Thursday, 31 January 2013

Being Human: A Human Right Base to Health and Social Care in Scotland


Being Human: A Human Right Base to Health and Social Care in Scotland


The practical application of human rights provides one of the principal challenges and opportunities facing the health and social care sector in Scotland.  Whilst putting human rights at the centre of service design and delivering can be testing, its adoption can result in a greater emphasis on the autonomy, privacy and dignity of people using services.
Join the ALLIANCE, our partners and other stakeholders from across national and local government, health services and the third sector to discuss how human rights can be successfully integrated into, and support the delivery of, high quality health and social care services and improve the lives of people who are disabled or living with long term conditions.


Follow us on Twitter @ALLIANCEScot use #humanrights13

DCV stand at DSDC and Big Lottery making life easier day Feb 26th


Attending and having a stand at   the DSDC and Big Lottery making life easier day Feb  26th

Hi
I will be attending and having a Dementia Carer Voice stand at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling and the Big Lottery present Making Life Easier a free information day for informal and family carers of people with dementia in the Lothian area.
Tuesday 26th February 2013
9.30 am – 3.30 pm
Murray field Stadium Edinburgh EH12 5PJ
  • • Sally Magnusson, TV presenter and author will speak about her experience of caring
  • • Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day
  • • Information stands from local organisations that help
  • • “Drop in” sessions with a specialist dementia nurse and presentations from experts, professionals and carers
  • • Quiet room available for people with dementia and carers to rest during the day if needed
Jackie Killeen, Director of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland will welcome you to the event

You can get more details at the links below
With thanks to all the team at  Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling for inviting us along

Tommy 

Meeting today -Dementia through Art Project with Art IN the Gart





Hi

This morning I am going over to Gartnavel to meet up with the steering group from Art in the Gart to discuss in further detail my dementia and caring through art idea / project
With great thank to Samantha Flowers and Fiona Sinclair for their on- going interest in this idea and exhibition. As mentioned before my hope is to tell the story of the letters I receive through art along with working with local communities , carer centers , dementia cafes who I hope will add their life hopes and dreams through art for a permanent exhibition that I hope will help comfort ,inspire .involve and take the story of dementia and caring to a wider audience and help tell the love story of families across the land


Tommy        

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Positive film meeting NHSGG&C & later with GCU on hopefully some ideas and projects


Hi
I had a positive meeting with all concerned with the short carer engagement film ITS OK TO ASK earlier today and we should ne starting filming late February, this is a NHS &GGC about carers and services an idea that came from my own experience as a son and carer I will involved as a son who cared for his mum and will post more once we get rolling .I than passed by Glasgow Caledonian University to chat with Andy Lowndes who was the lead on the memoires FC event I both attended and spoke at briefly and was really inspired by everything I witnessed that day ,there is talk of reproducing this in another format soon. On meeting Andy leading up to and at that  event has left me / us looking at ways to work together over the months and we had a chat today about how we can do this .i will also be doing some talks at the university February and march And I am grateful to the GCU  ,Andy ,Lesley Jackie and Margaret for their time encouragement and for inviting me to speak to students who attend
February 15th 1st year mental health students
February 2oth 3rd year mental health students
March 12th nursing students
Thank you to all who I met withy today for including carers and their life stories in their projects
Tommy

Today Meeting NHSgg&c –CHP AND GCC to finalize outline for carer engagement film


Hi
I am off this morning to GCC to meet with NHSgg&c, enterprises screen and a representative from GCC to discus the final outline for a new carer engagement film working title ITS OK TO ASK, This film is being made to highlight the caring role and lives of carers as well as I hope help guide families to help and advice that is available to them .When caring for my mum I waited to long to ask for help and we neared crisis and as well as my hope to bring more help ,awareness and understanding through my awareness work for me not knowing about rights and help that is available is a tragedy in waiting and in itself
This unlike my last film is not a Tommyontour one I do this as a son who cared for his mum in the hope it help others find the help the deserve and is available
I will also voluntarily front road shows once the film is completed in public buildings and spaces
Tommy
With thanks to NHSgg&c for making this carer engagement film
tommy

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Meeting at Enterprise Screen to discuss carer engagement film



