Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Dementia Carer Voices August Newsletter is now available

Make a Difference talks across Universities and Colleges – the class of 2017
As many people take their first steps into nursing and many other areas of health and social care, Dementia Carer Voices are proud to continue our relationships with universities and colleges across Scotland. We are looking forward to meeting with the classes of 2017 as they start their journey into the wonderful profession of caring for people. As a continuation of the last 4 years, Dementia Carer Voices will be taking our ‘Make a Difference seminars’ to all Scottish universities offering courses to 1st year students in health and social care over the course of September, October and November.
Please see dates on our blog for when we will be at which university. We have many more dates to add please follow this post for updates on our tour across universities and colleges across Scotland as we meet the #classof2017
You can also view the inspiring pledges from our previous visits at the link here

Dementia Carer Voices visits Cooriedoon care home in Arran
On Friday 11th August Dementia Carer Voices UK Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw visited Cooriedoon care home on Arran.
Tommy was joined by ALLIANCE colleagues Rhona Millar, Events, Communication and Academy Co-ordinator, who spoke about the ALLIANCE and Health and Social Care Academy and Gregory Hill-O’Connor, Our Voice Development Co-ordinator, who spoke about Our Voice. They also heard from Andy Lowndes, ‘The Music Detective’ and Deputy Chair, who addressed the audience about the charity, Playlist for Life.
It was a great afternoon of conversations and information sharing with talks, questions and getting to know each other.

Dementia Carer Voices film with NHS 24
As part of our ongoing partnership work with the CNO Scotland, Fiona McQueen, Dementia Carer Voices have been interviewed for a short film with NHS 24.
The short film is in two parts, in the first instance our UK Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, shared a personal experience looking back at when he was caring for his late mum, Joan. This film was shown last week to the board and staff at an NHS 24 board meeting and shared on the NHS 24 Facebook page.
You can view the interview here.

ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather’s article in The Scotsman
ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, wrote a comment piece in the Scotsman arguing that we owe it to people with dementia in Scotland to work together to get on and do it. She argued that while there has been considerable progress in care provision and policy around dementia there is still more to do.
Read Irene’s full article here.

Dementia Carer Voices responds to the National Dementia Strategy
The third National Dementia Strategy was published on 28 June 2017, coinciding with a range of activity in the Scottish Parliament related to the ALLIANCE’s Dementia Carer Voices programme, including a Member’s Debate on dementia in the name of James Kelly MSP, a parliamentary reception and the launch of our latest report – Dementia Carer Voices – Rights and the Carer Voice.
Dementia Carer Voices was represented on the National Strategy Group and welcomes the publication of the strategy.  Below we have detailed a number of our initial views on the strategy.
You can read about our exhibition in parliament in last month’s newsletter, as well as reading the full response here.

‘Dementia prevention, intervention, and care’ – New Dementia Research
ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, responded to the latest research on dementia in the Lancet on our blog. You can read the full response here.

‘It’s about unleashing, not controlling’
In June the Health and Social Care Academy hosted ‘Emphasising Humanity over Bureaucracy in Social Care‘; an event that explored what emphasising humanity looks like in practice, not just for those receiving care but for those providing it.
William Kløverød Griffiths, Policy and Information Intern, Dementia Carer Voices spoke at the event about the work of Dementia Carer Project and the emerging themes from the pledges that have been gathered.
In this blog William writes about the You Can Make a Difference campaign and the importance of celebrating the kindness of people living with dementia, their families and carers. It was great to see it picked up by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) based in the US.

Dementia Carer Voices presentations over the summer
Over the summer UK Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw has been giving a number of presentations. You can see detailed reports on these presentations on our blog.

Upcoming ‘You Can Make a Difference’ presentations
In addition to the talks to first year students in Scotland’s universities and colleges our UK Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw will be giving the following talks:
  • 25.08.17 – Educational Seminar Loretto Care – Training and SVQ Teams in Glasgow
  • 30.08.17 – 2 Educational Seminar`s at Stornoway Hospital
  • 31.08.17 – 3 Educational Seminar`s at Jarvis Court Care Home
To get more information about any of these talks please see our upcoming talks page on our blog, or email us at

Get in touch with Dementia Carer Voices with your story
Dementia Carer Voices would love to hear from you with your story. If you are a health and social care professional or student, an unpaid carer or a person living with dementia, please do contact us with your story.
There are many ways to connect with Dementia Carer Voices. We have launched our Facebook page, we can be reached on Twitteror through email at Do get in touch with any questions about our upcoming talks or events, if you want to share a blog with us or just to say hi.

New research on caring my Carers UK and Jo Cox Loneliness
Carers UK and the Jo Cox Loneliness commission recently published a report on loneliness among carers in the UK. They argue that it is time to start a conversation about caring, as their research shows more action is needed to support unpaid carers who feel isolated and lonely. Greater understanding from friends, colleagues, and the public, as well as more opportunities for breaks and social activities, are all needed to combat a ‘silent epidemic’ of loneliness affecting those providing support to ill, older or disabled loved ones.
Some of the key findings included
  • More than 8 in 10 (81%) surveyed unpaid carers described themselves as “lonely or socially isolated” due to their caring responsibilities,
  • That current carers who have not felt lonely were less likely to suffer mental (42%) and physical (35%) ill-health compared to those who did.
  • Carers who had felt lonely or isolated were almost twice as likely to report worsened mental (77%) and physical (67%) health.
You can read their press release here and their report here.

National Dementia Carers Day – 10th September
10th September is National Dementia Carers Day, which was founded by @alzheimerssoc @dementiaukand @sweettreeHCS to recognise the efforts of informal carers of people with dementia. #NDCD17

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

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