Sunday, 30 September 2012

Thank you …………………

I would like to thank you for all the kind comments  over the last months and the words of comfort over the last weeks ,I am truly grateful ,we said goodbye to mum yesterday and celebrated her life we where surrounded by family and friends and with the messages and words from people we have not yet met ,who got to know a wee bit about my mum through our awareness campaign My mum was kind loving caring person would have so thankful for the support given to our campaign and her life my mum is now free of dementia and the daily struggle she faced and I as her son and carer the struggle to witness and to often give her the support she needed ,but our story will continue ,the campaign will continue and I hope in some small way we can be part of finding a better journey for others
This house does not feel like a home today and my heart does not feel whole, life will never be the same and I hope I can heal some of the scars left behind from the struggle we faced

Thank you to family, friends, people we know, people we have yet to meet in person .and all who added value during the last years and supported our time caring for mum at home

Thank you for the support to our wee campaign, for the life stories received. The people I met on my tour, on twitter, on Facebook on this journey of awareness thank you to all who supported or added value to my mums care and to the peolpe who took time to listen

thank you to Joan Whitleaw for being the best mum a son could ever wish for and for caring for me through all my i am a lucky man to have such a mum
The memory of my mum will never fade and the campaign I do in her name will continue

Thank you

Friday, 28 September 2012

Celebrating The Life of Joan Whitelaw 15-07-1939 / 22-09-2012

A night of reflection. Preparing to say goodbye to mum


The last week has been a blur as has the last 5 years. it still does not seem real that my wee mum has passed away and my mind has been a mix of sorrow and trying to organize my wee mums funeral .I spent the day sitting with my wee mum at the parlor as family and  friends popped in for private moments and  to pay their respect along with  moments of reflection, Tomorrow morning we celebrate the life of my wee mum and say our final goodbyes and then I hope to make more sense of the journey we faced ,but that was only the last 5 years tomorrow we celebrate a lifetime of kindness ,love and a mum who welcomed all into her home and heart  a mum who will be sorely missed by all she met
We thank you for the kindness shown and the messages sent over the last difficult months and week and I go to bed tonight proud to be Joan Whitelaw’s son and for the last years having been allowed the  privilege to care for her
it was a struggle for us both on too many occasions but we got thruogh it together
Tommy

Thursday, 27 September 2012

And I love you so

 I was out early this morning trying to finalize my wee mum’s funeral it has not quite hit me yet,we lived in a routine at home and at certain times of the day I feel I should be getting things done and that’s when I feel the pain and loss the most .The minister has been round to discuss my wee mums service,it will be a very simple affair as my mum was never one for a fuss around her
We have chosen three songs, one from my dad as we enter the service Perry Como and I love you so.My dad loved mum with all his heart as she did with him .Dementia brought many struggles to us but taking away my mums memory of my dad was the cruelest trick of all, We will then have matt Munro singing somewhere over the rainbow as my mums personal remembrance song ,she mentioned this to many over the years.After the service we will leave to running to stand still by u2.The lyrics describe in may ways the struggleS she faced and my feelings on many occasions.We have one hymn  all things bright and beautiful because she was..My mum was a remarkable ,kind ,loving person and I leave you with the line from the  song her wee husband Tam would sing to her at every  party and I love you so because he did  and all who met her felt the same
Tommy

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

With thanks to the Herald Scotland for the tribute to my wee mum and our campaign today


Hi
Thank you once again for the messages, cards and words of support since my wee mum passed away on Saturday it has been of great comfort Today has been quite a difficult day and I have struggled a wee bit as this house no longer feels like a home .Im missing my wee terribly today and always will I would also like to thank the Herald Scotland’s Russell Leadbetter for his very personal tribute to mum and our wee awareness campaign .Russell composed the first article over a year ago about Dementia and caring for my mum followed by an article about some of the life stories I collected ,Russell met my mum at home and I am very honored that he took the time to compose a wee tribute in today’s Herald Scotland .Journalist have had their  share of bad press over the last months.Russell is an example of a journalist who took time to listen ,understand and tell the story of a son caring for a mum and both mum and I concider him a friend    
You can read  the article at www.heraldscotland.com  a caring friend
Thank you for all the support and thank you Russel and Herald Scotland

Tommy

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

My wee mum’s funeral

Hi
I have been out today organizing my wee mum’s funeral and it still does not feel real ,my emotions are all over the place ,but as son I have make sure I do the best I can ,some family and friends came round tonight and we looked out some old photos of  yesteryear and memories of my mum and dad, I am overwhelmed by the messages of support since my mum passed away on Saturday and she would be ever so grateful like I am ,so thank you  
The funeral details are
Craigton crematorium
Craigton cemetery
9:30am
Saturday 29-9-2012
We are just having family flowers