 Hi

I will be popping in to  Enterprise Screen today to chat about the new carer engagement film for NHS GG&C ,CHP with the working title ITS Ok To Ask
Brendan and Jamie directed my own Tommyontour film and I am looking forward to working with them again on this new film that I hope helps tell the story of caring and helps in some way help families find help that is available .with thanks to NHSGG&C for producing this film

Tommy 

Monday, 28 January 2013

What happened the last 5 years even now I am still unsure


Sometimes I start crying, the simplest of things set me off .We spent so long confined to this house that routines where built to get through the day .the routines changed and my mums health and dementia took their toll but it was always routines .each day trying to keep pace ,get though and survive in many ways earlier today without thinking I looked at the clock and thought better get dinner on .as this was part of a routine dinner, medication and bath for mum Only for a second then realized there is no routine and that’s when the tears started My mum is gone my mum who was always my friend then became my best friend and this started a process of tears and questions ,we where so busy trying to keep pace that we never asked enough questions .The biggest question of all is what happened one day I was care free probably to care free and certainly not planning for the future and mum was home in Glasgow and then a visit home to a tragedy in waiting a diagnosis of dementia and not much more ,no guidance no understanding and there began a 5 year journey always a step behind even at the end not sure what happened ,yes there where muttering of end of life care but as with the diagnosis ,no real guidance support or advice and as I try to figure out ,what happened to us over the last  5 years the only answer I can come up with is we never really stood a chance .we where never really informed of much the whole way through we where lost as where many people involved in mums care and that’s what has to change this journey dementia brings needs more planning .more information ,more understanding and the support from people who know more than we do .Its hard to figure out what happened over the last 5 years as we never quite knew what was happening at the time and the crying that happened all along this journey I cried so many nights like tonight as I cry myself to sleep but AT LEAST I KNOW WHY a mum like mine is worth crying for ,I wish it was only tears becuase I missed her but its mixed with tears for a mum who was in many ways let down by a lack of understanging from within us and towards us
Tommy



Sunday, 27 January 2013

Its People who change lives, listening, and understanding working together and never forgetting the person

After my walk round Scottish towns and cities .I was contacted by a family who asked me to come and collect their story in person as their story about their mum was taking its toll on all .I got the train through one day to collect and hear their story. One member of the family was strong  so tense with all that had happened and the other  was broken head and shoulders down and eyes full of heartbreak and tears I witnessed the impact this was having and had both of those people at different times and days whilst caring for my mum
And their story was tragic a family trying to care ,give and get the best for a mum they loved ,with a dining table full of correspondence about their mum ,her care her life and struggle to be heard and full of miss understandings and lack of understanding .I left the house that day wondering how does this happen how can this be .a few months later I was taking my letters to the Scottish Parliament to meet with the then Cab secretary for health Nicola Sturgeon who I have to say has given this we campaign and life stories the greatest respect. A week before going to Parliament I received another letters from this family and It was glorious but how can this be, same family a mother facing this challenge of dementia .what had changed? The answer was a person, a new consultant who took the time to be involved in all aspects of this journey,who listened ,discussed advised and gave this family the chance to do the thing they wanted to spend their time loving and cherishing their mum and for their mums whole life to be given the respect and dignity and help deserved  No longer written off No longer a strain on services ,no longer just a woman with dementia ,But a mother who was many great things to many people
Same services same help but in the hands of an understanding person and we should celebrate consultants, doctors Nurses ,Social workers anyone involved in our care who like this consultant took time added value and gave the best of advice and chance If we celebrate them then this will encourage others to follow
Its  people who change lives
I remember the ones who helped us through this thet make my heart smile. I remember the ones who had no desire or care  and they add to the pain of the struggle we faced
Tommy  

Collecting life stories raising awareness our thoughts experiences can help others #dementia


Hi
This awareness campaign is based on the life stories, thoughts and opinions from families living with or caring for a loved one with dementia. Our lives in our words  To date the stories collected so far have helped with motions at councils reports to government reports within SW departments at City Councils and used at talks within the care sector ,Universities and colleges along with carer sharing their experiences in a film .Please see below on going projects our stories are part of .My mum like so many others deserved a better understanding and help and I as a son struggled to cope and why should that after all I just wanted to care for my mum and for mum to have the best chance ,access to the best help and for a better understanding within and towards

can you help ,you can send any thoughts to tommy@i-woz-there.com

January 21st am Meeting Linda Pollok carers

January 2nd pm meeting Daniel NHS community engagement team

January 22nd meeting Jim Pearson Alzheimer Scotland

January 24th attending GNEC Easterhouse then over for Meeting at BBC 

January 25th meeting Carers Scotland Fiona 

January 30th meeting re carer engagement film city Chambers  with NHS GG*C CHP

January 31st       Art in the Gart meeting 

February 2nd speaking at healthcare conference Biggar via Jim Hume Lib –dem Healthcare spokesperson

