A Trundle to Bradford……

Yesterday I trundled to my favourite university, Bradford. They have a wonderful set of lecturers and students along with a great culture of inclusivity.

Clare Mason had emailed me asking if I would be prepared to make a short video, along with others from their group of experts living with dementia and supporters.

They have been doing some work for Health Education England and want to create a set of videos to be embedded in their online training sessions. This would help make the training real with the lived experienced included and have a greater impact.

I’ve often said that academic ‘Experts’ in their field understand the theory and the science behind dementia but lack the reality knowledge. This in turn, when delivering training, misses out the vital component of lived experience. So Bradford aim to fill that gap, giving their online students a more rounded education.👍
My part in this was to provide my thoughts around working, paying mortgages/bills, and experience of starting aricept and managing medication.

The morning started off very misty murky but at least the trains were on time, which is a bonus lately. Autumn is clearly upon us….

Anyway, I got to Bradford and ambled up the hill to the Uni passing by the square which had been decorated. All the trees had poppies hanging amongst their branches….❤️

Claire met me outside as there was a picket line in full force with drums and music screaming out…….it didn’t bode well for recording….we went and said hello to the team in the dementia studies office and Georgia made me a cuppa tea before we headed off for the recording. Others had done the same the day before and that morning but the noise was affecting the recordings. But we were keen to give it a go and just see what happened…..

Clare asked me questions about employment and the impact a diagnosis had on me and my girls.. I certainly didn’t want to retire straight away as I wasn’t ready. I still had a lot to give. But eventually I had to. I was trapped in a catch 22 situation. I had a mortgage so couldn’t afford to reduce my hours or take a less stressful job as I wouldn’t have been able to afford my mortgage. Instead I had to retire in the end and use my pension to pay off my mortgage and move to a cheaper area so I could afford to buy a house……..I realise I was very lucky to be able to do this. Others might not be as fortunate☹️

I’m also lucky – being a glass half full person – as I could have wallowed in having to leave my forever home in York, but instead, saw moving to my village as a new adventure.

Personality plays a huge part in dealing with a diagnosis.

Loads of other questions were asked, including medication issues for the pharmacy module. However the recording didn’t go to plan and took a lot longer, due to various ‘noises’……..

The pickets blew whistles, banged drums and played music, which we could hear in our room in the distance. Then a digger decided to make regular visits to the flower beds outside 😳. To top it all people kept passing by the usually quiet area on their phones and chatting loudly.
The funniest had to be someone bursting into song somewhere……..🙈

Hey ho…….it was very good and the videos, once sorted, will enhance the learning perfectly.

We’re all individuals with individual personalities so healthcare professionals need to take the time to get to know each person and treat us appropriately, be it with positivity, empathy or direction………

I was due to arrive home in daylight but, once again, the trains let me down. I have to catch 3 trains and the one from Leeds decided to run late, meaning that I missed my connection in Hull🤦‍♀️…….

But at least the Humber looked wonderful in the sunlight….

If I’d have waited for the next train I would have missed the last village bus, so instead, decided to go the scenic route on the bus which, even though it takes forever, drops me off at the end of my road……..so at least I got back to familiar territory in the dark…….🙄

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.

8 thoughts on “A Trundle to Bradford……

  1. Glad your trip was productive, Wendy. Your first-hand account of coming to terms with dementia will carry so much weight and be invaluable for those see it. Photos, as always, a bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Two things
    First, Like Alice has just been on in Plymouth and the Cornwall Guardian of 31 Oct included an article by Sharon Small. I hope there was a good audience. We live too far away.
    Second, I am following a Future learning course on Dementia and the Arts. Not sure if too late to enrol now but is free and accessible at home. Much of it is about being in the moment and also the fabulous creativity that people with dementia can show. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/dementia-arts

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy, I have just finished listening to your book on Audible. What an inspiration you are. I am a ex-nurse the same age as you who used to work with elderly patients and fought with doctors who thought our geriatric ward a “dumping ground”. I had 3 grandparents who had dementia. Now my friends and I joke with each other about our own memory loss but it is something I constantly worry about. Your book has given me hope that if I were to develop dementia, there are so many positive things to be done to make life better. I thought the book was fiction at first and was so pleased to find a true story and even better, a real person living with dementia was behind it.
    Many thanks Wendy and much love and best wishes for your future. Lynne x

    Liked by 1 person

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