Last week was Dementia Care Matters 20th anniversary conference. Gill and I were invited to give a keynote and I know it sounds cheesey, but it really was an honour. Not just that, it resulted in a significant change to my personal mission in relation to care homes. Before I say more about this, a confession. Gill is one of David’s biggest fans, and whilst I absolutely saw David as a kindred spirit in his values, and admired him, I felt in a bit of competition too. Now, I am most definitely moving from any sense of competition to collaboration. This is what has changed my views – four areas that matter and what this means to me.
There are some conversations that change everything. The 3 minute conversation I had with David Behan when he was the Department of Health’s director general of social care, was one of those.
Jennie launched her community enterprise on Sunday, with help from her family, her team and her Community Circle. Jennie has a personal budget, a mortgage, and her own team. She does not use words to speak and has autism. How can we make there story one of many?
I am part of May’s Community Circle, and the purpose of her circle is to get her singing again. This year we did our first performance together, singing with the choir as they performed at Bruce Lodge, where May lives.
I wanted to share the story of how this happened, through a person-centred thinking tool called Presence to Contribution.
Many people with dementia are lonely, bored and have little in their lives that feels purposeful. A Community Circle is an evidence-based approach, that has been shown to enable people living with dementia to do more of what matters to them and feel less isolated. Here are 9 reasons why I am excited about the potential of Community Circles to make a difference.
Joanne was a work colleague of mine. We shared an office for a year whilst she was on a short-term contract developing a new website. We had a mutual friend, Fiona. Joanne would describe herself as a huge foodie – she had worked as a chef and loved great food. A big fan of hockey she would see the occasional match at home with her brother.