February 3RD time TBC interview with Sally Magnuson BBC radio Scotland re- Aired

February 5th    meeting at Baillieston community care with David

February 6th    meeting carers  Alzheimer Scotland south Ayrshire carer group

February 15th speaking Caledonian university 3rd year mental health students

February 19th speaking South Ayrshire carers dementia awareness day

February 20th       speaking  1st year mental health nursing student’s Caledonian university

February 21st    attending Carers link Milgavie
February 22nd dementia working group Glasgow city council 2nd meeting  as per my motion passed 

March 14th    speaking at Lockerbie carers  dementia group

March 8th       conference at City Chambers  NHS  GG*C  caring for older people

March 12th  speaking to Nursing Students (500) Caledonian University

March 8-11      DCV workshops with students Cal Uni

March 22nd speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling

April    speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting


 on-going projects 

Academic paper                  with a leading university on the life stories
Carer engagement film                  working title (its ok to ask)  
Dementia through art project          in partnership with Gartnavel royal hospital a permanent exhibition
Glasgow city council dementia working group based on my motion passed last February

Talks
I have many talks lined up across the NHS and universities based on caring for my mum and the life stories
You can help make all of the above all they can be by sharing you’re story, thoughts, opinions or experiences good or bad at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Dementia Carer voices -Tommyontour updates on projects ,hopes and dreams

Dementia Carers Voices Update
Dementia Carers Voices is involved in the early stages of a number of exciting projects to raise awareness of the impact that dementia has on families and put the voices and experiences of carers at the forefront of discussions on future dementia care strategy.
Academic paper and book
The University of the West of Scotland will be collaborating with Glasgow Caledonian University to produce an academic study into dementia in Scotland, based upon the life stories collected by Tommy Whitelaw during his ‘Tommy on Tour’ campaign. This report will then be transformed into a book in which carers can pass on support and helpful tips they picked up during the course of their own journey caring for a loved one.
‘Letters through Art’ project
Dementia Carers Voices will be working in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and ‘Art in the Gart’ to use carer’s life stories as the inspiration for an art display in the new wing of Gartnavel Hospital. This exhibition aims paint a picture of what caring means in different communities across Scotland to inspire and comfort patients, visitors and staff.
Carer engagement film- “It’s okay to ask
In partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Community Health Partnerships, Tommy Whitelaw aims to build on the success and profile of his previous awareness raising campaign by fronting a carer engagement film to highlight the role of carers and encourage them to seek help to prevent crisis situations. This message will be spread further through ‘roadshow’ events in public spaces across the GGC area to interact with carers in their local communities.
Tommy admits that he himself waited too long to ask for help, and it is for this reason that he is so passionate about empowering and enabling others. “One of the biggest issues for me is that many people are unaware of the support already available to them that could avert crisis situations and literally change their lives.”
Talks to health and social care professionals
Thanks to the cooperation of NHS GGC, Tommy will continue to deliver presentations sharing his experiences as a carer with health and social care professionals and students across a variety of settings including hospitals, universities and colleges. These events are intended to raise awareness amongst the professionals that people come in to contact with during their journey as a carer and feedback from these events to date has been extremely positive.
 Meeting with Cabinet Secretary
Programme Director Irene Oldfather and Project Officer Tommy Whitelaw recently met with Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil to update him on the Dementia Carers Voices work programme and some of the projects outlined above. We look forward to sharing the key findings from carer’s experiences with him over the next two years in order to put dementia carers in the spotlight and ensure that their views are incorporated in to future carer’s strategies.
 We want to hear from you
We are passionate about providing a platform upon which carers can voice their hopes and concerns. If you would like to share your experience of caring for a loved one living with dementia, please contact tommy.tommy@i-woz-there.com

All of the above is based on the words .thoughts ,experiences of familes who write to me ,Our lives in our Words

Friday, 25 January 2013

Will this house ever feel like a home again?

