Thursday, 28 February 2013

More talks ,meetings awareness dates added


More talks ,meetings awareness dates added 



March 2nd attending dementia dialogue event Hellensburgh 

March 4th meeting care inspectorate (to discuss dementia carer voices project )

March 5th speaking Cardonald College Health care students

March 5th speaking Sothern general hospital to staff nurses

March 7th     attending steering group Art in the Gart

March 8th       conference at City Chambers NHS  GG*C  caring for older people

March 8th      meeting NHS community engagement team

March 11th speaking Cardonald College social care students

March 12th speaking Caledonian University nursing students ( 500)

March 14th    speaking at Lockerbie carer’s dementia group

March 22nd  speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling

April 4th   attending Anan Cara 4th Anniversary Event

April 19th   2 talks London Alzheimer show (am) dementia carer event (pm)

April   20th speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting

May 2nd   speaking N/ Ayrshire carers strategy meeting

June 13th speaking Aberdeenshire carers

 On-going projects 

Academic paper                  with a leading university on the life stories
Carer engagement film              NHSGG&C    working title (its ok to ask)  
Dementia through art project          in partnership with Gartnavel royal hospital a permanent exhibition
Glasgow city council dementia working group based on my motion passed last February

Talks
I have many talks lined up across the NHS and universities based on caring for my mum and the life stories
You can help make all of the above all they can be by sharing you’re story, thoughts, opinions or experiences good or bad at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Tommy Whitelaw
Dementia Carers Voices

March 12th Speaking to Nursing students (500) Caledonian University





Over the last 2 weeks I have had the privilege of speaking to 1st and 3rd year mental health students at Caledonian University and have both overwhelmed and Inspired by the response and the students kindness and passion ,.the last of this set of talks is on March 12th  to nursing students in the main lecture /theater

I look forward to the opportunity to speak as a son about life caring for my mum ,dementia, the letters I receive and people I have met on my tour  

I also want to say a massive thank you to Caledonian University,  Andy Lowndes .Lesley McNab , Margaret Caldwell .Jackie Gillespie and the amazing students for invirting and taking the time to allow a son to share his story

Thank you      


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Scottish Government Publishes Dementia Proposition paper for second National Dementia Strategy



Hi
Please see link below link with outcomes from the dementia dialogue events, a few of which I was proud to attend as both a son and member of Dementia Carer Voices

 Dear all

Thank you very much for taking the time to come along and contribute at the Dementia Dialogue events which ran from last autumn until earlier this month.

The Scottish Government has today published a Dementia Proposition Paper (link attached below) which sets out our proposals for the key themes and priorities that should underpin Scotland’s second National Dementia Strategy, which will be published in June.


Tommy

One of those days ,when having mum here beside would have made it all better

Hi
I miss my mum every day ,That’s a given ,yesterday I got some news on a project I had been working on for a few months that is was not going forward anymore and missing my   mum is at the front of my mind and thoughts . Mum was always my best pal and over the last years everything we faced we faced together, good or bad
We  all the good days and bad days in our life and that applied to the campaign .I would come home and tell mum about the amazing people I had met ,or about things that had to be better for others . Yesterday the news on this project was a big setback mainly in manner it was handled as was most of the tough whilst caring for my mum not so much the outcomes but the manner in which they are handled..So setbacks are nothing new to me I have faced many over the years,but this one I face on my own  .My wee mum was always more important than any setback but she was always here to share it with so today is day when missing mum is harder and the start of facing setbacks on my own without my best wee pal

Tommy      

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

With thanks to all at Dementia Services Development Center for a lovely day


Hi
I was off bright and early this morning to Murray Filed Stadium Edinburgh to set up a wee dementia carer voices stand at the DSDC and big lottery fund making life easier event for Lothian carers had a wee stand, handed out a few flyers and met with quite a few people some of whom I have met before on my tour big thank you to all the team from DSDC  and BIG  for inviting me along with my wee stand to what was a very enjoyable and educational day
Thank you
Tommy
 Please see below a wee outline of today’s event and at the bottom a link to DRDC and the great work they do
Murray field Stadium Edinburgh EH12 5PJ
  • • Sally Magnusson, TV presenter and author will speak about her experience of caring
  • • Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day
  • • Information stands from local organisations that help
  • • “Drop in” sessions with a specialist dementia nurse and presentations from experts, professionals and carers
  • • Quiet room available for people with dementia and carers to rest during the day if needed
Jackie Killeen, Director of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland will welcome you to the event

