Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Health and Social Care Academy - Citizen Bloggers -share your views


The Health and Social Care Academy is a project within the ALLIANCE. The Academy will keep a finger on the pulse of new developments in health and social care and bring the voice of people with lived experience (and others who are affected by issues) to the fore in order to drive and spread innovative ideas and transformational  change.

To support this, the Academy are recruiting a number of ‘Citizen Bloggers’ to share their views on health and social care.  The aim of our ‘Citizen Bloggers’ is to provide an opportunity for a range of interesting, thought provoking content on the future of health and social care. This will be shared with a wide audience through the Academy’s social media channels.

Contributions could take the form of:

·         Written blog articles

·         Creative approaches including poems, photographs, etc

·         Short (1-2 minute) video or audio inputs

You can find examples of previous ‘Citizen Blogger’ contributions here.
If this is something you would be interested in please get in touch by emailing academy@alliance-scotland.org.uk . We would love to hear from you.

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2832 People Have Now Made A Personal Pledge To Make A Difference


 I have had the great privilege to meet so many amazing, caring, inspiring people IN PERSON on my tour across the country on twitter via our Dementia Carer voices Blog and my own TommyOnTour blog.

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people and have had many emotional journeys home late at night from talks thinking back to all that happened each day; the people I have met,the pledges that have been made , the stories I have heard and the great initiatives so many people have shared.

There are far too many people to mention in person - this blog piece might never end if I tried!
For me caring is truly all about people and relationships - it’s always people who make the biggest difference of all. I have met so many amazing people and witnessed the greatest relationships of care over the last year.

Thank you for bringing a smile to my heart over the last 12 months, thank you for making such a difference to my life BUT more importantly thank you for the amazing pledges to make a difference for others. 

Thank you from my heart and  from my amazing team mates Irene, Laura and Sarah.

You can view our NEW PLEDGE  FILM launched for 2014 with the staff of NHSAAA, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon CEO NHS Scotland Paul Gray and Chief Nursing Officer Fiona McQueen    here. 
                                            Nicola Film Still 2
                               You Can Make A Difference            

                              The Amazing People and 2832 Pledges (and Counting )

We began the campaign by asking “What does caring mean to you?”
19.02.14 NHS Fife
(08 -10).04.14 NHS Dumfries & Galloway 
3/4.06.14 NHS Conference
27.06.14 BCDA Birmingham

NHSAAA The People The Pledges The tour - 13 talks July - August 

01.09.14  Teesside University
13.10.14 More Pledges
03.11.14 Online pledges
07.11.14 Burton Hospital
13.11.14  Pledges of the week
24.11.14 The Retreat York
15/16.12.14 Norfolk and Suffolk


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short films here!  

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Guest Post - Chris Roberts Power is knowledge, knowledge is power !

I am so delighted to be able to share my dear friend  Chris Roberts’ Viewpoint piece.
 Chris is a great friend and inspiration to me  has kindly written for us once before

for our Dementia Carer Voices  and my own Tommy on Tour blog and we’re so pleased to be able to share an update on the wonderful work he’s doing with Dementia Alliance International. Thank you Chris!
I’m your average 53 year old man who cares about dementia awareness, but it has to be goodChris Roberts quality awareness, it has to be about promoting education about dementia because it is starting to touch us all, everyone is beginning to hear the word ‘dementia’ but not a lot of folk actually understand it and with over 850,000 people living with this illness in the UK we all need to know at least a little about it.
Power is knowledge, knowledge is power !

Firstly you can’t catch dementia, it’s a syndrome, a set of symptoms peculiar to any brain disease or injury, the most common being Alzheimers, followed by vascular damage such as strokes. Their are over 100+ causes !
It’s not a natural part of ageing, there was a child of four in the news recently, born with Picks Disease and is now showing symptoms of dementia. The only thing it has to do with age, is that with age the likelihood of having any illness is increased as your body becomes weaker and more frail.
Another myth is that it’s all about losing your memory, short term memory loss being the sign most frequently associated with Alzheimer’s disease, this usually prompts someone to go to see their GP. But different diseases present in slightly different ways, sometimes it might be communication – forgetting words or even struggling to talk properly. It could affect your ability to multi task, your vision and even visual perception, it might also affect your balance and mobility.
One could start to find coping with every day tasks getting difficult.
So as you can now see, it can affect everyone completely different because the causes of ones dementia can be quite different.
But one thing about any dementia is that it’s progressive which means it will gradually get worse, which is why an early diagnosis is good to have, you can get your affairs in order, put help in to place, plan for the future because with the right support and assistance it is possible to live well with it.
“Really?” you might say ! Yes, I know it is, you see I have mixed dementia ( vascular and alzheimers) I have made my will, sorted out lasting power of attorney and made plans for the future, I’ve even chosen my care home and visit every so often, so when the time comes, which it probably will, the transition from my home to my second home is made easier. One of the main reasons I did this, was not only for my own peace of mind, but I’d read a lot about caregivers promising to look after their loved ones but when the time came for a nursing home, which, most of the time it will, people were left with lots of guilt about placing someone there. Even though it’s the best place for someone to get specialist care that someone in the later stages of dementia will need. So I decided none of my family would ever go through that.
I look to the future now and never the past, I concentrate on what I can do and not what I can’t, which brought me to what I do now, dementia awareness, because I’ve become an expert by experience, but only in my own dementia because as I said earlier everyone is different, I became a dementia champion for the Alzheimer’s Society, I host awareness sessions, I speak at conferences and write about my experiences.
I’m going to Australia soon, speaking on behalf of Dementia Alliance International (a group of people that have dementia from all over the world giving others a voice) with whom I am a board member, I’m speaking about my experience of living with a dementia at the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Perth.
I’m involved in lots of stuff now, things I hope will make a difference, I only have a limited window to do this in and doing this in turn keeps my brain sharp which can’t be a bad thing and must help, well if think it does.
I’m trying to make a difference while I can and if I can do this, what can you all do :)
You can follow Chris on Twitter @mason4233
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
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My mums name was Joan ,my Mum Had Dementia - our Story 9 Short Films

Tommy’s speech, providing a carer’s perspective,  on the theme of “ No – one ever asked   ” highlighted the transformational impact that ...