Some people have been in touch re donations in my mums name but my campaign was always about awareness first and foremost and its very kind of people to offer, Sharing our film would be the best tribute to my wee mum ,  If anyone feels they would like then a local carer group in their local community or charity of their choice I feel is best

Monday, 24 September 2012

The emptiness inside


The last few days have been pretty tough ,I am still in shock over the loss of my wee mum Joan on Saturday ,the messages of comfort received have been of great help since Saturday and I thank you from this broken heart, its all a bit confusing at the moment and the last 5 years seem like a blur .I knew my mum was very ill lately but it all seemed to happen so quickly .it has been a holiday weekend up here in Scotland and I have to get up early tomorrow to organize my wee mums funeral and even typing this does seem real We faced many many tough times over the last years. I hope when I can think more clearly and have said my last goodbyes to mum I can concentrate enough and find the strength to celebrate in words the greatness of my mum. For 5 years I was mums  full time carer as well as her son but as I sit here just now its painfully obvious how much I needed my mum and in many ways she was my carer too .We where a team, we are so grateful for the kindness from people we know in person and from people we have never met and you have all helped fill some of  the emptiness I feel inside .I  thank you all and I am so proud privileged to be Joan Whitelaw’s son
Thank you
Tommy

Feeling lost and numb

I would like to thank everyone for the messages over the last few days, I am pretty lost and numb at the moment and the last 5 years caring for my mum seem lost in a fog ,I can only think of the darkest days at the moment ,the lows and the struggles and its tearing me apart .I made many mistakes caring for my mum and they are at the forefront of my mind ,in fact that’s  why I started my campaign, as my mum struggled with dementia I as her son and carer struggled to cope and fell apart beside her and we almost reached a crisis, I only have good memories of my mum but they are being overtaken by not so good ones of my ability to cope ,be heard and falling apart .which reached a critical point around a year and a half ago. Its all very raw and painful at the moment and I hope I can figure it all out some time soon, one thing is for sure my heart is broken and life will never be the same again ,my mum was an incredible lady and she deserved much better than she got during her journey with dementia from the system, from others and on many occasions from me .I hope one day I can look back with a more comforting memory,but at the moment is all to painful and  I hope my wee mum knows I tried my best even on the darkest days when it all got to much .I also hope to continue campaigning so others have a better journey than us and so that anyone who is carer like me is not sitting at the end feeling let down  and with as many regrets as I have, we cant at this time cure dementia ,but we can cure systems and understanding ,if the system was better and the understanding was better then we would all have a better chance of making it through this tragic illness ,how we made it I do not know at this time ,it was to hard to often and this son is lost and numb
Tommy          
Joan Whitelaw
15-07-1939 – 22-09-2012
Loved by all she met

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The saddest day

My wee mum Joan Whitelaw passed away earlier today surrounded by family and friend’s .My heart is broken and life will never be the same without her
I am to heartbroken at the moment  to find the words to describe my mum   Thank you for the words of support over the last difficult weeks
Tommy and family


Still fighting, still hoping and thank you for the kind words of support


My wee mum is still fighting hard to stay with us, and as was always shows us what an incredible person she is, there has been no improvement over the last days and we as a family spent some time telling mum what she means to us yesterday during a difficult part of the day As always and as with all of my mums journey with dementia she continues her fight to keep going .We know not what today will bring but I am once again convinced how privileged I am to be her son. I have hope in my heart that my mum will make it through this and will continue to do so and sit by her side as many of my family are also doing ,thank you for the kindness of family ,friends and people we have got to know through  my mums wee awareness campaign
The support is helping us through the long days and nights and we are grateful
Tommy, Joan and family  

Friday, 21 September 2012

Preparing for heartbreak,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

We have been by my wee mums side for the last 48 hours or more and after a long discussion with the consultants we are preparing for a day that might  break this sons heart and all my mum met ,we are fearing and preparing for  the worst over the next day ,thank you from my mum and the family for the kind words of support at this time, We still have hope in our hearts but in hearts that are  breaking inside
Tommy

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The longest of nights, with hope in our hearts for hour’s ahead, thank you for messages of support


Thank you for kind messages of support, we have been by my wee mums side for the last 24 hours and I have taken a short break to freshen up and prepare for the hours ahead .we are grateful for the kind messages that helped us through last night and today. We are preparing for news today that will break my heart but we sit with hope and love by the side of incredible, brave inspiring person who I am lucky to call my mum and proud to be her son Joan Whitelaw my wee mum and best pal

Tommy

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

My mum is very unwell and I hope if you read this will have her in your thoughts today


My mum is very unwell and back in hospital and we are by her side and she is our hearts, we have been told to prepare for the worst and my heart is broken, I hope if you read this you will spare a minute to think of an incredible woman who has struggled with dementia but still inspired her son every day  and is now fighting for her life
I write this with hope in my heart and for the love of my wee mum Joan Whitelaw
Tommy