Will this house ever feel like a home again?

Before dementia and caring for my mum I had never really stayed in a house for over twenty years,I traveled a minimum of 10 months a year and relationships and a home life suffered, Yes  I had a home I had  long term relationships but always from a distance and spent to little time to really make any house a home or with the people I was in a relationship with .Then I became my mums carer and from never spending time with people or in a home ,time was all we had .As dementia took its toll on us both our chance to be part of ,involved included shrunk and it shrunk to being prisoners of dementia ,caring and this house and more than that the house shrunk ,the last year as mum became unable to walk and then worse we moved upstairs. my mum a prisoner of this illness and me a sentenced witness apart from the 14 hours a week I had respite we lived behind the walls of this house those hours where always a rush or panic to go to supermarkets ,chores or as my campaign took of raise awarerness and give talks .always worried is mum ok will I make it back in time in fact the last 3 years caring I only left the house at night  9 times to do talks and that involved switching my day hours to nighttime But for the time in my life I had a home although a struggle inside happy to be home caring for my mum after all she was the kindest most caring person you could ever meet ,Now  I am still a prisoner of this house as 5 years of caring has taken its toll how do we recover ,yes  I have increased my awarerness work but not my life I don’t know how to socialize  or who to socialize with I and this from a man who when traveling with my job was out most nights and at the end of this I have a home life something I always dreamed of when traveling. It took caring for my mum to find me a home, now this does not feel like a home because the reason ,the heart and soul is gone ,my dream to find a home did not work out dementia made sure of that .A home felt like a prison to mum and I and still does

Tommy    

Meeting Fiona Carers Scotland today





Hi

I will be dropping by Carers Scotland’s office this afternoon to update and chat with Fiona  about Dementia Carer voices’., the carer engagement film and my dementia through art project

Fiona is the Policy & Public Affairs Manager at carer Scotland and I look forward to seeing and having a wee chat with her again .You can get more info on the work they do at the links below


Carers Scotland
The Cottage
21 Pearce Street
Glasgow  G51 3UT

Tel: 0141 445 3070

Thursday, 24 January 2013

A busy day G.N.E.C., then popped in to BBC


A busy day G.N.E.C., then popped in to BBC


Hi

Well I had busy positive day today .this morning I dropped by Glasgow North  East  Carers to see good friends  of my awareness campaign and of me personally
It was great to catch up and no matter how I feel when I walk in I always leave feeling better and less lonely .after that I  passed by the BBC for a chat with Liza who produced  the  BBC  radio Scotland  show with Sally Magnusson about caring for my mum and the letters ,the show will be aired this Sunday and the following .While there we had a chat about a few other ideas that might hopefully work ,so fingers crossed Also said a thank you to Sally for her Kindness and understanding at the interview ,we recorded this three weeks after my wee mum passed away and the kindness and understanding  from both Sally and Liza is appreciated 
So a good day spent with good people  

Tommy


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Today Attending and meeting great friends at GNEC tomorrow then over to the BBC




Hi

I am dropping by to see and update great friends at Glasgow North East Carer center tomorrow.Kaye and  all the gang have been a great support to my wee awareness campaign in fact you might recognize a few in the photo below from my short film. Appreciate the time and support they have given me and admire the group and community spirit they have. So passing by for a blether and to update on my projects , plans hope and dreams   

After that I will be popping in to the BBC to  have a chat with Liza who produced the medical matters broadcast on my life stories and meeting up for a quick coffee with Sally Magnusson who has interviewed me a few over the campaign                  


Tommy                                                             

Speaking to Nursing students (500) Caledonian University march 12th


Speaking to Nursing  students (500) Caledonian University march 12th

With great thanks to Jackie Gillespie  professor / lecturer Nursing at Caledonian University for inviting me along  on March 12th speak to the nursing students 500 in total
I look forward to speaking about life caring for my wee mum , the letters I receive along with showing my film .I will also be sharing reports on my letters with the students and taking some questions after the talk
Also at the University on February 15th and 20th I will be speaking to 1st and 3rd year Mental health students with thanks to lecturers Lesley McNab and Margaret Caldwell for inviting me

For me along with my talks to NHS staff I believe and hope this is the best avenue to take the life stories to help being more understanding
Tommy 


