Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tomorrow speaking - Carers Count Conference NELFT NHS Foundation trust


With great thanks to Stephanie Dawe Chief Nurse and member  Executive Team and Rosemary NeiLson for the kind invite to speak at the CARERS COUNT Conferecne 

I am very honored to be invited and look forward to attending,listening,learning,speaking and meeting everyone 




Monday, 16 November 2015

Reading, Writing and Your Health: Journeys in Self Management - Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Nov 24th

Reading, Writing and Your Health: Journeys in Self Management

6pm-8pm, Tuesday 24th November 2015
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Living with a long term condition can be tough and finding activities to help you manage your condition is one aspect of successful self management. Join us on Tuesday 24th November at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, as part of Book Week Scotland, to hear first-hand from people who have used reading and writing to help them in their journey to self management.

This event will be chaired by Blythe Robertson, self management policy lead at the Scottish Government and Book Week Scotland Partner. Joining Blythe:

·         Eric Sinclair, author of ‘Man Dog Stroke’ which charts Eric’s journey following a stroke (and an enlightening insight into the mind of his whippet, Hamish!)
·         Sheila Peaston and Maria Martin, founders of Pink Ladies 1st a community support group for women in Midlothian, will share their experiences of using reading and writing to inspire positive change
·         Alan Ainsley who blogs about mental health issues, will speak about how writing his blog has been an important part of his self management
·         Successful self management relies on having access to the right information, education, support and services as well as developing strategies and resilience within ourselves. Join us for an inspirational evening looking at how reading and writing can affect your health.

This event will be of interest to people living with one or more long term conditions, carers and anyone else interested in using reading and writing to self manage.

To register for this event, contact Lara Murray at SMNS@alliance-scotland.org.uk or 01414040231 including: the title of the event, your name and any access or dietary requirements. There is no cost to attend this event.

Book Week Scotland 2015 takes place between 23 and 29 November. You can find out more about other events at the Book Week Scotland events page
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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Speaking 6th Annual Health care Support Worker Conference Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust November 27th

with great thanks to  Victoria Smith Placement Development Manager Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust 
for the kind invite to speak at the 6th Annual Health care
Support Worker Conference 

I have had the privilege to speak at the Trust before and in fact Vicky was truly wonderful in introducing  me to delegates and  organizing  the pledge wall on the day 

i am very much looking forward to attending ,meeting everyone  and learning more about the work Vicky and the team do across Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. 

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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Speaking Glasgow University School of Nursing November 16th


With Great thanks to Jane Joy senior Lecturer Glasgow University School of Nursing for the kind invite  back speak to students attending Glasgow University School of Nursing 

last year i was invited to speak at the nurse development day 

A big thank you to all who took time to attend,for the kindness and for the pledges  you can view the pledges from today HERE 

last year I had the great privilege to give two talks at the University one to students and the other at a nurse development dat  ( a wee photo below ) to students and in fact I am working with the University on the letters I receive  

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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Speaking Age UK Annual Conference November 18th #ForLaterLife15


With great thanks to Tom Wright, CBE Group CEO,Hannah Altendorff and all at Age UK for the kind invite to speak at their Annual Conference in London #ForLaterLife15 on November 18th

I am very honored to be invited and look forward to attending,listening,learning and speaking 


you can learn more about the conference at the link HERE and more about AGE UK HERE 

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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Monday, 9 November 2015

Free social media workshops for people who have something to say about mental health

Free social media workshops for people who have something to say about mental health

If you have something to say about mental health and wellbeing, come along to one of our free social media workshops, which start on December 3.
Whether you have lived experience, you're a volunteer or carer or your work is related to mental health, we'd love to have  you along.
At Mind Waves, we meet people every day who have so much to say about mental health and wellbeing. Some people just need a bit of extra help developing the skills and confidence to make it happen online. There's no charge for the workshops, we just want you to use what you learn to spread a positive message about mental health and wellbeing.

