Vancouver Museum of Anthropology UBC

Vancouver Museum of Anthropology UBC
Another mask...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

5th National Dementia Congress Bournemouth

It's windy and cold here by the sea, however I arrived late tonight for a debate; ' Life-long care for people with dementia is an impossible dream' the proposer was Martin Green, CEO of ECCA (whatever that is) and Barbara Pointon, campaigner and former care of her husband Malcolm. Barbara has written very poignantly in the past about what it was like caring for her husband who had a dementing condition. I was really struck by a number of things she said and showed. The first being a spider diagram full of lines...and I mean many many lines that linked her at the time with the GP: social services: bed support services: Alzheimer's Society: Admiral Nurse: incontinence nurse etc etc. Malcolm and his wife Barbara were at the centre of this web of inter-connecting people and services that was tiring to look at the diagram let alione to have to experience it. Barbara said; 'Just give us the right tools and family-carers will do the rest'. She called for continuity of staff in the caring relationships..she was told that she would have between 2 and 3 staff caring for Malcolm. In the end she had 18 and he just got more and more angry pulling down curtains etc in an embodied response of distress. She spoke about the vital importance of the quality of the staff attending malcolm and how none of them had any dementia care training; that has she said contributed to her becoming a champion of better training and support for care-givers and that they should have access to specialist dementia nursing advice and emotional support. I thought here of the REITMAN CENTRE in Toronto and it's wonderful work. Yes, Joel and team; I am singing your praises over here and beginning the process of writing up a journal article of my Canadian experiences, including details of your wonderful work.

Anyway the debate came out at 157 against the motion and 54 for it. It was overwhelmingly opposed, and yours truly being one of those who opposed it!! Long live the best support that any carer of a person with dementia can possibly receive. That has to be the mantra and it is definitely not an impossible dream.

More tomorrow I hope. That's it for now.

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