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

16 weeks ago today mum passed away and I just miss her

16 weeks ago today my we mum passed away and I just miss her

My wee mum passed away 16 weeks ago today ,she was only 73 and after 5 years of dementia and me trying to care and support her ,dementia and health issues took their final toll I was in the local  supermarket café yesterday waiting to meet Daniel from  the NHS  community engagement team and I was a bit early. Due to the wee campaign and coverage we have had I think almost a dozen people stopped to say keep up the campaigning but a few came to say how is your wee campaign going I have watched your MUM and you on the TV or read about mum and you in the papers how is she doing and then it just hits you, and it hits you hard that the person whose side I tried to stand by whose story I tried to and keep trying to tell is no longer here and this son just misses his wee mum his best wee pal with all my heart
Since mum passed away people keep saying oh Christmas will be hard ,new year will be hard birthdays ,significant dates and times will be hard  like today the 22nd will always be a reminder of the day we lost our fight ,but its  bigger than that I  miss my mum every day .the last 5 years changed so much of our lives and the dimensions of a mother and son relationship ,it had too ,so many things changed but dementia never changed my respect or love for my wee mum she was greater than any challenge dementia ever threw I just miss the kindness she gave  the love she had and I get all this credit for caring for my mum for 5 years that lady cared for me all my life even till her final day ,now that’s worth credit ,caring for a son for a lifetime and I miss that ,not because of a significant date or day I miss her because of all she was ,MY MUM MY BEST FRIEND  
Tommy

Saturday order of speakers Healthcare conference Feb 2nd (with thanks to Jim Hume MSP


 Healthcare conference organised by Jim Hume MSP Scottish   liberal Democrats 
Date: Saturday 2nd February
Venue: Gillespie Centre, 74 High Street, Biggar, ML12 6BJ (should be able to get free parking here)

Programme:

Chair: Sheila Thacker

10am Registration and coffee

10.30am Welcome from Jim Hume MSP

10.45am Willie Rennie MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader (inc leader’s questions from the floor)

11.30am Alan Beith MP (inc questions from the floor)

12pm Lunch

1pm Q&A – Alan, Jim, Willie, George Lyon

1.30pm George Lyon MEP (inc questions from the floor)

2pm ‘Tommy on Tour’ – Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Campaigner followed by discussion on caring for the ageing population

3pm Vote of thanks, raffle and close (Sheila Thacker) 

A positive day yesterday, popping in to Alzheimer Scotland today

A positive day yesterday, popping in to Alzheimer Scotland today

Hi
Yesterday was quite a busy day I stopped of to see Linda from Pollok Carers first for a chat we are meeting again tomorrow to chat more about the Art project and some other things I hope to get going .I then met with Daniel Connolly from the NHS community engagement team to chat about talks I have been doing and for some feed back and update .I am happy to say Daniel is looking to propose more talks  to NHS staff .I then had a brief chat with Kris from Alz Scotland .I met Kris last year when he was doing a memory walk for his mum and Alzheimer Scotland ,Kris now works at Alzheimer Scotland and we had a chat to about a few projects we both have .In-between meetings I had a lengthy phone call from a producer friend about an idea for a programme about dementia and the letters from a slightly different angle ,more on that once we have discussed in more detail but sounds and exciting opportunity to take the discussion on dementia to a wider and possibly new audience
Today I am dropping by to see Jim Pearson From Alzheimer Scotland for a we chat about Dementia  Carer Voices and a few other things .I worked closets with Jim a while back as Alzheimer Scotland supported my walk round Scottish towns and Cities along with funding my short film .So it will be nice to catch up and hear what they are doing at the moment and plans they have

Tommy
You can find out more about Alzheimer Scotland at the link below

Monday, 21 January 2013

Popping in to Pollock carers then meeting with NHS community engagement team


Popping in to Pollock carers then meeting with NHS community engagement team

Hi

Well I am popping in to see Linda from Pollok Carers this morning to cat about and update on my work .Pollok carers are my local care group / centre and Linda was involved in my mums and Is journey over the last year .I am then meeting with Daniel Connolly  from the NHSGG&C community engagement team .I met with Daniel just over a year ago and he helped me set up presentations to department heads along with hosting my film and blog on the NHS website under a carers Journey. Looking  forward to seeing both and updating on my campaign


Tommy  


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Loneliness & isolation played such big part in mums journey and is mentioned in nearly every letter I receive