You can book at www.mindwavesworkshops.eventbrite.co.uk  or contact us and we'll reserve you a place.

All of the workshops will be held at the Health and Social Care Alliance at 349 Bath Street in Glasgow. Please let us know if there's anything else that you'd like us to cover in our workshops, or if you'd like us to come along and run a session with your service users or volunteers.


Speaking Birmingham The "Grow" Conference for Health Education West Midlands NHS - GP Educators Nov 20th

with great thanks to Dr Sabeena Jameel @sabenaj for the kind invite to speak at the Speaking Birmingham  The "Grow"  Conference for Health Education West Midlands NHS - GP Educators on Nov 20th
I am so very honored to be invited and look forward to attending ,learning,meeting everyone and speaking   

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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Friday Speaking Ardeer Community center Stevenson - North AyrshireHealth and Social Care Partnership


    With great thanks to Anthony Fisher Team Manager  North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership for the kind invite to speak to frontline staff who work across North Ayrshire on November 13th 

        I have had the great privilege to speak for Tony many times before over the years and I am very            
         Honored to be Invited back 



Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Further Support Information Resources - Dementia - Carers

There is an increasing range of help available to support day to day life for those affected by dementia, including assistance with speech and language, nutrition, adaptations and equipment and specialist occupational therapy services. Information about the full range of services available to support people with dementia and their carers in your area can be obtained by contacting your local Social Work Department and /or GP practice.

Under the Scottish Government’s Post Diagnostic Support Guarantee, anyone diagnosed with dementia on or after 1 April 2013 is entitled to receive a minimum of a year’s worth of dedicated post-diagnostic support, coordinated by a named link worker. This support is designed to help the individual and their family adjust to the diagnosis, navigate through the services available and plan for future care. You can find out more by contacting your GP or local Community Mental Health Team.


Alzheimer Scotland’s specialist dementia services provide personalised support designed around each individual, including 1:1 support and day services. Their local Dementia Advisors and 24 hour Dementia Helpline are always there for advice and information. Their branches and community activities, from dementia caf├ęs to football memories, are a great way to meet other people and benefit from mutual support.

24 hour Dementia Helpline: Freephone 0808 808 3000


‘Getting to Know Me’ resource

Getting to know me

If the person you care for is admitted to an acute hospital setting, you can ask a member of staff for a ‘Getting to Know Me’ form. This allows you to record personal information about their likes and dislikes, names of family and friends, and what may be worrying them while they are in hospital.

The information, which will be kept at the bedside, helps staff to build a fuller understanding of your loved one’s life story, preferred routines and specific pieces of information which may be helpful during a hospital stay or attending outpatient services such as what helps them to rest or relax.


The Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers in Scotland sets out the rights of people with dementia and those who support them, aiming to empower them and the community as a whole to ensure these are recognised and respected.


The Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland are designed to inform and empower people with dementia and their families and carers on the level and quality of care they should expect from all dementia services and in all care settings. The standards also tell people what they can do if they think the standard of care to which they are entitled is not being met.

Care inspectorate logo

 Care Inspectorate

Regulates the quality of social work and registered care services. It can investigate complaints against registered care providers.

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY.

Tel: 0845 600 9527 Email: enquiries@careinspectorate.com



Self Directed Support

The Self-directed Support Act aims to provide local authorities with a power to support carers in their caring role. To find out more information, please visit  www.selfdirectedsupportscotland.org.uk 


Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Considers complaints about organisations providing public services in Scotland, normally only once you have been through the complaint procedure of the organisation involved.4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS.

Tel: 0800 377 7330 Email: ask@spso.org.uk



Equal Partners in Care

Equal Partners in Care (EPiC) is a joint project between NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

They aim to support workers from health, social services and other sectors to work in partnership with carers and young carers, and to achieve better outcomes for all involved in the caring relationship.