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Strength, Weakness, Sadness, Joy

Its been a particularly tough morning, the truth is my mum is very unwell add on top of that the scramble to ask others to keep pace with this decline is frustration and adds to anxiety we feel trying to care for someone, We have faced massive changes over the last 6 weeks to my mums all around health and a rapid decline  with dementia
This is ultimately  end of life care but  I am the only person aware of this even though it’s the advice I have been given,I have spent 5 years chasing my tale and to often getting help when it is of no value. if the help would have been put in place when needed ,requested or discussed then our chance to live each day increases but its different now this is the chance to have end of life care over the next months with dignity ,support ,understanding and less red tape. Phone calls, misunderstandings  care .there has to be a better way when you ask or dare I say plead for help ,that the first response is can you cope ,the first response should be how can we help
Our strength is in a constant battle with weakness and our Joy in a battle with sadness and to often an all round battle to heard
Tommy

Monday, 17 September 2012

busy day today!

Hi
We had a busy morning this morning firstly with my mums GP out to discuss my mums  week in hospital and I have made an appointment  to discuss in more detail palliative care for my mum over the coming months,also thank to Linda from my local carer center for getting back about my request for a revue of my mums care needs and agreeing it’s the right thing to do and quickly . I have asked Linda  to attend to advise and support me, I also had a meeting at home to disuses the possibility  of an interview about caring for my mum and the letters I receive for public broadcast ,more on that at a later date.This afternoon during my respite cover I popped through to meet Jackie Baillie Labour shadow health secretary to discuss their announcement of a carer champion and what the remit is and how carers will be represented ,I also invited Claire who is the carer champion to the meeting as I have no problem with their choice but feel I needed to represent the people who write and keep in touch with my own campaign .it was a private meeting but I will say now  that  they have made their decision, I hope they give Claire their full backing and opportunities to succeed as best she can .We as carers  are often spoken about by others and I myself have been patronized by many on my own journey as a campaigner, so I hope they give her the same time and respect I have had from our former health secretary Nicola Sturgeon, if Claire gets that than she has made a good decision to take up this challenge. I wish Claire,well ,as like me she is a carer trying to do her best and I am sure our paths will cross again in the near future
its mum time now ,mum has had her bath ,some dinner ,time for my bath and sit in my wee mums room on her reclyner chair and watch some telly with my best pal Joan Whitelaw

Tommy

I have Requested A revue of my mums care needs and meeting with all involved


 
The last couple of months have seen a rapid decline in my mums health and dementia and through most of this journey I have always felt a step behind as I feel on the most part the people involved in supplying and assisting us in the journey and challenge to live and succeed the best we can .over the weekend I have written to social work ,Alzheimer Scotland (who social work pay to supply befrienders )my mums GP , Distirict  Nurses and my Local Carer Centre (Pollok)to attend at the same time a meeting in my house to discuss how we allow my mum to get through the next and most crucial part of this journey with the best support and the comfort we can find .there is no time any more to wait months for decisions or failed promises from anyone As I watch my mums decline its my duty as her son to speak up for her .and I have made a decision although grateful for the help if does not match my mums needs the its not help ,it’s a hindrance. I need to be assured all are up to the task as I will have to be and if mot we find people who are As much as I am reasonably happy with the support it has to move at the same pace as her health is declining and I need assurance that all are committed to help if not they go and we find someone else .Respect Dignity and comfort are the main ingredients to my mums care needs and that’s what she will get if ,I wont settle for anything less ,I have before in order to keep going but wont anymore
Tommy    

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Speaking sept 26th EMERGENCY CARE & MEDICAL SERVICES DIRECTORATE NHS gg&c



Hi
With thanks to NHS gg&c for inviting me to speak at their conference on emergency care & medical services directorate at the Royal Alexandria hospital on Sept 26th I look forward to the opportunity to speak about caring for my mum, the letters I receive and the people I meet on my awareness campaign and tour  With thanks to Con Gillespie who I met at a presentation I had to department heads a few months back
Tommy   

Each time our strength to keep caring is questioned, it’s answered by a smile the greatness of my mum or kind words of support

