Another punishing but wonderful day in London….

So after Tuesdays exhausting, but amazing day in London, I decided that I would be better off not doing any thinking yesterday……..as believe it or not……I was back on the silly o’clock train back down to London, but this time on my own….🙈……I can feel my daughters eyes rolling at this point…..

Me thinks the Tuesday media stuff must have been snuck in at the last minute as even I wouldn’t have given me to early starts to London in a row….🙄…. And I couldn’t cancel yesterday as I’d promised ages ago…..

Anyway the best way to cope with this was simply not to think; I needed to hope that the paperwork out on the side had everything I needed….; I needed to ignore the protests of my body at 04.50 when the alarm went off and just get up without thinking and hope that my ‘automatic brain’ would get me ready for the taxi.

It was a shock to the system to find a thick frost covering the world. The taxi man said his car told him it was minus 5 outside 😳😱 and the roads were icy😳……have I been transported back to winter😳?

I slipped my hand into my pocket and found I must have put in one of my magic tea bag hotties, so ripped it open and felt the comforting warmth beginning to appear…….I must have known at some point it was going to be cold 😳

I was heading for Ealing in London to a Dementia Concern Away Day for staff, trustees and volunteers. I’d been asked to speak at this ages ago by Albie Stadtmiller, CEO of Dementia Concern.

It was the most glorious morning, white roof tops and misty haze and the most wonderful sunrise…..

Luckily for me I had my words to read and I was only staying until lunchtime so I’d manage to get the last village bus home at tea time……it would still be a long day if you count the travelling…

Ealing is the 3rd most diverse borough in the UK, it has a big gap between rich and poor, there are large historical populations of Polish, Traveller and Asian populations. Since 1982 Dementia Concern have been providing information and support services for people with dementia and their carers in the London Borough of Ealing. They believe there are around 3000 people living with dementia in the borough yet, as is common nearly everywhere, only reach a small proportion of these. They are trying very hard to find ways to reach those who may not know of their existence, or who simply don’t know how to get help.

It was a long taxi ride but thank goodness I did as I would never have found my way. I arrived to find it under way with the speakers – ‘Volunteer Link’ –  just starting.

It was in the church centre which was a beautiful room.

They were talking about working with volunteers and we heard from someone about what people get out of volunteering. She spoke of the differences between paid staff and volunteers. Theyr’e not contracted to turn up but often do so out of goodwill and desire. All in the audience were paid workers.

Volunteers need to be treated better than paid staff as they have no monetary gain, so need to be rewarded in other ways. Someone said:

They come to give but get so much back from their involvement’

Wonderful…….they often bring diversity that staff don’t. In this organisation  most volunteers are in their 30’s, which I would never have imagined. The speaker said how retired people often had buckets lists, were working to an older age, and grandchild responsibilities.

Don’t look upon volunteers as a ‘free resource’ – they should never been out of pocket – wonderful to hear 😍 (mmmmm, must ask for my taxi fare 🙄)and expectations should be abundantly clear. Albie paid me in cash for my train fare and village taxi, which was wonderful.

I’ve never sat through a talk around volunteers and it was so interested to hear the pros and cons. Fascinating.

After a much needed cuppa, it was my turn. Think I spoke for about 35 mins maybe, ending with:

:Remember Dementia might be terminal but then so is life so why not make the most of each day and take every opportunity that comes your way. I always think if today is a bad day, then tomorrow may be better.”

I ended by reading a short piece from my book. I could see many light bulb moments on faces and notes being hastily written. They were very kind in giving me a standing ovation before I answered questions. Obviously I wasn’t typing so can’t remember what they asked but it was nice to see so many hands raised. I’d taken my small wheelie case full of books and they were sold in a couple of minutes which was so wonderful and meant I went back with an empty case! Bizarrely some people think I don’t pay for my books and simply make a profit 🤣, but I buy them like everyone else and then ask whatever I paid for them. I always sell them cheaper to students and people affected by dementia and sometimes even make a loss because of this, but hey ho, it means people actually get a chance to read my book.

Someone took the money while I chatted to people and had piccies taken including this one….

They were on the local telly last night as they are up for the peoples projects run by the National Lottery.. Have a read on the first link about what they do, and If you fancy voting for them, you can do so on the second:

http://www.dementiaconcern.co.uk/

https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/projects/view/ealing-dementia-café

After many people coming over to chat about anything and everything it was time for me to go and for them to have their lunch. Someone kindly gave me a lift back to the tube station and I was heading back home thankfully.

I know I’ve said this many times before, but I really would prefer to die from exhaustion than dementia, and  what a way to go……….

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.

11 thoughts on “Another punishing but wonderful day in London….

  1. It’s great to learn about Dementia Concerns, and the diverse area they serve. The idea of Dementia Cafes is very interesting. Hope they win! Thanks for all the info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Wendy. Your positive physical and verbal energy combine beautifully in encouraging me and, I suggest, your wider ‘audience’ to enjoy the sunshine in our days!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great to read of all your gad abouts Wendy and listen to you and Gemma talking to Kay Burley this week but do embrace your quiet times and ‘occasional’ days off. I am in the throws of moving from Kent to Cumbria in the next few weeks but once we’re settled I would like to get involved in some way…volunteering somehow somewhere. My dad died from Alzheimers in 2005 aged 78 and I read your book a few weeks ago. Wished I’d read something similar when he was around. Hope you have a nice relaxing weekend. Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great to read about all your gadding about this week Wendy and lovely to hear Gemma and yourself talking with Kay Burley on the radio. You must be exhausted. I am in the throws of moving from Kent to Cumbria within the next few weeks but once I am settled I would like to hopefully volunteer somehow somewhere. My dear dad died in 2005 after living with Alzheimers for around 10 years. He was 78. I read your book a few weeks ago…couldnt put it down. I wish I had read something similar all those years ago when he was alive. You are one amazing lady. I wish you a very peaceful weekend xx

    Liked by 1 person

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