Well, I’m just over the hill into the second part of mad March and yesterday saw me back in London at the Alzheimers society for a review of the ‘I Statements’ on dementia.
During the past year, groups across England, Wales & Northern Ireland, as well as individuals have been submitting their views on the ‘I’ Statements. Members of the National Dementia Action Alliance have been supporting groups within their own organisations.
A group of people living with dementia had been invited by Matt Murray to attend the meeting today ahead to influence a final decision around the wording.
It was a silly o’clock start with the first train of the day at 6am but amazingly it was starting to get light – spring really is upon us….and the clocks go forward next weekend😊🐞🌸🌺
I could have gone up last night but I was so exhausted after last week that I needed a couple of days chilling at home. So the morning started off very drab and rainy, but the fact that it was getting light meant I could see out of the window from the start, so I was a happy bunny…..The sky across the Humber was doing it’s best to look cheerful as we trundled by……
And the sun did it’s best to appear as we left Selby
I must have been feeling under the weather as I didn’t fancy a cuppa tea even when I saw the man opposite with one😳😱
I can’t remember a scooby doo about the current statements as they stand – but I know I’ve been involved in discussions around them and didn’t like the current ones🙄
I remember preferring a more rights based approach as we should be able to ‘expect’ certain treatment by society.
For me, the important things to achieve, is for the language to be right, the statements to be achievable, and for no one to feel excluded.
We’d all been sent homework ahead of the meeting and given one theme to concentrate our thoughts on – mine being Dependence/Interdependence/Independence.. One theme was good as any more would have been too overwhelming as there was lots to read.
So I got there to find the group a mixed bag of people with dementia and supporters. The lovely Jean Tottie from TIDE, the carers network, greeted me with a cuppa and Jayne and Chris, Sheilagh and Joy were also there, soon joined by others including George Rook, who writes a wonderful blog, and is from Shropshire.
Martina Kane, Senior Policy Officer at the Society led the meeting.
The ‘I’ statements are used by the Department of Health, DAA and Alzheimer society along with other organisations, to understand what we’d like them to achieve and how e’d like to be treated. It’s been several years since they were put together and the tone, language and format needed a major overhaul.
From all the external meetings there came out the 6 themes we were discussing today:
Care, Carers, Research, Dependence/Independence/Interdependence, Community/Isolation and Identity.
I couldn’t actually remember what the old ones were so they couldn’t have been very memorable or in daily use. So today was an opportunity to bring them up to date and actually get people to use them. No pint in them existing if we don’t use them.
We were clear from the start that we wanted to think about ‘We’ statements. This then encompasses everyone, people with dementia, Supporters, family and friends. After all, when we get a diagnosis, everyone connected to us is affected. We then had a long discussion on implementation otherwise it makes today a tick exercise.
We all agreed we needed simplicity and short statements, otherwise people wouldn’t read them.. However organisation could manipulate anything that’s too short, so we have a very difficult task……………
We went through each theme – collected our thoughts on a flip chart and then at the end of each them tried to put it into one ‘I’ statement.
Jayne Roberts said the biggest thing that came out was that one person couldn’t manage without the other – husband without wife, parent without child, partner without partner and all other possible combinations….. that’s why we insisted on them all being ‘We’ replacing the ‘I’……..
We were beginning to flag so thankfully it was lunch and there was lots of chatter and catching up with everyone, especially George Rook, who I hadn’t seen for ages.
After lunch we went onto the final 3 themes…..
We finished by going round them all again………well I couldn’t remember what we’d said the first time round😂
Much discussion and valuable thought from everyone. We had our statements to take to the big meeting at the beginning of April. It’s so nice to agree to disagree. We were never going to agree on everything:)
Beautiful sky on the way home………