Hi  
In been a particularly difficult couple of weeks for my mum and for me as her son .We are at a difficult stage of this journey and the reality is we are at end of life care in many ways .After a couple of admissions to hospital over the last months always hoping for something underlying that can be fixed, we are at the stage of an increased decline with my mums dementia and a couple of issues of worry with other health issues that at this stage we can only monitor and try to control best we can to keep my mum as comfortable ,cared for and loved as we can .like anyone caring for someone they love we have days of strength and weakness ,hope and despair ,joy and heartbreak .I am as anyone can imagine am  trying to keep strong and fend of a broken heart ,.we have to in order to continue .I was feeling down last night worried about my mum and was is  ahead and then I got a few emails of support from some students who attended  a wee talk I was invited to do a few days ago and this morning giving my mum her bath and seeing how frail she is I almost broke down in tears ,then my wee mum who I care for rubbed my arm with a loving smile as if to say its ok thomas ,we are ok ,we can do this. You can do this That’s one of the amazing things about caring we rely on and give strength to each other, whatever the dimensions of the life we lead and it got me thinking how lucky I am to have the support of so many people out there and how the e mails I received last night or the life stories I receive,even though some bring me to tears ,they give me strength to keep caring and campaigning the best I can ,but what about the many thousands of people out there who have no support or are  forgotten by families and the wider  society  ,How do they do it I know they do .they do for the  love they have ,but they need more than that they need to be reminded of the wonderful care they give but more importantly they have to be given the support and respect  from the wider society and listened to .if you want to know what its like to care for a loved one ,ask a carer it just might change you’re life

Tommy

tomorrow Speaking boardroom Gartanvel royal hospital NHS gg&c

 Good Morning
I will be speaking to department heads on Thursday in the Boardroom at Gartanvel Royal Hospital this Thursday as part of my tour within  NHS gg&c with great thank to Con for setting this up ,I have a few talks coming over the next weeks at NHS events and believe its important that carers like me get the opportunity to speak about life caring for someone we love have say also I am overwhelmed by the kind messages of support from the students who study health and social care at Reid Kerr College .i was a guest speaker there last week and I have been moved by the response to my talk and their words encourage me to keep going out and speaking to as many people as I can about caring for my mum ,the letters I receive and the people I meet. as a carer its encouraging to hear the passion from the care sector workers of the future and I find their passion reassuring and the have cemented my determination to speak and rasie awareness to as many people as I can   
Tommy         

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Handing over the reports on our life stories Glasgow City Council


On Thursday I was at Glasgow city council to hand over reports on the life stories I receive to councilors ,with thanks to all the councilors who took time to meet me including David McDonald below who also helped with my cross party motion back in February, also thanks to Cllr Kerr for arranging this and putting my reports in the pigeon holes for all the councilors I did not meet ,I am now working on a new updated report  on more life stories I have received to date our lives in our words but my biggest thanks go to the amazing people who have shared their stories with me in order to help others
The awareness campaign continues at pace………

tommy

a wee open request to carers and carer groups ......


Dear all
If you are part of a carer group I hope you can share the request below, if you are a carer I hope you can get involved
I would like if possible the opportunity to visit your carer group to discuss my campaign and some projects I am working on including a few below
Collecting life stories to take directly to Government, NHS, SW, City Councils and to help with new A report with a leading university
A one hour special on caring for public broadcast November 3rd
My motion at Glasgow city council  
Dementia and caring through art permanent exhibition at Gartanvel royal hospital
Update on my progress to date
I hope you can get back to soon if the above  is something your carer group might be interested in having involvement in ,to help with my campaign to help others

Tommy  
My awareness campaign continues, more talks added
September 12th speaking at Reid Kerr College to health and social care students
September 13th Handed reports on my letters in to Glasgow City Council
September 17th meeting Jackie ballie shadow health secretary to hear what labour carer champions mean and their remit
September 18th Meeting and speaking at Bailleston community care, carers group
September 20th NHS gg&c speaking to nurses Gartanvel royal hospital
September 26th Speaking to NHS staff Via NHS gg&c at the Lecture Theatre Royal Alexandra Hospital.
October date TBC Caledonian Uni speaking to nurse and social care students
October 3rd speaking at Springburn residential care
October 5th Speaking at NHS gg&c Event beardmore hotel
October 8th    Kirkintilloch Baptist Church (East Dunbartonshire council)
 October 12th Bearsden Baptist Church (east Dunbartonshire council)
October 18th carers link dementia support group
October speaking at the SNP conference
November 28th Angus carer group Arbroath
March 2013 Speaking at SDRCN conference
 

Dementia, Caring and raising awareness , my passion to care for my mum and bring more understanding and help