Healthcare Improvement Scotland

healthcare improvement scotland logo

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is the national healthcare improvement organisation for Scotland and part of NHS Scotland. They work with people who use supports and services, carers, communities, staff who provide care in hospitals, GP practices, clinics, NHS boards and the public.

They promote 5 key “Must Do with Me” areas which aims to ensure that people are at the heart of their health care and support plans.

Health Innovation Network

The Health Innovation Network have put together a Dementia Peer Resource Pack  which brings together evidence based resources to help community groups and funders set up and run peer support groups, as well as guidance on how to make older people groups more dementia friendly. It includes films, case studies, policy and research related to the benefits of peer support, as well as resources on funding, staff training and evaluation of groups. It was developed in England and whilst the policy landscape is different, it is a valuable learning resource.



NHS Health Scotland – dementia publications web links

Coping with dementia: A practical guide for carers 

Date: 10 April 2014

Description: This book contains information and advice for people who care for someone in the middle to late stages of dementia (moderate to severe dementia). It aims to: – help you feel less alone – give you practical advice on coping – help you to find caring more rewarding and less stressful – show you where to go for help and for more information.



Coping with dementia DVD



Understanding dementia: A guide for young people 

Date: 22 August 2012

Description: This booklet is for you if you’re a young person, and someone you’re close to has dementia. Maybe it’s your mother or father, one of your grandparents, another relative or a family friend. This booklet will help you to understand what dementia is, and what’s happening to the person with dementia, cope with the effect the person’s illness has on you, and find help and support if you need it.




Worried About Your Memory?

This resource is designed to help you understand more about memory loss, so if you are worried – either about your own or someone else’s memory – you can seek advice and, if necessary, get treatment.



Living Well With Dementia (previously Facing dementia)

Date: 14 April 2014

Description: A booklet for those who are either worried about dementia or who have been diagnosed. It provides reassurance and suggests practical steps to improve or maintain dignity and the quality of life as far as possible.




Living Well with dementia DVD



Younger people with dementia: living well with your diagnosis

Produced by NHS Health Scotland in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Dementia Working Group, ‘Younger people with dementia: living well with your diagnosis’ DVD is designed for the person who has just been diagnosed with younger onset dementia (dementia under the age of 65) and for the family and friends of the person diagnosed.

The DVD provides insights and information from younger people with dementia and their family carers about their journey to diagnosis and which resources are available to support living well with dementia. The DVD aims to provide information on:

  • helping people in the early stages of diagnosis to understand more about their illness
  • sharing experiences around how to ‘live well’ after a diagnosis of dementia, as well as offering practical advice on coping with its effects
  • suggesting where people with younger onset dementia, their families and carers can go for further support.
  • Younger people with dementia: living well with your diagnosis DVD
  • http://www.healthscotland.com/uploads/documents/22313-Younger%20people%20with%20dementia.pdf



Dementia and Sight Loss

RNIB logo

The Royal National Institute for the Blind together with Alzheimer’s Scotland have produced an information booklet on Sight Loss and Dementia, available here.

They have also produced Top Tip Cards on how to support Older Person with Sensory Loss, available here and here.

For further support, please call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999

A full list of their resources can be accessed at



Monday, 2 November 2015

Working with University west of Scotland Ayr campus - Music,Lyrics andsong ,the story of caring


I am very excited and honored to announce a new project working with David Scott and the inspiring students studying music at the the University West Of Scotland Ayr Capmpus (  Masters degree programme in Songwriting & Performance at University of the West of Scotland. ) to try and tell the story of caring thorough music.lyrics and song 

I am so inspired by the students who will be working on this over the next few months and left our  first meeting with a smile in my heart 

We will be reading the many many letters people have sent me since I started campaigning back in 2011 right through to today with our Dementia Carer Voices project and working with our next generation of song writers to share the stories in music and song 

You can help by sending your words thoughts, story , experience 

What does caring mean to you ? 

