After Sterling, it was the turn of Durham……

I had an amazing time at Sterling, but all good things must come to an end otherwise they wouldn’t be special. And so it was on Thursday morning I awoke to a very different Stirling outside my window. It seemed to be feeling sad like me at leaving with no sunshine, just an eerie white glow of frosty silence

The taxi arrived to pick me up at 10 for the station. We chatted away and the driver admitted how he failed to look at the snow capped mountains anymore as they were normal and he’d seen them all his life. Strange how we rarely appreciate the beauty around us when it’s been there all our lives.

The train to Edinburgh was on time as was the train to my next overnight stop – Durham.
Once more we passed the amazing scenery of the east coast and the sun shone a welcoming light once more

I was in Durham for a Research Project I’m part of – The Co-Designing Dementia in Durham Advisory Board – but this wasn’t until Friday. They’re looking at how they can improve services in the Durham area.
Rowena, an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support worker in Durham, had seen I would be staying there and asked if she could meet me to discuss some work she’s doing with Social Work Students – it was the word ‘students’ that did it………..

The staff couldn’t have been more helpful at the hotel and gave me a map to walk the short way to the Cathedral and Castle – what they didn’t say is how steep a hill it was😂🤣😂……anyway managed to get a piccie…..first of the Cathedral and then the Castle next door……

Got back to the hotel and once I’d had a cuppa it was time to meet Rowena. In this area they have 4 support workers and 5 dementia advisors and now have 18 people in their office in Chester le street – in 3 years they’ve gone from 3 to 18 – she was very passionate and her eyes sparkled when she spoke about her work….She’d made contact with me because at a dementia friendly meeting Anne White (I’m sure that’s a Twitter friend 🤔) suggested I might like to talk to social work students doing a masters at Durham Uni ….and they’ve also got contacts in Sunderland Uni, and Northumbria Uni ……….her 3 young children are all dementia friends. She mentioned another playmate from social media, Gill Taylor who will also be helping her….👍

She worked with a couple where the husband living with dementia had trouble speaking, and the wife was getting very frustrated and annoyed with him. Rowena made him some cards with pictures on that he could show his wife – so when he wants a cuppa tea he shows her a piccie of a cuppa tea – result….and now the atmosphere in their house is far calmer and happier – simple yet effective solutions coming to the rescue again.

Anyway, just time for a selfie before she left with me promising to contact her when I’m back home in front of my calendar…some wonderful work appears to be happening in Durham….

Looking forward to the final meeting today before I can trundle home. I did get in a pickle with an usual shower door…it didn’t open out or in or slide….panicked cos I couldn’t get out and then banged the side of my head when it opened unexpectedly, so just warning my girls that I may have a black eye when you see me….. 🙄. I know perfectly well not to panic but I did🙈. ….

It’s been an amazing week but soooo looking forward to being home tonight………🏡

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.

10 thoughts on “After Sterling, it was the turn of Durham……

  1. Hello Wendy
    You seemed to have enjoyed Durham. I live just a few miles away and love every thing about it. Although I must admit I feel very isolated since FTD and not heard about the people you met in my area. Enjoy your rest. Love your posts. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Wendy. Just a foggy morning for me. Not sure , I have a nurse who visits about 6 monthly
        But the DH8 area of Durham seems not to have much. May be I am missing information . Looking forward to your next post. X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Careful with the head-banging Wendy! As, like you, an ex-primary school teacher, I never could get to grips with the notion that it might be appropriate to ‘knock the sense’ into (or out of) pupils!
    Gladly I found,as you did I’m sure, there were much better ways of engaging youngsters to get to know themselves and their attributes!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I sense that many of the travel supports- personal and apps, that are useful to people who are blind or visually impaired might be useful to those with any of the dementias. As an ex optometrist and retired rehab worker for Vi people how or who should i seek to share this? I’m not that savvy at using them myself (except the people based ones) but as we say I know a man who does. x (m)E

        Liked by 1 person

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