Hi
My we mum has been out of hospital for a couple of days now and the reality of where we are in this journey is all to real and painful in many ways .Our own personal Journey has been a struggle to honest with a lack of understanding within and a lack of understanding all to often towards .I raise awareness because if we understood more from the beginning my mum would have had a better journey from day one. Add to this the all to often lack of understanding by too many people we have come into contact with over the last 5 years and we discover with a great sadness ,missed opportunities to enjoy and cherish memories and better days .the balance of good and bad days are affected by our understanding and the understanding of others ,even at this stage approaching or end of life care its seems a grey area that know one including me can discuss in a factual or understanding way .Vascular dementia is a terminal condition and from diagnosis we should be educated ,encouraged and shaped to enjoy as many moments as we can .the chance to live should be furnished with great help and possibilities not lack of understanding and a constant cry for help and to often pain as I sit here looking back I feel great thanks and respect to the people who have given us the best help along the way ,I salute and thank them but scarred by the ones who had no passion to listen ,advise or add value
This has made me more determined to make sure all who we come into contact with over the next and probably last months or year of my mums life that they listen that I listen and together we add value to the life of a wonderful person and mum. That’s why I raise awareness; I want others to have a better journey than us and for  many others. Thats why its important to bring dementia from a whisper to shout ,not a shout in anger but a shout that inspires ,encourages and sets in place a planned journey that no matter where you are in that journey you have a chance to live ,we had no planned journey ,I am determined that others do ,that’s why I collect life stories so that all we come into contact with understand the importance of their actions ,advice and help can be the difference from a struggle or a chance to live .love and celebrate or struggle ,fall apart and fail
Tommy

Friday, 14 September 2012

Today Meeting Jackie Baillie Labour shadow health minister and labour carer champion

Hi  
I have a busy 5 hours respite Today  I have a meeting in the morning re an idea for a programme about carers I am working on then I will be meeting with Jackie Baillie labour Scotland’s shadow health secretary along with Claire Lally the newly announced carer Champion.I  look forward to the meeting and learning more about both labors plans and the remit for the Carer Champion I hope labour give Claire the support she needs to do this job as like me Claire is a carer ,.the meeting is more about my letters but its important as an awareness campaigner I protect and help take the life stories from people who write to me to as many people as possible
Thanks to Claire for picking me up on tomorrow  
Tommy

Just home from carers Champion Glasgow launch

Hi
Well I was over at the launch and of the new carers champion for Glasgow City Council Dr Christopher mason MBE the meeting was chaired by Ann Cumming SW and Cllr Kerr executive for social care GCC. The meeting was attended by many of the carer center managers and groups from across Glasgow .I was introduced to Mr. Mason and I am happy to say my work and campaign but mainly the life stories I collect with be involved in some capacity .its early days yet but I wish Dr Mason the best of luck and I look forward to working with him over the coming months and years .with thanks to Linda for picking me up and getting me home to save time
I still stand by the very basis of my campaign allowing families and carers to speak for themselves with their life stories in their own words and I will keep collecting the and delivering them to all who need  to read them
 
Tommy

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Attending the launch for the new carers Champion Glasgow CC this morning

Good Moring
I will be attending the launch at crossroads George square this morning of Glasgow City Councils Carers Champion. With my mum just getting out of hospital I was bit unsure about attending but as with caring for my wee mum my awareness campaign is  of great importance to me and I hope others .with thanks to Linda from my local carers center for picking me to save me time. I look forward to hearing what the remit and plans for the future are and how much involvement carers and awarerness campaigners such as I will have I have 5 hours cover on a Friday but hoping to get out and back quickly so I can get back to my wee mum
Tommy       

Thank you for the kindness from people I know and people I have never met

Good Evening  
My wee mum is all settled at home ,had some food ,bath and in her pajamas snug as a bug in a rug watching TV and smiling each time I pop my head in the room I just need to say a big thank you for all the kind words of support we have received over the last months from family ,people I know and people via my blog ,e mail ,twitter and Facebook. We as carers and people needing care lead quite a lonely existence and with my mum being in hospital twice over the last month has added worry and taken the loneliness to a new level ,but that level would have been unbearable if it was not for the kindness of people we know and people we know off but have never met
So I sit here glad my mum is home and re-assured of the kindness of people and we don’t feel as lonely as might have
Thank you
Tommy and Joan     

My mum is home and my heart is full of joy

Hi
Well my wee mum Joan is home and its just wonderful .it been a house full of worry and loneliness for the last week and even although we are about to face more difficult times over the coming weeks and months,. we will think about that later and not let it get in the way of how great it is to have mum home, running her bath pajamas on the heater and a new challenge to make food and drink that my mum can take but its probably an improvement on the cooking I have put her through over the last years we have had good day and bad days over the last years and will have good and bad over the months to come .today is not a good day ,it’s a great day

Tommy

Thank you to the councilors who took time to come and say hello this morning

Hi

 Firstly apologies again to Lockerbie carers I was meant to be getting the train down to meet some of them this morning but had to change at the last minute as my mum is getting home ,I had to go to the hospital this morning to learn a few things about changes for my mum coming home today once her new medication is ready  I then nipped over to Glasgow city  council to hand in updated reports on my letters and campaign With thank to councilor Kerr for setting up the short meeting we also popped my reports in to the pigeon holes for all the councilors at GCC .A big thank you to all the councilors who came by to collect reports in person and say hello I will add some photos later .just got home to drop off some food before going back to hospital to collect my mum and bring her home and will update more later once I get a chance

