Dementia Friends Roadshow!

Helen Gilbert – Head Of Patient Services at Leeds Teaching Hospital, has just become a dementia champion. It is the same Helen that I mentioned on a previous blog – the Apple guru – who guided me through the maze of the iPad technology.

She is now about to embark on training all her managers on Dementia Awareness with the added twist of me giving the opportunity to deliver a speech at the end.  The training will not only be from the perspective of the patient but now from the employees perspective as well. Helen use to be my manager in our previous world, and has been wonderfully supportive since hearing of my diagnosis and is now doing everything she can to raise awareness.

Her decision to attend a Dementia Friends training session and becoming a Dementia Friend Champion was purely coincidental, as she was already aware of the need for training with regards to patients and only took on the stance from an employee perspective when she heard about me. At last, someone doing something positive and practical. As I’ve said before, I work for the NHS, in one of the largest Trusts in the country, employing 15,000 people. Statistics say that I can’t possibly be the only employee affected in some way by dementia.

The powers that be will only get brownie points from me if they put something into action, talking about it doesn’t count.

Well, Helen can have a bucket full of brownie points. She held her  first brilliant dementia awareness session  yesterday. About 30 managers attended. I also attended in my capacity as a team leader and interacted with the other managers during the session. At the end, Helen read out my ‘Memory Poem’ and then introduced me as its author. I stood up and announced that although I was use to standing in front of an audience of Ward Managers and Matrons as an expert in eRostering and staffing, I was standing in front of them today as an expert in Alzheimer’s. I went on to explain, as Helen had said, that dementia isn’t age related and isn’t just patient related. Our hope is that this was powerful enough to steer their thoughts around ‘awareness’ in general for staff and patients alike and acknowledging all age groups may be affected. I hope they went back to their areas with renewed vision. More talks organised for the New Year!

I’m sure they got lots out of the session – if you haven’t already become a dementia friend please sign up today – it’s so simple – web address below.


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

3 thoughts on “Dementia Friends Roadshow!

  1. Just registered as a dementia friend Wendy – should have done it long before now. Thanks for giving me the reminder that made me DO it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.