You can get more details at the links below
With thanks to all the team at Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling for inviting us along

Monday, 25 February 2013

Speaking Cardonald college ,March 5th&11th to social care students #Awareness


Speaking Cardonald college ,March 5th&11th  to social care students #Awareness


A big thank you to Cardonald College in particular senior lecturer Linda wright for inviting me round to do 2 talks to social  care students on March 5TH and  11TH   
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak about life caring for my mum ,the life stories and the people I have met on my tour .The college newspaper was one of the first to pick up on my campaign over a year ago and ran an article about my intended plans. Hopes and dreams (Rebecca Garret ) ,so a big thank you for their on-going interest in my awareness work  

After the first talk on March 5th I will be speaking at the southern general hospital to nurse involved in my wee mums care over the last weeks of her life .I am grateful to nhsgg&c for this opportunity


 Tommy 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Good days,sad days,good days,bad days for the love of mum

Good days –sad days –good days and bad days
It’s  February 22nd .I cam home tonight to an empty house and its 5 months to the day since mum passed away  Much like when caring for my mum we had good days and days we struggled ,but we struggled together and mum always seemed to get us through with a smile and sometimes she was so weak but that smile came  from  her eyes .ITS 10 PM  and I think I started crying around 5 and it feels like it may never stop and that is the theme good days and sad days .there was much struggle  and fear towards the end but my wee mum always managed to get us both through and give me strength when I had none, I mean how remarkable is that with all she faced she gave her son strength and she still does I was privileged over the last week to share my mums story with some remarkable students and some amazing lecturers one of who in particular Andy who has become a friend and those students have given we Joan her life story a story that was ignored and forgotten by to many involved in our care    
I finished my talk last week with a brief outline of mums life and saying you now know more about mum’s life than most people involved in her care  over the last 5 years ,as no one ever asked .How true that feels tonight ,the response has been inspiring the detail in the response from the students via ,e mail ,twitter ,Facebook and poetry has  proved that true ,they really do understand and know more about mums life than most we met and I feel they took her into their hearts and that’s such a shame for the ones when mum was here who saw only dementia .these fine  students took a mums story to heart, others had the chance to take the person
So my tears tonight are a mixture of sadness and joy ,sad because I miss my mum and for the ones who met but  missed her life story and joy that some people who never met her took time to listen and understand

Thank you Caledonian university your kindness and understanding has inspired me and made some of my tears tonight ,tears of hope
thank you team GCU 

Tommy   

Poem for MUM ,Thank You Abby for inspiring a Son #kindness

I had the privilege of speaking to mental health students at Caledonian  university last week .I have been both inspired and in tears at the response by email twitter and this poem 


THANK YOU 1st and 3rd year mental health studetns


thank you all for inspiring a son who cared for his mum 

a peom from Abby

Tommy are you listening, i cant say i understand, But i am here, and i am willing, so penny for your thoughts?
C'mon Tommy, pick yourself up theres no time for feeling down, Your doin ok, and you shouldn't worry, Your doing your ol' ma proud.
The small things your doin everyday,
are brining hope to peoples lives,
so when your feeling down and in doubt,
just keep that in your mind

The things that you's faced, all on your own Send a shiver right up my spine, And i gotta tell you one more time, Mate, your doing fine.
You told us stories about your ma,
And God she sounds like a doll,
A hardworking lady who loved her kids,
And was madly deeply in love.

Tommy i know cause you told us so,
The way the story goes,
The newspaper clippings and scribbled writings, To remind her who she was.
That hardworking lady cant remember a thing, even the man she loved so true, But no 'what ifs' Tommy cause your ol' ma, is living and shinning through you.

We have let you down, and your ma,
and that makes me hell of a sad,
But Tommy you have spoken to me,
And i will do all i can.

Tommy your the voice, for all those like you, who have also been let down, A voice of justice, a voice of reason, That together can shout so loud.
You struck a chord in me that day,
And inspired me in so many ways,
Dont let the bastards get you down Tommy, Cause i promise your doing great.
That wedding dress that Joan made,
Oh Tommy it was a beauty!
so you get out there
And never give up,
And share with the world,
Joan and Your Story!