Tommy

Mum coming home later today speaking at Glasgow city council this morning

a Good Morning to you All  
Well firstly my wee mum is coming home this afternoon, it’s not without issues and more difficult times ahead but its glorious feeling in my heart this morning. I have struggled this week without my wee mum its been full of worry and painfully lonely and I cant wait to get her home .I know after speaking with the consultants that difficult days are ahead, but then we have had many difficult days in the past .So lets get her home and see how we can face the new challenges together, its my hope to keep strong and push this broken heart to the side, I have to in order not to let my wee mum down. If I can match my mums courage and strength we will get by as best we can, this morning I am off to Glasgow City Council to speak in one of the committee rooms to  councilors before the full council meeting .I hope a few turn up and allow me the opportunity to speak from my heart about caring for my mum, the life stories I receive and the people I meet .I also have reports on my letters and campaign for each and every councilor including one produced by social work Glasgow
With thanks to councilor Kerr executive councilor for social care and SW Glasgow for setting this up and a big thank you to my wee mum for everything that she is and I can’t wait to get her home
Tommy
Son ,carer ,awarerness campaigner

with apologies to Lockerbie carers as i was scheduled to go there early this morninig but i have to be at the hospital to learn more about changes affecting my mums discharge today ,sorry i hope we can re-arrange

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

With thanks to the staff and students at Reid Kerr College health and social care


Hi
A big thanks to Maureen Macpherson head of health and social care and all the students who invited and attended my we talk this morning in the lecture room at the college It was a privilege to speak about caring for my mum, the letters I receive and the people I meet and I hope in some small way it help these young students who will one day be in the front line supplying carer to families like mine. Its encouraging to be invited, to meet to discuss and speak to students and also to hear their questions along with the words about dignity care and respect spoken by Maureen the lecturer after I had done my wee bit .i wish them all luck for the future and hope they go on to add value to the lives of the people they in the world of caring.thanks to the students for listening Thank you for such a big turnout and here is a wee photo with some of the students
just got home and off to the hosptial to sit with my wee mum ,looking forward to getting her home tomorrow
 tommy



Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mum coming home on Thursday ……………

hI
Well after much discussion today we have all agreed its best to get my wee mum home to her house and son .My mum is doing better. we have discussed a care package to give us a bit of help but more importantly keep my mum as safe and comfortable as possible there are a few changes ahead in the short and long term Its all about maintaining the best standard of care and life for my mum .I spent today learning how to keep my mum hydrated and how to look out for other signs with some health issues that at this stage we are a bit concerned about but agree mum is not well enough to have investigated intrusively .this whole journey has brought constant change and adaptation to our lives and has now brought some more ,its also brought many questions ,will I be strong enough to deal with and cope with the next months ,I hope so, I hope I can match my mums courage, strength and dignity. That’s what this whole journey has been about, asking for, hoping that and sometimes demanding that my mum is treated with the kindness ,respect and dignity she showed all she met .if we can get that ,then we will get through this if we don’t we will fail and more than that be failed The months ahead will be tough but my mum will be given all the help and love I can give  and I hope the respect by all involved in this ,the most important part of this journey with dementia and all that it brings and I will be by her side every step of the way
Tommy

Speaking Glasgow City Council tomorrow in the committee room in councilors corridor

Hi
With great thanks to councilor Kerr for arranging for me to speak, show my film and hand out some reports at Glasgow City Council at mid –day just before the full council meeting this Thursday September 13th .I look forward to speaking about caring for my mum ,the letters I receive and families I meet on my tour ,I will also be handing out reports on the life stories I receive .I hope if you read this and live in Glasgow you might encourage you’re local councilor to attend .once again thank you to Cllr Kerr and to SW Glasgow for their help setting up this unique opportunity

Tommy

more talks coming up....................

September 12th speaking at Reid Kerr College to health and social care students
September 13th speaking Glasgow city council committee room
September 17th meeting Jackie ballie shadow health secretary to hear what labour carer champions mean and their remit
September 18th Meeting and speaking at Bailleston community care, carers group
September 20th NHS gg&c speaking to nurses Gartanvel royal hospital
September 26th Speaking to NHS staff Via NHS gg&c at the Lecture Theatre Royal Alexandra Hospital.
October date TBC Caledonian Uni speaking to nurse and social care students
October 3rd speaking at Springburn residential care
October 5th Speaking at NHS gg&c Event beardmore hotel
October 8th    Kirkintilloch Baptist Church (East Dunbartonshire council)
 October 12th Bearsden Baptist Church (east Dunbartonshire council)
October 18th carers link dementia support group
October speaking at the SNP conference
November 28th Angus carer group Arbroath
March 2013 Speaking at SDRCN conference
Other projects you can help with
My motion Glasgow city council
Dementia & caring through art permanent exhibition Gartanvel royal hospital
 Tommy

