In the last week I have inputted into both Aberdeen city’s and Aberdeenshire’s dementia strategy. There is also another meeting on Thursday for Aberdeen regarding dementia friendly communities.
The two approaches could not be more different, as in real life, the city and shire are chalk and cheese! The shire, where I actually live, used storytelling to ask the participants their views; as far as I could see this worked (in that I got my views across!), however whether the moderator actually got what they wanted/expected I don’t know. The actuality of life as a person with dementia, or as a carer, seemed to shock, both the moderator and the other professionals, especially when we quoted words and phrases used by the local authority social services. I did not hesitate to praise the positive points as well.
The city meeting was about housing and tech. It was formal, and Ethel and I were there as a pwd and carer. We tried to ensure that we, the end customer (in the jargon), were never forgotten. There seems to be a lot of tech available to assist us, the trick is to get the right level of tech for the individual pwd. I truly believe that as our generation, and younger, get more diagnoses of dementia that tech will be more easily accepted. Housing seems to be a problem, as we are all different the Housing Associations don’t think it will be cost effective to make individual alterations. In Scotland, anyway, there are LA departments that will do minor repairs for nowt; like repairing locks etc. The Occupational Therapist can get alterations done for free too, like bath hoists and grab bars.
Going forward, as I said there is another meeting this week in the city, so I will report on that, and the shire has promised that I can be involved a bit when staff are brought into it.