Friday, 1 November 2013

People change lives, listening and understanding.Working together and never forgetting the person.


It ispeople who change lives, listening and understanding.   Working together and never forgetting theperson.

After my walk round Scottish towns and cities I was contacted by a family who asked me to come and collect their story in person, as their story about their mum was taking its toll on all.
I got the train through one day to collect and hear their story. One member of the family was strong so tense with all that had happened and the other was broken,head and shoulders down and eyes full of heartbreak and tears.

I witnessed the impact this was having and had on both of those people. At different times and days whilst caring for my mum. I WAS BOTH  of those sisters ,sometime in the same say ,angry ,agitiated ,strong ,brokenhearted  Their story was tragic, a family trying to care and get the best for a mum they loved.  With a dining table full of correspondencea bout their mum, her care, life and struggle  full of missunderstandings and lack of understanding.
I left the house that day wondering how does this happen how can this be a ,few months later Iwas taking my letters to the Scottish Parliament to meet with the then CabinetSecretary for Health Nicola Sturgeon, who I have to say has given this campaign and life stories the greatest respect.

A week before going to Parliament I received another letter from this family and It was glorious, but how can this be, same family a mother facing this challenge of dementia, what had changed? .  The answer was a person, a new consultant who took the time to be involved in all aspects of this journey, who listened, discussed, advised and gave this family the chance to do the thing they wanted to spend their time loving and cherishing their mum and for their mums whole life to be given the respect and dignity and help deserved.

No longer written off, no longer a strain on services, no longer just a woman with dementia but mother who was many great things to many people.  Same services same help but in the hands of an understanding person and we should celebrate Consultants, Doctors,Nurses, Social Workers and anyone involved in our care who like this consultant took time added value and gave the best of advice and chance.  If we celebrate them then this will encourage others to follow as it is PEOPLE who change lives.

I remember the ones who helped us through this and  that makes my heart smile. I also remember the ones who had no desire or care and they add to the pain of the struggle we faced.

Tommy  



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