Abby

“ It’s OK to ask” carer engagement film start filming mid-march (with thanks to NHSgg&c-CHP)





HI

I had a meeting yesterday with  NHSgg&c – CHP, Partners and some service providers to finalize the outline for  my idea for a carer engagement film “It’s OK to ask
So we have agreed to story board and start filming mid-March .This film I hope play a small part in helping bring more understanding on the carer role and help families get the help that is available to them .As a son looking back I feel sad that it took near crisis before help was appropriated or I found the strength to ask

This will not be a Tommyontour as such but I will do the narrative from the heart ,and hope its helps someone out there access help quicker the we did

Thank you to NHS gg&c in Particular Peter Daniels and Jill Carson for taking time to meet with .listen to and discuss caring with a son over the last year        
Tommy Whitelaw
Dementia Carers Voices

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Today meeting GCC dementia working group as per my motion past at City council




Today  I will be attending the Glasgow City Council dementia working group set up per my motion passed last February I am part of a cross party steering group set up to look at dementia and carting for someone with dementia. This is our third meeting since the motion was passed and I hope the pace aims and outcomes plan will be discussed and defined at tomorrow’s meeting     

You can help with this by sending your thoughts ,opinions’ or life story to add to the ones received that where the basis heart and soul of the forming of this group  

You can send to tommy|@i-woz-there.com

MOTION

Council recognises the inspirational efforts of Tommy Whitelaw in raising awareness of the issues effecting the carers and families of people suffering from Dementia through his “Tommy on Tour” campaign
Council agrees to set-up a Cross Party Working Group to engage with carers and to ensure that the services provided to carers are appropriate to the needs of the carers and those suffering from Dementia and that the Working Group’s findings be presented by Council to the Scottish Government.

Moved by
Councillor John Flanagan
Seconded by
Councillor David McDonald

March 5th Speaking to Nurses involved in mums end of life care Might be the toughest talk of all






Hi

I have been invited to do a talk to the nurses and staff  involved and who cared for my mum  over the last months of her life. My mum was very rarely in hospital of the 5 years I cared for her .my mum sadly passed away on September 22nd and between early August and then mum was admitted 3 times.Each time for a week with different health issues  and passed away on the third admission .So I am grateful to NHSGG*C for inviting me to do a talk about life caring for mum ,the life stories and people I have met on my tour. to staff on the 3 wards mum was admitted to including A&E. This talk will also include our experiences over the times mum was admitted followed by Q&A session

My campaign is based on talking about life caring for mum ,her life, her greatness the letters ,the life stories ,the amazing families I have met, but at the back of my mind I cant help feeling this just might be the toughest talk of All

I met yesterday with the ward managers and we have agreed the talk will be on March 5th 

Tommy       


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Today meeting NHSGG&C CHP “ITS OK TO ASK “ a new carer engagement film



Hi
Today  I have a meeting to finalize  the plans and storyboard for a new carer engagement film “its OK to ask" ,I will be meeting with NHSGG&C CHP ,The ALLAINCE ,Enterprise Screen and  members of a steering group put together for this project .As mentioned before this will not be a Tommyontour film as such but I will be volunteering my time as son who cared for hi mum .the essence of this film is to highlight the carer role and services available to families
As a son and would be awareness campaigner I try to highlight issues and promote good work being done across the care and voluntary sectors .For me no one should have to do this alone .I tried and almost failed. for me  it is a tragedy not to know about help that is available and HOPE this new film. Booklet and road shows  help  reach out to carers and bring more understanding to people involved  in our care and lives
 No one should reach a crisis before getting help and for the message is “its ok to ask “

Tommy    

Thank you 1st &3rd year Mental Health Students Caledonian University # Inspired #photo




A big thank you to all the 1st year mental health students who attended my wee  talk today at the University .As a son trying to raise awareness I am grateful for opportunities like this. I was inspired by the students today and hope my talk was in some way a help.Also thank you Andy ,Lesley and Jackie (teamgcu)

Thank you for today for the kind messages  questions ,for caring and I wish you all the best  on all you’re future endeavours  #inspired #thankyou ‘gcucarervoice


