I love talking to students or those already working as health professionals as they are the ones that can change attitudes in the care sector.
This was the last lecture in a series of 9 and they were on count down to the end of their course, so we knew it was going to be a challenge to gain an interest. Helen Roberts is their lecturer and me and my daughter Sarah had met with her a while back to discuss the content.
We decided that the Channel 4 interview with me and then Julianne Moore might do the trick. Sooo, plan in action. I was going to talk a bit about my history to begin with which would lead nicely into the interview, followed by a discussion. Sarah was there as a student nurse to give her perspective from a professional and personal level. She was there as my daughter, student nurse and not as my carer! I’d been warned they were a ‘quiet’ group. In all my years in the NHS I’ve never met a ‘quiet’ nurse, so I was interested to see this strange phenomena!
As soon as I started with the personal aspects , you could see their minds wake up. After all, here was a real person with dementia talking…….. the time went from quiet politeness to animated discussions and questions. You could feel their bodies adjusting and suddenly taking note of what we were saying. Pens suddenly started to meet paper as notes were being taken – maybe it wasn’t going to be the nondescript talk they had imagined. The film brought much discussion and comments and questions were forthcoming and the group seemed to relax and became happy to listen – maybe it was the minutes counting down to the end of their course – hopefully not:) It was nice to see the transition into actual interest and enthusiasm.
As always, I promoted Join Dementia Research and talked about the importance of research for future generations. Young people are the future generation of those living with dementia so it is in their interest to change attitudes and perceptions and to advocate the need for more research.
It’s so rewarding to talk to people who can actually then go to work and make a difference. I think they all took something away with them and I gave them food for thought.
Helen Roberts is a wonderful advocate of changing perceptions and attitudes and it was a pleasure to talk to her group.