The long and winding path(way)…

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It’s not all bad!

In fact, this week has been inspiring.

At our Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Dementia Action Alliance meeting members told us what they’d been up to. The list is impressive.

Telford schools have been emailed with an offer of dementia friends awareness sessions for PHSE.

Dementia roadshow held at PRH hospital.

Telford taxi licensing dept has been approached about including dementia friends sessions in driver training.

Over 500 people have attended church services which included dementia friends awareness, and 124 people have completed the church based 4 session dementia training course.

The Lichfield Diocese dementia worker is promoting use/creation of boxes.

T&W Senior Citizens Forum is delivering musical memories sessions.

Almost all fire and rescue staff have now done DF awareness, full time and retained.

Fire and Rescue provide home fire safety visits with support from the Memory Service re PWDs.

Shrewsbury Job Centre staff have done DF awareness, and it is planned to cover the job centres.

SATH is hosting a dementia conference on May 18th 2017.

SATH is introducing a refreshed Dementia Care Bundle and pathway to improve individualised care for patients. Also delivering training on recognising pain in PWDs, and improving diagnosis and treatment of delirium.

Whitchurch community hospital doing great dementia related activities, such as scarecrow

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and other craft sessions, Queen’s anniversary tea party, with the Queen present,

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…a sensory garden has been developed, a reminiscence corner.

Telford Day Care Centres staff have received DF awareness.
Police are working to develop systems to make it easier to find missing people quickly.

And we’ve got four new members in the last couple of months.
Also this week

Someone tweeted me asking if there is any dementia pathway at all in Shropshire, in response to another of my desperate pleas for action here.

Well, we’re working on it! But is it a pathway?

What is our journey with dementia?

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Well, it goes from start to finish, so it can be mapped. Afterwards.

But is a dementia journey linear?

Probably not.

Dementia is a terminal illness, so we know where we are going. But we all take different routes,

Some quick, many slow.

Up and down, crisis and recovery,

Other illnesses come and go, sometimes stay.

We don’t know when we’ll need help, what that help would best be, or for how long.

So we need to dip in and out.

As Laura said, “right place, right time”.

Not in a pre-defined sequence.

We can’t actually define a dementia care pathway, nor should we try.

Think of it as a large block Lego set.

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Make sure all the pieces required for the model are in the box.

Available, easily found, visible.

I’ll make my model at my own speed, and I might start with a different part of the model than you.

The finished model will be different. You might build a castle, me, a fort. Someone else a palace.

Some blocks will not be used by me. Others by you.

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But without the full set of Lego most of us cannot complete our models. We’ll get stuck.

At the moment we can only little sandcastles.

There are few blocks for structural resilience.

So most sand castles slip down, wash away, and we have nothing to support us.

Let’s make a huge, resilient box of Lego bits, enough for everyone who needs them, and all beautifully coloured and easy to find.

The Lego box of dementia care.

All you could ever need in one box.

Which you pick from at the right time in the right place.

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Laura, you star!

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