Thank you

Tommy


A big thank you also to the 3rd year students that I spoke with last week for the lovely card and comments left for me to collect at today event ,THANK YOU  for the lindness


Thank you 

Today Speaking 1ST Yr Mental Health Students Caledonian University



Hi
Today  I have the privilege of speaking to 1ST tear mental health students at Caledonian university .last week I was a guest speaker there to 3rd year mental health students and on March 12th I will be back to speak to 500 nursing students. I am grateful for these  opportunities to speak about life caring for my mum ,dementia .the life stories and families I have met on my awareness tour /campaign and hope in some small way it helps both raise awareness and understanding   

A big thank you to the University   in Particular Andy Lowndes .Lesley McNab, Margaret Caldwell Jackie Gillespie and the students who attend this great University       

Tommy

Monday, 18 February 2013

How I wish you where here mum............

How I wish you where here mum

As a young lad, one day I grew up and left home a home with great parents, memories and support, to go out and explore the world .When that day comes the kindness and support from your parents is the building block to all that lays ahead .and I travelled pretty much 10 months of the year with my work  ,but always kept in touch hardly a day went by without  a call even the briefest of call to make sure all was ok at home and sometime maybe more than I care to remember for support and to take away the loneliness travelling can bring. and I was lucky  I had good relationships that mainly my job added to possibly me got in the way off .both my parents where hard working kind ,honest and decent ,who gave all to their children .And then one day you come home to visit mum ,who by this time was on her own as dad had passed away a few years before and everything had changed ,my hard working wee mum was in the beginnings of dementia ,confused distant and scared and for the first time this amazing lady who was always ready to put her arm and support around others and take the pain in their place needed an arm around her and I  tried the best I could ,but it was to hard to often ,but as I sit here tonight looking back at a 5 year journey and the bigger story of life there are two things that stand out ,even at the lowest points even when the full force of dementia was taking its toll even against all odds my mum was still caring for me .On paper I was her carer and mum needed much care towards then end ,but she was always caring for me and over the last years it was just mum and me struggling to get through each day ,and mum was my best pal and support
But the other thing that really stands as I sit here alone at home tonight is How I wish you where here mum, How I wish you where here
Tommy

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Today meeting C, A, B then meeting lecturers Cardonald College

 Hi
This morning I have a meeting with Alana from Citizens advice to chat about the possibilities of working together with dementia carer voices, We have only had a brief discussion to date so looking forward to the meeting tomorrow to see where we go
In the afternoon I will be popping into Cardonald College to meet with one of the lectures to arrange and confirm some talks to the students who attend and study social care and sciences
Tommy

Thank you, inspired by students Caledonian university 3rd mental health

Thank you, inspired by students Caledonian university 3rd mental health
 A big thank you, to all the 3rd year mental health students from, Caledonian University. I was a guest speaker there a few days ago and I am grateful and inspired by the kind messages I have received from some of the students who attended .My talks is about my wee mum and the letters I receive So on behalf of the families who have shared their life stories, thank you and I wish you the best in your own journey ahead working in Mental health

Tommy

more awareness, talks and meetings dementia carer voices

A busy week ahead, awareness, talks and meetings

February 18th meeting Citizens Advice Bureau (Morning)
Meeting to discuss possibilities of working with Citizens advice on dementia and caring  

February 18th meeting Cardonald College re talks
Meeting lecturers at Cardonald College to arrange dates for talks
February 19th speaking South Ayrshire carer’s dementia awareness day
Speaking at South Ayrshire Carers dementia awareness /open day
February 20th speaking 1st year mental health nursing student’s Caledonian university
The second of 3 talks at Caledonian University final talk in March to 500 Nursing Students  

February 20th enterprise Screen meeting carer engagement film
Meeting the lads from enterprise screen to finalize story board for new carer engagement film
February 21st attending Carers link Milgavie
Attending carer group meeting at carers link Milgavie to update on campaign

February 21st Meeting re carer engagement film “ITS OK TO ASK”
Meeting with Partners on new carer engagement film NHSGG&C, GCC, ALLIANCE, and steering group members  
February 22nd Dementia working group Glasgow city council 2nd meeting as per my motion passed
Glasgow city council dementia working group meeting at City Chambers based on my motion passed last February
Irene Oldfather my Mentor and director of the dementia carer voices project will do a presentation  


