets from: settlestories.org.uk/idontknow