Welcome to the latest edition of Dementia Carer Voices’ newsletter, where you can stay up to date with what the team has been up to over the last two months and find out about current opportunities and events where you can have your say.
Launch of Pollok Community Pledge
In partnership with Glasgow Clyde College and Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands, Dementia Carer Voices launched a community pledge in Pollok, giving constituents the chance to reach out to their neighbours and help reduce isolation and loneliness.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw is a life-long constituent of Pollok, where he was born and later returned to care for his late mum Joan. From the success of our You Can Make a Difference campaign, the team wanted to extend the invitation to the community to make a pledge to the whole community of Pollok, not just to people living with dementia and their carers, but to their neighbours and wider community.
Chaired by Director Irene Oldfather, the event celebrated pledges made by students at the Glasgow Clyde College, introduced participants to their local link worker, and the community assets currently mapped on ALISS. Read more about the day here.
The team were also asked to talk about the community pledge on the John Beattie show on Radio Scotland.
Journal gives platform to carers of people with dementia
This month a joint article has been published between the ALLIANCE and the University of Glasgow, based on the letters Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw collected from carers across Scotland. These letters have been analysed by Jane Joy and Diane Willis from Glasgow University, with the results of their study now available:
Examining Dementia Caregivers’ Experiences, The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.59-72, November 10, 2016. By Jane Joy, Thomas James Whitelaw, Irene Oldfather and Diane Willis. An ALLIANCE summary of the letters analysis is also available to download for free here: letter-analysis-summary
Speaking about the recent publication, ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather said ‘Advancing the rights of people with dementia, and their carers who sometimes face extraordinary challenges and barriers in communicating their needs and wishes, is a just cause. By harnessing the power of carers’ lived experiences, the You Can Make a Difference campaign speaks to the hearts of people and communities across Scotland, with the simple message that dementia is everyone’s business and that you have the power to transform the experiences of people affected by the condition.”
Honorary Master for health, social care, and policy influence
Our Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw was awarded an Honorary Degree, Master of the University for Health, Social Care, Education and Policy making influence
Speaking about the award, Tommy said ‘I am so very honoured and grateful to the Open University for the great honour to have been awarded an Honorary Degree for my work across the UK on dementia and caring. With great thanks to Peter Horrocks CBE (Vice chancellor), Joyce Cavaye and all at the Open University.’
Read more about the ceremony here.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw was invited to take part in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 4: Four Thought programme.
“If we really are going to make a difference to each other we have to change the conversation from ‘what’s the matter with you’ to ‘what matters to you'”.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw
The programme was recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House, presented by Mike Williams and produced by Sheila Cook. Listen to a repeat of the programme here.
Alzheimer’s Outlook 2016 Prospective Focus Group December 2016
The Fondation Médéric Alzheimer initiated in 2007 a strategic reflection on how the future context of dementia may unfold in the next decades, in collaboration with international experts. This challenging endeavour implies engaging with uncertainty within limits of scientific plausibility. This prospective reflection is called the Alzheimer’s Outlook.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw will travel to Paris to lead one of the seminars entitled: The perspective of individuals and families facing chronic diseases – practical issues (work, finances, cultural attitudes). Read more about the Alzheimer’s Outlook 2016 Prospective focus group here.
New Year Resolution for ALISS
On the 06 January 2017 the ALISS service is introducing some exciting new changes. From this date, account holders will notice a difference as to how you access the ALISS service and the majority of features will be moved to the new website. This means that the current website will no longer support features such as signing up for a new account, logging in to a current account, adding a new resource, or changing an existing resource. These features will all be available on the new beta website. Read more about the changes in this blog post.