Hearing Voices

I’ve been hearing voices for the last 20 years or so. Little niggles that made me deeply uncomfortable about how some dementia services operated; about why people practised in certain ways; and about why people with dementia were treated (or not!) in certain ways. I can’t be the only one who has heard some of […]

Measure me

“When you look at me You will measure me by my awareness by my response by my age by my development And you will find me lacking But for me you are measuring with the wrong cup.”   This beautiful poem was sent to me by a dear friend following the death of my father in […]

Ordinary people leading ordinary lives talking about ordinary things

I grew up in an ordinary town in the foothills of the West Pennines, amongst ordinary people leading ordinary lives. Or in an extraordinary town full of extraordinary people living extraordinary lives. A recent fascination for me is the story of Worktown – a mass observation study of the neighbouring town of Bolton in the […]

Gobbledygook

Last month I accompanied Stewart, a member of York Minds and Voices, at the request of the local NHS clinical networks (I think) at a day’s event. This was designed to give local CCGs and relevant stakeholders in dementia care – mostly Health – a gentle kick up the backside to increase the diagnosis rates […]

“We’re on a journey. We don’t know where we’re going, but we’re going together”

This week we have announced 11 ‘Dementia Enquirers’ grants, awarded to groups in the DEEP network. The successful projects aim to find out about: the benefits of Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) how to create dementia-responsive video content about using Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) the essential requirements for a multi-cultural meeting centre whether class and ethnicity have an […]

How can we really make the Blue Badge work for people with dementia?

At last! People ‘who experience non-physical (‘hidden’) disabilities that result in very considerable difficulty whilst walking should be considered eligible to receive a Blue Badge’.  So… those with so-called ‘invisible disabilities’ – including dementia – can, from 30 August 2019, apply for a Blue Badge parking permit, which allows their car (whether they are drivers […]

“I want to speak please”

Five small words that provide a platform to share, inform, connect and influence. Words might not be forthcoming, but the intention and the desire to be heard is (literally) made plain to see. Some of the first people with dementia I worked with in 2001 stated simply: “Listen to us. Hear us. We are here.” […]

Life changing, not life ending: reframing the narrative on dementia and social care

Our work at Innovations in Dementia[1] supports people with dementia to keep control of their lives, and be happy. People with dementia are at the heart and start of all our work. Working alongside them, we promote a positive, though realistic, view of dementia, demonstrating that, although it is life changing, it does not have […]

Comfortable

I’ve just been reading some excellent material by Swarbrick et al (1) and Morbey et al (2). It covers work that has been going on to ensure meaningful involvement and inclusion of people with dementia as co-researchers rather than as subjects of research. There is a powerful recognition of the need for a move away […]