On-going projects

Academic paper with a leading university on the life stories
Carer engagement film working title (its ok to ask)
Dementia through art project in partnership with Gartanvel royal hospital a permanent exhibition
Glasgow city council dementia working group based on my motion passed last February

Talks
I have many talks lined up across the NHS and universities based on caring for my mum and the life stories

Future confirmed talks


February 26th stand Murryfield at DSDC open day
March 1st “Improving dementia support after diagnosis” event- Helens burgh

March 4th meeting care inspectorate

March 7th attending steering group Art in the Gart

March 14th speaking at Lockerbie carers dementia group

March 8th conference at City Chambers NHS GGC caring for older people

March 12th speaking Glasgow Caledonian Uni Nursing students   (500 in total)

March 22nd speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling

April 19th 2 talks London Alzheimer show (am) dementia carer event (pm)

April   20th speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Dementia--Love story or tragedy,Which part will you play

Love story or tragedy we all have our part to play

My mums life was built on a love story ,her love for family and care for and about all she met.Mums  love for my dad,his love for her. Growing up like many family we had  our moments but my mums love always conquered.We where always put first and at all times,mums ability to care for and about all she met was inspiring ,she was magnificent in my eyes and I miss her dearly .I was thinking about recovery yesterday,I don’t think I will ever recover from missing my mum and a big part of that ,the biggest part was all that dementia brought .My mum met my dad one day and they fell in love,so there began a love story and no matter what challenges came our way we always had love to get us through There is a pain in my heart that just wont go away and I don’t think it ever will ,it was just to hard and I felt to helpless to often .Dementia on its own can break your heart.When dad passed away 10 years ago I thought mum would die from a broken heart ,I truly did but what is cruller to die from a broken heart or not remember due to dementia the reason ,the person your heart was broken,but mum had a family and friends to care for and worry about ,she worried and cared for and about everyone and everything,so she put aside or hid her broken heart so she could give her best for all .I cant hide my broken heart ,there was to  much struggle to many days feeling helpless,to little understanding from within and towards us and in my opinion across society around and about dementia My mum like all mums and dads,like all people deserve the right to keep their  life stories closer to love stores and away from tragedies.Society has its own part to play.until we take dementia and the understanding on dementia to the wider society then veering towards tragedy will always be there,until the wider society and the people we encounter because of dementia understand the impact this illness has and their actions have on our lives then the final chapter of our lives and love stories will always be affected   
My heart smiles when I think of the people who helped keep mums love story on closer to on track against all odds during her journey with dementia ,but they where far to few but they will always have a place in my heart for helping a son and his mum get thought the best they could the down side is we encountered to many who held us back, who never engaged who only saw a wee woman with dementia and almost wrote mum off 

,My mum was never just a wee woman with dementia ,she was Joan whitelaw magnificent ,kind and caring and right  to the end her eyes shone with love she  cared more about us than many cared about her

Love story or tragedy what part will you play in the life of others

Tommy             

Friday, 15 February 2013

inspired at Caledonian University -Thank you



I would like to say a big thank you to the team at Caledonian University .especially Andy Lowndes ,Margaret Caldwell   and last but not least  the 3rd year mental health students
I was a guest speaker there this morning and as a son I am grateful for opportunities like this and for the chance to speak about my wee mum ,dementia caring and the life stories and hope in some small way help raise awareness and understanding 

Thank you to all the students for the kind reception .Kind words and questions

Thank you

Tommy WhitelawDementia Carers Voices

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Link to newsletter and survey dementia carer voices


Link to newsletter and survey dementia carer voices

I have been collecting life stories for the last year to raise awareness ,bring more understanding and help inform I hope future policies and strategies I hope if you have time you can help add to the life stories by filling in the survey below

Please also find a link to the dementia carer voices /Tommyontour newsletter

dementia carer voices  survey   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V7SYL2G  thank you . Tommy collecting life stories thoughts an opinions


Tommy 


Monday, 11 February 2013

having stand at DSDC and Big Lottery making life easier day Feb 26th


DCV stand at DSDC and Big Lottery making life easier day Feb 26th


Attending and having a stand at   the DSDC and Big Lottery making life easier day Feb  26th