You can help by by sharing your 

experiences ,




by email at 


I will post more details soon and keep you in touch with progress and plans 


5 Talks Elgin Council and Moray College #MakeaDifference #Highlands


With great thanks to Linda McMahon Training Facilitator Social Work Training Team
The Moray Council for the kind invite to give 4 talks to 320 staff who work at Moray Council on November 3rd and 11th

I have also been invited to speak to 140  Health & Social Care, Social Sciences students at 
Moray College UHI on November 10th with great thanks to  Toni McIlwraith Assistant Director
Health & Social Care, Social Sciences

Thank you Linda and Toni for the kind opportunity  to bring our 'Make A Difference ' to  The Council and College 


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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Sunday, 1 November 2015

No one ever asked ,Joan Whitelaw , My magnificent mum

No one ever asked

My wee mum was the kindest most caring person you could ever hope to meet, her ability to love and care for others was inspiring.

Her parents both passed away when she was very young and my mum was brought up by her big sister Agnes along with her other sister my Aunt Blondie. My Aunt Agnes had a large family of her own but cared for my mum and perhaps this was the building block of my mum and made her the caring person she went on to become. My mum met my dad one day and there began a  true love story, two people made for each other and that was the start of a new love story, my parents love for their children. My mum like my dad lived for us and many other family members and friends and was always there to help out in any way she could. She worked hard all her life, especially over the last ten years my dad was alive as his health stopped him from working and took him away too soon. My mum would go out to work night shift after putting me to bed off she would go and work in the thread mill and be there in the morning to get us up for school. Fourteen long years mum worked her fingers to the bone to give her family the best. Across her many jobs she was always the hardest most thought of worker and when my wee dad passed away ten years ago my mum’s heart was broken.

I often thought that my mum would die from a broken heart and later as dementia took its cruellest toll I often questioned what was crueller; to die of a broken heart or to no longer remember the reason that your heart was broken? My mum gave so much to so many people, she made the little things better and she went without so others could be happy or succeed and I miss her. 

This is just a brief description of my mum and if you are reading this you now know more about my mum than most of the people we dealt with since diagnosis till she passed away, because no one ever asked .This highlights one of the biggest issues we faced, too often too many people over the last few years saw dementia first and not much more. Too many people even with the best intentions involved in this journey only saw a wee woman with dementia and that’s where we fail people. My mum was much more than that. If we only use dementia as the starting point, then we deny the life we led and can still lead for as long as possible. The starting point should be the person themselves, their life story, abilities, likes and dislikes.

My mum was kind caring, loving and wonderful friend and over the last few years too many people missed this because they never asked, they simply saw dementia and for that reason, missed out on knowing and understanding a remarkable lady who would have given them so much more than they gave her.

My filmed interview with NHS our story Caring for mum acute service training nhsgg@c 

Thursday s peaking - Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals ‘End Of Life Care ‘Conference


With Great thanks to Jules Lewis @JulesLewis6  End of Life Care Facilitator Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for the kind invite to attend and speak at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals ‘End Of Life Care ‘ Conference November 5th 2015

Jules and I are good friends on twitter and I am so very honoured to be invited  other good friends from twitter at the hospital who are involved with the Conference – Nick Holding Quality Improvement Manager @wolvesboy, Elin Roddy Consultant Physician & Clinical lead End of Life Care @elinlowry, Sarah Bloomfield Director of Nursing and Quality @SBloomfieldNHS

I hope you can attend the day and I will leave the last quote to the wonderful Jules

“I believe I have the best job ever, I am in such a privilege role that can influence change to improve end of life care for all end of life people and their families/carer. I work with some amazing people and have a great network of likeminded people on twitter you, Fiona and many more,We have done some great work already. However, still have a long way to go, we don’t always get it right every time and that is the aim!"

Best wishes,
Jules Lewis
End of Life Care Facilitator
Stretton House
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
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
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

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 ...