Sunday, 4 November 2012

Link to my comment last nights STV news and an emotional memory with a clip with my mum from last year

 The Scottish government has launched its commitment from next year everyone inScotland diagnosed with dementia will have a named person to advise them for the first year .something I have been campaigning for since this campaign started and was part of my speech at parliament ,November last year .I was  asked for a brief comment for the evening news earlier tonight and this included a clip with my beautiful wee mum who passed away 6 weeks ago yesterday Please see below a link to the news with my wee mum Joan and a copy of my speech from the launch of my campaign ,a campaign started with Joans story and added to by so many others ,the awareness campaign continues  #RememberJoan
can life stories make a difference ,I believe they can we still have much to do
link www.stv.tv/player  evening news Nov4th 2012
I started this campaign with round Scotland a walk to raise awareness of caring for someone with dementia and to collect letters from people who were willing to share their experience, good or bad.  I promised i would then hand those letters into the Parliament. I had no agenda in mind. I hoped, in many ways, that the struggles I faced were mine and mine alone, as this would be easier to fix.  It saddens me to say that this is not the case; the majority of people I have met have faced similar or greater struggles than myself.It would take many hours to talk in detail about all the issues raised on this tour. I feel the problem starts with way people with dementia are looked upon from the day of diagnosis: almost written off and looked upon as a strain on society. I don’t know how many times I have been told ‘oh its dementia’, ‘oh that’s the dementia’ or ‘his mum has dementia.’ So I would like to say the following to all professionals who work in the care sector, and I hope I speak for other people who have a loved one with this illness when I say…
My mother’s name is Joan Whitelaw.
She was born on the 15th of July 1939.
She has been:
  • a daughter,
  • a sister,
  • a wife,
  • a mother,
  • a friend,
  • a workmate,
  • a neighbour,
  • a valued member of her community,
  • a true, honest and dignified lady
  • And, like so many others of the 82,000 plus people, she is now labelled as ‘a wee women with dementia’. An illness we, at this time, have no cure for, written off, given no value and most certainly not given the respect and care they deserve. This is first change we have to make: the attitude towards loved ones with dementia and the respect given to the families and loved ones who care for them. I urge all people who work in the care sector to respect and listen to all who live with this illness and their carers; they just might have something to say. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people with dementia and their families to be able to go to a one-stop shop. So that, when someone you love is diagnosed with dementia, there’s a key worker you can go to who’ll be able to give you advice, information and help to arrange any support you might need. To finish, I would like to thank the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, for her attendance here today, her ongoing interest in the ‘Tommy on Tour’ campaign and for agreeing to read the experiences of so many carers across Scotland. I would also like to thank my local MSP, Johann Lamont, for her interest in the campaign and for hosting this wonderful event here at the Parliament. 
 Tommy

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