Hi
I will be attending and having a Dementia Carer Voice stand at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling and the Big Lottery present Making Life Easier a free information day for informal and family carers of people with dementia in the Lothian area.
Tuesday 26th February 2013
9.30 am – 3.30 pm
Murray field Stadium Edinburgh EH12 5PJ
  • • Sally Magnusson, TV presenter and author will speak about her experience of caring
  • • Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day
  • • Information stands from local organisations that help
  • • “Drop in” sessions with a specialist dementia nurse and presentations from experts, professionals and carers
  • • Quiet room available for people with dementia and carers to rest during the day if needed
Jackie Killeen, Director of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland will welcome you to the event

You can get more details at the links below
With thanks to all the team at  Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling for inviting us along

Sunday, 10 February 2013

How do you mend a broken heart? Dementia mum and me

How do you mend a broken heart? Dementia my mum and me

Dementia alone will eventually break you heart .It most certainly has broken mine .I have had my heart broken before, but not like this .My kind caring wee mum whose ability to care for and about all she met was an inspiration .No one deserves this illness its cruel and all encompassing .My heart was not broken only since mum passed away but had been for long time .No matter what dementia threw at my mum no matter how many tears I cried as her son, and on the days where it felt to hard and mum was facing so much more than me ,she could make it better with a smile ,a stroke of the hand and greatest of all a smile from her eyes as if to say ,you are ok son ,you are doing ok .Sitting here today with more time to think than I had before just confirms that we where never really ok .we where stumbling and falling together .People say oh you cared for mum but that is only half of it mum was still caring for her son ,you see that’s what she done she gave all she met the best looking for nothing in return and .My mums journey with this illness is over and I am left with a heart that is so sad inside .my wee mum like so many other deserved a bit better and better than I was able to give .So I will take leaf from my mums book and answer the question I asked at the top of this page .how do you mend a broken heart .
That all who are facing this illness or in the future will face this illness are treated with understanding ,kindness ,dignity ,respect and given the best of help and advice and I hope anyone who ever needs help ask as quickly as they can and if the person they meet at home ,residential care or in a hospital has even just q hundredth of the kindness that was my mum they will be in very safe hands AS I WAS ALL MY LIFE,EVEN DEMENTIA COULD NOT TAKE THAT AWAY
TOMMY

Dementia, my film takes 8 minutes to view, 2 sec to share and 5 years of a broken heart to make

Dementia, this is my film it takes 8 minutes to view, 2 sec to share and 5 years of a broken heart to make
 This is the link to my short film with carers sharing their experiences .I hope you can view and share
Than you
Tommy  
Short film shown at parliament http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347

Today speaking 3rd year Mental Health Students, Caledonian University

Today  speaking 3rd year Mental Health Students, Caledonian University
Hi

Today   I have the privilege of speaking to 3rd year mental health students at Caledonia University,the first of 3 talks over the next 3 weeks .This will be followed by 1st year mental health on February 20th and then 500 Nursing students on March 12th .I look forward to speaking about caring for my wee mum the letter I receive and people I Have  met on my Tommyontour campaign .This fits in with my real passion to speak to the next generation who will be involved in our care, I have been contacted by some of the students who attend the University and their passion and understanding inspires me .I also met a few a while back when I was a guest speaker at the memories FC event a project by the University in Partnership with Alzheimer Scotland an event in my eyes that was a triumph of involvement and inclusion
With great thank you the University in particular Andy Lowndes .Margaret Caldwell, Lesley McNab,Jackie Gillespie and the last but my no means least  Students  
I hope I can in some small way inspire them as much as they have inspired me by inviting me along   
#gcucarervoice
Tommy

Friday, 8 February 2013

The loneliness inside,

The loneliness inside,
It has not been the best of evenings ,there is a loneliness and  sadness inside that catches me out some times ,We where dreadfully lonely  over the last years caring fr my mum and I felt so helpless so often .Even once my campaign  got going I would go out meet people do talks and raise awareness and that was for mum and all who face this cruel illness and it is a cruel illness .I was looking through my photos on my phone tonight ,MANY of them taken over the last months of mums life ,and I took them on days when I thought ,mum you doing so well today we are doing ok .Now looking back I can see in all its detail the toll taken on this magnificent woman and It has hit me so hard .I started crying tonight and it feels as though it might never stop .I just miss my wee mum .I miss my wee pal and  I never stop missing her ,nor will I stop this awareness campaign till people get better than mum did and families get better support understanding and help than we and to many others have had ,and I know this wont be the last time I cry myself to seep ,but then my mums is worth crying for
Tommy

