Perspective v reality – why ‘Talking and Listening’ is key

I was recently asked to speak at the British Science Festival with my friends from Bradford University. After our session we sat and listened to another fascinating talk by Professor Jan Oyebode & Dr Ritchie. The title of the session was ‘Building bridges between care & cure research in dementia.

Here we had a scientist talking of molecular formulas


And beside him, Professor Jan, the social researcher.
They showed the need for a more holistic approach to research. But the slides that had most impact on me centred around Prof Jan’s translation of the scientists formula into social reasons.
She spoke of 2 people – Bob Jones and Mrs Flynn
Each were described by carers and loved ones as below:

Perspective of those around
Perspective of those around
Perspective of those around her
Perspective of those around her

Professor Jan, then showed the true meaning and reasons for their behaviour once you understand it from the persons perspective.

The true reasons
The true reasons


It simply and powerfully showed that if only carers and loved ones would try to understand the reasons for what they see as  ‘challenging behaviour’, then solutions could be found to make everyones life a happier life and therefore benefitting both parties.

‘Listening is key’ and understanding the fuller picture. That’s why ‘Life Stories’ are so important in hospitals and residential care. If you understand the history, it makes sense of current behaviour and practical solutions can be found.

It’s really not rocket science…….


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.

4 thoughts on “Perspective v reality – why ‘Talking and Listening’ is key

  1. This simple explanation is brilliant and makes sense of what is going on for the carer and staff, put in a simple way like this it makes you understand completely the so called unreasonable/difficult behaviour. As you so rightly put it, it is NOT rocket science.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Wendy,

    I follow your blog with interest as Head of Research & Development at Humber NHS Foundation Trust, manager of a team of dementia care researchers, promoter of JDR and someone who cares about improving life for people with dementia and their families. I have also been working with Prof Esme Moniz-Cook, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and lead for the Centre of Dementia Research and Practice (Hull & East Riding of Yorkshire), on a NIHR research programme known as Challenge Demcare. As part of this we have been developing interventions to encourage carers to respond in an empathic way in relation to behaviours they might perceive as challenging. We are holding a dissemination event at The Deep in Hull on Fri 4th Dec and wondered if you might be free and willing to do a 10 min talk (around 10.30am) in relation to issues you were discussing in your blog on 24th Sep. We would also be inviting Prof Jan Oyebode to the event, whom you mentioned in your blog. Warren Branton, your JDR colleague from our area, will also be amongst those invited. The night before we may also be holding some sort of celebratory event and would be very happy to arrange for you (plus a friend/family member) to stay overnight in a nearby hotel.

    I appreciate that you are asked to give many talks and so I completely understand if you are too overwhelmed/booked up. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Many thanks,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Cathryn
      Normally I would jump at the chance but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day which is a real shame. However, please keep in touch as I’m hoping to move into East Yorkshire soon so you’ll be my local people!xx


      1. Hi Wendy,
        Thank you anyway and I’m sure I’ll be in touch in the future. Fingers crossed your move to East Yorkshire goes smoothly and relatively stress free. I live in North Yorkshire but work in East Yorkshire, so very fond of both.
        Best wishes,


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.