Hi
Dementia alone bring enough to the table ,A journey without the best of help ,understanding advice ,friendship and opportunities is I feel an impossible task .Firstly we should be allowing all the chance to live ,live and cherish every moment they can ,For mum and I and too many others its not like that .A big part of this come down to understanding from within and the understanding of family friends and people who become involved in our care I am grateful for people who understood the challenges we faced ,we needed them and more like them should be encouraged the ones who added no value only increased or anxiety loneliness and voice we cant at this time cure dementia that is the challenge for researchers across the world ,but why did we like so many others become so lonely and isolated we can cure that surely My mum never deserved to be lonely she was to kind and caring to others for this to happen ,the poem stopped ringing ,the door stopped knocking and the chances to have a better chance decreased I remember one night popping my head into mums room to check she was ok ,it was a Saturday night and I could hear the sound of a taxi and people coming home from a good night out I could hear the laughter and the joy ,but that was missing from our life and house ,for the previous 3 years I had only left our house at night 9 times and those where to do talks and I had switched  my respite hours from day to night to attend and I cried myself to sleep that night as I had done on so many occasions before as loneliness was affecting part of my heart and soul
How could this mum who cared for so many and even a son who had many friends be left so alone and lost .why do so many people who share their stories face loneliness isolation and a lack of  understanding surely as a society we can change this .we cant alone wait for or rely on a cure we have to build in a process for this journey and all journeys that involve long time care that’s takes these things away .I sit today lonely recovering from a struggle to hard missing my mum who was also my best friend in many ways angry at dementia but just as angry at the things we can cure It does not take strategies or policies to cure much of this ,It takes understanding ,kindness and never for getting the person ,the life they led the life should still be allowed to lead As dementia took away over time all of my mum’s memoires why did others forget as quickly
If we keep dementia as a whisper  if we forget the greatness of people then we leave them no chance ,while the researchers look for a cure we should all be curing the parts we can Loneliness, isolation ,understanding ,respect and dignity you don’t need a researcher for them
Tommy  

A letter changed my life our life stories can bring help and understanding

Life stories why believe in and collect them

This campaign is based on the life stories thoughts and opinions of people and there are a few reasons why I both collect and believe in them, the stories collected to date have been part in much awareness dialogue with Government Local authorities including motions at councils and report by SW departments, They have been the heart and soul of many talks across the care sector ,Universities colleges ,carer centers and beyond I am now working on an Academic paper and a new carer engagement film ,All if which I feel are important and in their own small way helping raise both awareness and understanding .all the afore mentioned are based on our live in our words. More importantly I collect life stories because our lives matter .My mum like to many others was to often was viewed upon as just a wee woman with dementia and all that had gone before forgotten or ignored the greatness of her life given to little value ,time or discussion and that fills me with great sadness .If we use only the journey of dementia as a starting point ,then how can we truly help or understand the best way to interact ,encourage and allow people the respect dignity and time they deserve .so life stories I HOPE  help tell the whole story and  help show the impact dementia has on many people lives .if we understand the impact then we understand best how to limit it and give families the best support to love ,cherish and succeed  
A letter changed my life
My personal reason for collecting letters and life stories is the fact a letter changed my life .Before coming back to Glasgow to visit my mum a visit that ended with my mums diagnosis of dementia and the beginning of a five year struggle to understand and cope .My then long term girlfriend and I had Just split up in fact I was coming home for mum to put her arms round me as she had done so many time before and made things betters .For the first time I had to truly put my arms round mum as she was in more need of help and support than I was .Both my girlfriend and I travelled constantly with our work and for the last years together and in so many ways my girlfriend tried to tell / discuss with me how things had to change ,how we where getting older ,how we never spent time together, along with settling down and children. The more she tried to discuss lour future the less I heard .the more she shouted ,whispered even in the most intimate of discussions the less I heard I always seemed to avoid a discussion after all I was happy I was traveling ,having a great time and always used the same avoidance I am just home or I when I get home in 3 months we will fix things .I got away with this for to long .On my last journey away ,I was going to America for 3 months I opened my suitcase on arrival and inside founds a letter ,a letter that broke my heart but a letter that showed the impact my actions ,my inability to listen ,me selfishness and many other actions where having on someone’s life. Someone I loved, some one who gave me so many chances and tried in so many others ways to ask me to just listen or try and understand and on reading that letter I understood more about myself than I have had before and she was right I was affecting and holding back her chance to live the best she could
So a Letter changed my life, that’s my personal reason for believing in and collecting them I hope to take them to all who need to read them to try and help them understand how the actions of others can have such and impact on lives and the actions of others can  also change lives for the better and to truly help someone you have to take time to listen and understand them
You can share your story at tommy@i-woz-there.com

