Who is Caroline?
She is a carer of mum who has advanced Alzheimers and dad who has vascular dementia, both living in a local care home on different floors.
- 33 years experience in social care services, managing and developing staff teams in learning disability services
- Member of NDCAN (National Dementia Carers Action Network) as part of Alzheimer Scotland
- Member of Council with Alzheimer Scotland
- Lay Assessor (recent) with Care Inspectorate
- Passionate Advocate of and for people who have dementia and Alzheimers
- Carer for my parents
- Participator in 2 Alzheimer Scotland/NHS training/awareness raising DVD’s
- Writing a book about my personal experiences including poetry about Alzheimers and dementia
- Developed a short dvd, self funded with my mum, called “Mother Tongue, learning to speak Kitty language”
(This can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/39777315 )
- All of the above done voluntary
- Married and mum of 2 teenagers, employed full time with a voluntary organisation as a trainer and facilitator in person centred planning which included working in a care home setting with people who have a diagnosis of dementia.
Her Campaign … to illustrate:
- The importance of finding a balance, supporting staff and carers and the positive aspects of connecting deeply with people who have Alzheimers and dementia.
- The joy to be found in such whilst aware of the stresses that caring can bring.
- To support ways of people connecting with their communities making natural connections v paid support, in a meaningful way.
- Keeping yourself strong to continue to be able to care.
- Sometimes it just isn’t rocket science, let’s talk to and learn from each other.
- Finding ways of ensuring our older generation get the absolute best of everything.
Her personal observations and recommendations
- That coming to terms with this illness, observing a loved one change over time can be one of the most horrific, isolating experiences ever, however if we learn from each other, we can absolutely find the positives.
- There are some care home staff who are excellent-find ways of catching them doing something good and let them know, practice improves further when people who often receive minimal wages, are acknowledged.
- If we can make practice good by changing small things, why wouldn’t we?
I have recorded my own personal account of what helps me as a carer to get through the day when visiting my parents and also had a facilitated session to have my parents needs recorded graphically in easy to read format which captures the essence of them as people, not as a label of someone who has an illness.
- We also need to ensure that our government is kept aware of impact on society and carers. We face massive challenges, let’s get it right working together in positive, meaningful ways.
Click firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Caroline if you would like to comment on any issues or join Caroline in her campaign …