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Showing posts from October, 2017

Call centres and Dementia

Over the years many of us have used big companies, when we buy British  products, only to find that they base their call and support centres abroad.To me it's a nightmare, because half of the time they have very strong accents, and some don't treat the customers with respect This is a total headache if you have hearing problems, or have problems understanding what they were trying to say.I honestly don't understand why these companies use countries where their accent is difficult to understand While it may be cheaper to use foreign labour, it does not help customers, who can't understand foreign accents I have a virgin mobile phone under my name, and because I was having problems I phoned a call centre for support, only to find that it was in India or somewhere like that.The noise was horrific, with lots of people talking, and the lady had a very strong accentI got no where so I ended up going to Newcastle, and went into the virgin shop where a young gentleman managed …

Remembering a lovely friend and mentor

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I found a photograph of a dear old friend Peter Ashley,  who sadly passed away last year
Peter is photographed alongside June Brown the Patron of the Lewy Body Society




I met Peter at a conference in Newcastle 2005, and it was called the First UK Convention of People with Dementia. 
Along with Peter were two other old friends, James McKillop from the Scottish Dementia Working Group, and Trevor Jarvis from Doncaster
It was watching and listening to people like these talking,  that got me  involved in dementia projects, such as giving talks, things I would never have done before.
I confess that I struggled after my diagnosis of early onset Lewy Body Dementia,  but Peter, who also had Lewy Body Dementia  took me under his wing  and helped me out quite a lot.
We would meet up at conferences and meetings and have a good talk, as well as the usual laughing fits at times when something was funny.
Peter could be very serious and did not tolerate idiots, but he also had a wicked sense of hu…

Nursing and Dementia

When I did the blog about nurses training and Dementia, I wondered if this had been picked up wrongly, or my writing of it had been done badly I have nothing but admiration for Northumbria University and it's training of Graduate Nurses, and have been totally amazed at how friendly and polite everyone is. So it's been a total pleasure to be involved with them. However the results were were from questions my wife asked before we started, and the faces of the students,  when I explained some of  the problems people with this illness face on a daily basis. If I remember correctly How many people have been touched by dementia in their families?How many had heard of Lewy Body Dementia?How many knew about Robin Williams and his death?Many seemed to know about his  Parkinson's, but did not seem to link the Lewy Body Dementia to his death and problems I do feel that after talking about this,  it later became obvious that many people did not recognise the problems he had struggled …

Nursing students

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After three one hour talks during the last week to graduate nurses at Northumbria University, I confess that I felt very tired by Friday afternoon

I cannot thank my wife enough for her help and support in the writing of these talks, as well as her help during them when I get stuck.

She also makes sure that I get there, and arrive in the right place at the right time.

But at the same time I feel honoured to have been involved in this project, as it gives me time to explain life with a form of lewy Body Dementia.

Many of these people have never heard of this  type of Dementia before, so it's been interesting all round.

I guess that many had heard of Robin Williams death, but had not put the two together as its a rare form of Dementia.

Many knew about Parkinson's,  but never knew that Lewy Body Dementia was similar

However there is only so much that you can cram into a syllabus these days as time is important


I also had some heart warming emails from students who had experie…

Graduate nurses and dementia

This week we have another three morning sessions talking to graduate nurses at Northumbria University, about coping with dementia. I say " we", as my wife makes sure that everything I have written out, makes sense these days, and like it or not we work as a team, because we are both in this together. I am not capable of noticing mistakes or repeats any more, so she is also my editor and advisor, as well as secretary, driver and arranger.I am not sure how long this will last, as I have struggled a lot more this year, but I am prepared to give it a go, knowing that If I get stuck or tired, my wife can carry on readingShe did a few years ago at St James Park football ground in Newcastle,  when I was unable to attend a conference I was due to speak at, due to a chest infection.  This also gives my the opportunity to talk about Lewy Body Dementia, something which many know very little about. Many people have never heard of this form of Dementia, but knew about the  Robin Williams…

Experts in dementia

Over the last few weeks and months I have been left staggered by the so called experts, who know what causes dementia and Alzheimer's. Last week I heard a very heated discussion among a coach party  about how aluminium causes Alzheimer's.
But does it.If that's the cause, why is it that everyone who used aluminium pots and pans in the 1950 1960s,  did not go on to develop Alzheimer's. I do feel that the media are feeding people's brains with this sort of unfounded rubbish, just to sell their papers etc.I do think that it's time newspapers were stopped from writing lies about illnesses, because they are only making things worse for those living with the illness Quite a few years ago I met someone who was to become an old friend.   He was also dignosed as having Lewy Body Dementia,  and we spent many hours discussing some of the media speculation.Along with this we spent time discussing our jobs at the time, both  of which had involved working on live high voltag…

Week in Scotland

On Monday we travelled to Symington just outside Biggar on the Scottish Borders,  and stayed at the Tinto Hotel.This was a coach trip from the North East and took in many interesting places.The journey up was long and tiring as we travelled up via the West Coast, so we were all pleased to get settled into the hotel for the nightThe next day we travelled to Rosslyn Chapel, which is a small but beautiful chapel with a lot of history and was founded in 1446 by Sir William Clair.The chapel was never completed because Sir William died, but what was built, was really beautiful and ornate.Photography is not allowed inside and to be honest I could understand why.I don't in all honesty think anyone could photograph this lovely chapel and do it any justice.This chapel was covered in stone carvings, and it was difficult to take them all in.
When we consider that these stone carvers could not read or write etc, it's hard to understand how they could work out and  plan all of this stunning…