   

Saturday, 19 January 2013

New talks ,Meetings projects and awareness added


More talks ,Meetings projects and awareness added


January 21st am Meeting Linda Pollok carers

January 2nd pm meeting Daniel NHS community engagement team

January 22nd meeting Jim Pearson Alzheimer Scotland

January 24th attending GNEC Easterhouse then over for Meeting at BBC 

January 25th meeting Carers Scotland Fiona 

January 30th meeting re carer engagement film city Chambers  with NHS GG*C CHP

January 31st       Art in the Gart meeting 

February 2nd speaking at healthcare conference Biggar via Jim Hume Lib –dem Healthcare spokesperson

February 3RD time TBC interview with Sally Magnuson BBC radio Scotland re- Aired

February 5th    meeting at Baillieston community care with David

February 6th    meeting carers  Alzheimer Scotland south Ayrshire carer group

February 15th speaking Caledonian university 3rd year mental health students

February 19th speaking South Ayrshire carers dementia awareness day

February 20th       speaking  1st year mental health nursing student’s Caledonian university

February 21st    attending Carers link Milgavie
February 22nd dementia working group Glasgow city council 2nd meeting  as per my motion passed 

March 14th    speaking at Lockerbie carers  dementia group

March 8th       conference at City Chambers  NHS  GG*C  caring for older people

March 8-11      DCV workshops with students Cal Uni

March 22nd speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling

April    speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting


 on-going projects 

Academic paper                  with a leading university on the life stories
Carer engagement film                  working title (its ok to ask)  
Dementia through art project          in partnership with Gartnavel royal hospital a permanent exhibition
Glasgow city council dementia working group based on my motion passed last February

Talks
I have many talks lined up across the NHS and universities based on caring for my mum and the life stories
You can help make all of the above all they can be by sharing you’re story, thoughts, opinions or experiences good or bad at tommy@i-woz-there.com



Friday, 18 January 2013

This Sunday Dementia special our story BBC radio Scotland our letters our life stories




BBC radio Scotland will be re- airing broadcast about caring for mum mum and the life stories on Sunday Feb 3rd  10:30Am

Please see below the link to the BBC Scotland Medical Matters  Dementia, who looks after the carers /Tommyontour the letters special With great thanks to the amazing families who write to me and share their stories and for their courage in reading them out also to Sally Magnusson for her kind interviews and producer Liza Grieg for her and Sallies understanding and respect to all involved  

with great thanks to Prof June Andrews for her advice and Knowledge on the show
The campaign to raise awareness continues you can send you’re story

to tommy@i-woz-there.com 
  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nq2xt



Caring for Carers

As someone who's cared for a parent with dementia, Sally Magnusson is concerned that there isn't enough support for carers looking after their relatives at home. In this Medical Matters, Sally talks to carers of people with dementia, including campaigner Tommy Whitelaw, who toured Scotland raising awareness of how dementia affects sufferers and their carers, by asking carers to write letters telling their stories that he presents to the Scottish Government. Though caring for a loved one is often a privilege, Sally discusses what makes it such a challenging and traumatic experience, and asks what we can all do to ease the strain on carers.

Meeting January 3oth with NHSGG*C –CHP – GCC Re carer engagement film


Meeting January 3oth with NHSGG*C –CHP – GCC Re carer engagement film


Hi

I will be meeting at the City Chambers on January 30th  with NHSgg&c CHP ,Enterprise Screen and a Rep from GCC to discus in finer detail the story board ,aims and outcomes for the carer  engagement film .As mentioned before this is not a Tommyontour film as such but I will narrating the film as a son who cared for his mum for 5 years along with some other carers to show an insight into daily life we are hoping the film will help bring more understanding in some small way on caring along with highlighting help and guidance that is available  

I when first carring for my mum did not know who or how to ask for help ,I hope this film helps others find the help they may need and most certainly deserve 
Tommy  

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