Its OK TO ASK- starting A new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C –CHP


Its Ok to ask  starting  A new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C –CHP  

Hi

I will very shortly (beginning March) starting working on a new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C – CHP ,the ALLIANCE AND Enterprise Screen .This film I hope will try and help with a struggle I personally faced whilst caring for my  mum .Asking for help and who to ask for help .My dad was a hard working welder and asking for help along did not come easy we are a proud private people at heart .this led to us nearing a crisis point from not wanting to ask to being to lost and in desperate need of  help. I personally wish I had asked for help. sooner .As a campaigner I campaign for better understanding ,and respect and dignity to all, but alongside that I feel it’s a tragedy to not know how to ask or about help that is available  I hope in some small way this film followed by some road shows will reach out to families and avert them reaching a crisis. We should at all-times have the best of help and guidance at our fingertips. I am grateful to all the partners involved in this project and it also forms part of the message in this campaign being able listened to and part of ,and I thank NHSGG*C for taking the time to meet with listen to and involve a son and carer

Thank you

Tommy       

Tommy Whitelaw
Dementia Carers Voices

A letter changed my life,our life stories can bring help and understanding Life stories why I believe in and collect them


Hi 

This campaign is based on the life stories thoughts and opinions of people and there are a few reasons why I both collect and believe in them, the stories collected to date have been part in much awareness dialogue with Government Local authorities including motions at councils and report by SW departments, They have been the heart and soul of many talks across the care sector ,Universities colleges ,carer centers and beyond I am now working on an Academic paper and a new carer engagement film ,All if which I feel are important and in their own small way helping raise both awareness and understanding .all the afore mentioned are based on our live in our words. More importantly I collect life stories because our lives matter .My mum like to many others was to often was viewed upon as just a wee woman with dementia and all that had gone before forgotten or ignored the greatness of her life given to little value ,time or discussion and that fills me with great sadness .If we use only the journey of dementia as a starting point ,then how can we truly help or understand the best way to interact ,encourage and allow people the respect dignity and time they deserve .so life stories I HOPE  help tell the whole story and  help show the impact dementia has on many people lives .if we understand the impact then we understand best how to limit it and give families the best support to love ,cherish and succeed  
A letter changed my life
My personal reason for collecting letters and life stories is the fact a letter changed my life .Before coming back to Glasgow to visit my mum a visit that ended with my mums diagnosis of dementia and the beginning of a five year struggle to understand and cope .My then long term girlfriend and I had Just split up in fact I was coming home for mum to put her arms round me as she had done so many time before and made things betters .For the first time I had to truly put my arms round mum as she was in more need of help and support than I was .Both my girlfriend and I traveled constantly with our work and for the last years together and in so many ways my girlfriend tried to tell / discuss with me how things had to change ,how we were getting older ,how we never spent time together, along with settling down and children. The more she tried to discuss lour future the less I heard .the more she shouted ,whispered even in the most intimate of discussions the less I heard I always seemed to avoid a discussion after all I was happy I was traveling ,having a great time and always used the same avoidance I am just home or I when I get home in 3 months we will fix things .I got away with this for too long .On my last journey away ,I was going to America for 3 months I opened my suitcase on arrival and inside founds a letter ,a letter that broke my heart but a letter that showed the impact my actions ,my inability to listen ,me selfishness and many other actions where having on someone’s life. Someone I loved, someone who gave me so many chances and tried in so many others ways to ask me to just listen or try and understand and on reading that letter I understood more about myself than I have had before and she was right I was affecting and holding back her chance to live the best she could
So a Letter changed my life, that’s my personal reason for believing in and collecting them I hope to take them to all who need to read them to try and help them understand how the actions of others can have such and impact on lives and the actions of others can  also change lives for the better and to truly help someone you have to take time to listen and understand them
You can share your story at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Tommy Whitelaw
Dementia Carers Voices






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