 

Today Speaking at Reid Kerr College to health and social care students


Hi
My wee mum is still in hospital and its heavy on my mind but my promise to my mum to care for her and raise awareness continues at pace. Tomorrow morning before visiting mum ll be speaking at Reid Kerr college to the health and social care students attending the college of health Science .i look forward to speaking about caring for my mum ,the letters I receive and the families I meet on my tour .i will also be handing out as always reports on my letters and hope they help the students understand a wee bit more about life caring for someone we love
Tommy

Monday, 10 September 2012

Not such a good day…………….

Good Eveninig
Well it been another tough day to add to the list of many we have faced before .my wee mum is much more distant and its taking a lot of encouragement for mum to open her eyes .although awake she is tending more and more to  keeping her eyes closed ,more worryingly is my mum is having big problems swallowing liquids and is not refusing but the link to drinking then swallowing is going .This can have big impacts on her health and how quickly we can get her home there where also another couple of issues that I was unhappy about but I have taken them up privately at the moment. my personal view and hope is to get my mum home as quickly as possible as in my mums case and how her dementia affects her she loses little things that we are desperate to hang on to at this stage all too quickly and I have the time to help her hold on to every inch of greatness that she has at home. So we are all at a difference of opinions at the moment .but one thing for sure this mum will come home to her son that’s my promise to my mum .I have just popped home for clean PJs and so on and back down to try and help with mums dinner and keep her company
Tommy

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Mum being in hospital, we are both out of our comfort zones

Hi

I am just back for visiting mum at hospital this afternoon and mum is looking quite frail and tired. I am finding visiting my mum twice a day to be quite uncomfortable for many reasons the ward is lovely and the nurses are very attentive and inclusive but all through this journey my mum has spent very little time in hospital .A month ago when mum had the seizure and last week when she was re-admitted is the first time in years and we are both defiantly out with our comfort zones  For me it’s a difficult process having someone else care for my mum along with the worry about my mums health and missing her its all a wee bit stressful and I can seem to settle down at visiting ,it all feels so different also seeing my mum in a hospital and in many ways looking with fresh eyes as opposed to trying to give her care and time has enlightened me more to how frail my mum and is a wee bit upsetting .My cousin Agnes came with me today and although she is my mums niece she was brought up with my mum like a wee sister as her mum took care of my mum as my mums own mother died when she was 4 and her dad when she was 7,that bond was obvious when my mum gently held her face with a smile that said I know who you are and I am glad you are here. in fact this has encouraged me to sit with my mums sister Margaret and my cousins some time soon to tell the remarkable story of our large family long before I was born and what helped make  my mum the incredible kind person she is and I believe that comeS from facing tragedy at such a young age and the kindness and care from others lwithin this large special family  
Tommy       

Hoping to get my mum home this week, my campaign continues plans for the week ahead

Hi
I will be meeting the consultant later today to discuss results and a care plan to get my mum home hopefully at some point this week along with that my awareness campaign continues with a few talks this week .Today before visiting mum I will be popping into LTCAS to use their facilities to print out reports on my letters and get a wee bit of help with some Admin and I am grateful for the help to keep me up to date. On Wednesday morning I will be speaking at Reid Kerr College to health and social care students at the School of life sciences then on Thursday I will going to Lockerbie to speak at Lockerbie carers I am grateful to all for the invites and look forward to speaking about caring for my mum, the life stories I receive and the people I meet my desire and passion to care for my mum and raise awareness continues with many more talks lined up over the next weeks and months
You can add your story thoughts and opinions by e mail at the following tommy@i-woz-there.com
Thank you
Tommy

Sunday morning sadness, wishing my mum was home

Hi

This house is quite a lonely house at the best times, the longer we face dementia and caring the less we see of people and the truth is it’s a lonely life for us and I believe for  far to many others. As this journey has taken its course and in many ways its toll on us, we have lost touch and contact with the outside world and even life at home has really shrunk to two rooms my mums and mine with me moving between both on a daily basis and only going downstairs to use the kitchen for food and drink in fact I have rarely sat in our sitting room over last months and just go in to dust and clean each day. with my mum being in hospital life has shrunk even more, apart from my two daily visits to the hospital I am confined to my room now and whatever my interpretation of loneliness was before has been out done by how I feel just now, my energy is low and I sit here worrying about all the small details that we put in place to comfort someone we love and care for. Even though I know my mum is being looked after at the hospital I feel quite helpless just now and struggle each time I leave after visiting as I see the look of loss on my wee mums face in fact my we mum who has said very little for months said yesterday Please take home I can’t get those three  words and her face out of my head just now and cried my self to sleep last night and sit here this Sunday morning a bit lost wishing my mum was home
Tommy    

Saturday, 8 September 2012

just don’t know what to do with myself.

Hi  
I was up at 6am this morning and automatically I walked straight to my mum’s room. And the emptiness and worry I feel asleep with came rushing back; life caring involves love routines .worry, struggles, joy sadness, pride, doubts and a strong bond. And a bond that in my case has increased more than my 45 years previous as a proud son to the last 5 years as mums son and carer With all the struggles dementia has brought to my mum and to me as her son it has also increased how proud I am of her  and I cherish the joyful moments, the happy moments they are so much more meaningful now. I know my mum will get great care at the hospital but  I still  worry about all the little things that help my mum get through each day and if the small personal details are being taken care of along with the medical ones. Since getting up this morning I have cleaned this house beyond clean. my mums room has is ready and waiting and I have paced around the house a bit lost  for the last hours and days ,certainly lonely and counting the hours till I can visit .It just reinstates how much not only does my mum need me but just how much I need her .and has me thinking what about all the people across the country who have devoted their lives for may different reasons to care long term, many people for much longer than I. What Happens to these people who have devoted theirs lives to give love and care when this comes to an end whether that be the loss of a loved one or a loved one may now be in residential care. What process is in place to help them recover,Live and start the process of finding themselves again My mum has only been in hospital  for a couple of days and I don’t know what to do with my self.The people who have cared for loved ones in the past are firmly on my mind today ,we should not forget them and all the have given
Tommy

Friday, 7 September 2012

My campaign continues, more talks added today

My awareness campaign continues, more talks added today (all done on a voluntary basis
September 12th speaking at Reid Kerr College to health and social care students
September 13th Meeting and speaking at Lockerbie carers group
September 17th meeting Jackie ballie shadow health secretary and claire lally
September 18th Meeting and speaking at Bailleston community care, carers group
September 20th NHS gg&c speaking to nurses Gartanvel royal hospital
September 26th Speaking to NHS staff Via NHS gg&c at the Lecture Theatre Royal Alexandra Hospital.
October date TBC Caledonian Uni speaking to nurse and social care students
October 3rd speaking at Springburn residential care
October 5th Speaking at NHS gg&c Event beardmore hotel
October 8th    Kirkintilloch Baptist Church (East Dunbartonshire council)
 October 12th Bearsden Baptist Church (east Dunbartonshire council)
October 18th carers link dementia support group
ocrober 27th inverclyde carers group
October  speaking at the SNP  conference
November 28th Angus carer group Arbroath
March 2013 Speaking at SDRCN conference
Other projects you can help with
My motion Glasgow city council
Dementia & caring through art permanent exhibition Gartanvel royal hospital
 Tommy

Just got home from the hospital.......

Hi

I have just got back from visiting my wee mum ,my mums big sister Margaret and cousin Joan came with me and for as little as my mum can  say these days ,she told a story with her eyes and smile .I love seeing my mum with her sister ,they are the last of very big family and these moments are important ,my mum could not take her eyes of her even when I was giving her a wee rice pudding .my mum is looking better but it’s a strange process for me seeing my mum in a different environment. Caring for my mum at home our day is built on the best routines we can find and ours  like most people caring are built to get through and if we get through today that allows us to get ready to make it through tomorrow .it was glorious to see my mums reaction when we walked into the ward but down side is  I can and see how much this journey has taken out of my mum and although she needs stay in for the next few days and its for the best I wish I could have brought her home to her wee house with me .its a night of mixed emotions, celebrating  my mums smile but trying to accept how much this has all taken out of her  sometimes  you have to take a step back to understand what’s right in front of you  
Tommy  

Thank you for the kind wishes, support and a wee update on my mum

Hi
Firstly thank you for the amazing kind messages of support via Twitter, facebook and my blog for a son and his mum who starred a wee awareness campaign much of it based on the loneliness and isolation long term conditions and caring brings its overwhelming that there are so many lovely people out there most of whom who we nave never met in person but feel we now know and value the support and kindness shown with all of our heart. I have just retuned from the hospital and my wee mum is looking better after some fluids and so on .I had a long chat with the consultant. And my mum will be in for 5-6 days and much effort will be put towards looking for any underlying issues that may have caused or added to this quick decline in mum’s health ,we also have to look at the best and proper guidance and support package that allows  what ever the outcome of the tests to get my mum to her house and give her the care she needs,that’s what we have always tried to achieve, but it has never felt as important as it does just now that we get this right

Thank you
Tommy and Joan

My mums name was Joan ,my Mum Had Dementia - our Story 9 Short Films

Tommy’s speech, providing a carer’s perspective,  on the theme of “ No – one ever asked   ” highlighted the transformational impact that ...