Special people

In life people enter our life and we may not know the reason why at the time.  They may appear for just a while or they may remain a constant in our life. However, these people help shape our lives, give it purpose perhaps but the special ones certainly make a difference.

As I have discussed frequently the past few weeks it is not the length of the friendship but the depth, the kindness the person may extend and how they encourage you to broaden your own horizons.

Over the years of freelancing I have worked with some amazing people with creativity and talent that I hope in some small way always rubs off on me. Some clients we are glad when the assignment ends whilst others will end up being friends outside of the work we do with them.

This week I am remembering a very special lady who it was a real privilege to spend time with and I will cherish every experience for a long time to come. As a result of the opportunity I have been able to, expand my own knowledge, help other families and gain a valuable insight into the challenge of living with dementia.

In life whatever we are doing we should endeavour to make it count, make us reflect who we are and how we can improve the lives of those we also touch.

Have a great weekend fellow bloggers and my great followers be inspired, be positive and keep healthy.

Communication let’s talk

I have lost count the times I write about communication being the key to success in any personal or business relationship, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that some people find it harder to communicate than others. This is where patience, caring and understanding step in and we can all do our bit even in our own community and within families.

A recent blog I ranted about how people in wheelchairs or disabilities are often ignored (a discussion I had earlier this week with a new friend**) additionally we agreed this can happen when people are recently bereaved as we search for the right words to offer in sympathy -there are no words but don’t avoid people either. Don’t under estimate the power of a simple hand of the arm and just saying ‘i’m thinking of you.’  **Hi Julia if you are following.

Equally, many will find it awkward to speak to somebody with dementia but there is help available. As ever I am steering my followers to the Alzheimer’s Society’s website: within their wide selection of free literature you will find easy tips to follow to enhance your relationship with, and the life of, the person living with dementia.

Being elderly can become very isolating and lonely so pop in and see that neighbour… a quick bit of engagement will make their day.

Animal love -therapeutic

I saw on GMB TV this morning a great community idea of joining elderly who may be lonely with a scheme of looking after chickens. Often people under-estimate the value and joy of working and caring with animals. Having kept chickens, raised from a few days old, I know the more you inter-act the calmer and more friendly they become and are all such characters. Not forgetting the amazing fresh egss!

My chickens Dolly and Daisy are now running around in that great coup in the sky pictured below at a hen party.

 

hen night! 15-06-08_1722 - Copy

 

Xmas Tree Festival

St Saviour’s Tree Festival is in full swing. I visited Sunday to see all the amazing trees decorated and sponsored by local charities and organisations.

This year there are two lovely memory trees where one can add a message in memory of a loved one lost. As we know it is a times like Christmas when we may be missing and remembering somebody we have lost this year. As I often post bereavement is not an overnight process and for those mourning the pressure to feel happy and festive can be overwhelming. For those who may have nursed a loved one with cancer the bereavement journey can be a complicated one with delayed grief mixed with feelings of relief that a loved one is no longer suffering.

Christmas Tree Festival

For my local followers just reminding you all to find time to visit St Saviour’s St Albans Xmas Tree Festival which starts Saturday 16th opening at 12.00.

This is a beautiful event held at one of my favourite local churches entrance is free but donations are welcome. From the 16th -23rd there will be a number of events held with something for everyone and all ages. The Cafe is open all week until 4.30 daily. Aside of the various day time activities and craft fair please check for services on their website http://www.ssaviours.org

The wonderful display of trees is all sponsored and decorated by local charities and organisations. This year my own tree (jointly sponsored with Visual Merchandising) is to help raise awareness for Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society, so if you manage to get along you will find our tree in the Lady chapel.

 

St Saviours Christmas Tree Festival

St Saviours Church in St Albans are once again holding their Christmas Tree Festival starting 16th of December and running until 23rd.  Entry is free but donations are of course welcome.

Every day there are attractions for all ages including film shows and musical events with a craft fair and cafe open until 4.30 throughout the week. Full details of services are on their website:

http://www.ssaviours.org.

This year my own tree is to help with awareness for Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society. If you visit please come and see my tree in the Lady Chapel promoting;-

love kindness and understanding.

Dementia awareness

Many of my friends and associates with aging parents are now faced with the challenge of dementia.

I cannot recommend highly  enough The Alzheimers Society for their support and advice. I know I post this on a regular basis but for those adapting their life they have amazing literature to help you support those you love. Please visist their website:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/publications

World Kindness Day

So I am reliable informed is World Kindness Day and for most of us this is a daily act and for others they may have to work a bit harder. I often write about kindness and how it is a strength and so easy to apply. If we are kind in our thoughts, deeds and actions, in my experience it is returned back to us.

To have that friend you have to be that friend as one of my favourite gurus once said.

This year I am sponsoring a tree again with Sarah Manning at St Saviours Tree Festival in St Albans with a theme of ‘love, kindness and understanding‘ in support of dementia awareness for the Alzheimers Society. Our tree will be in the Lady Chapel this time and we are thrilled. The festival has something for everyone, entry free but donations are welcome.

The festival starts on Saturday 16th December running daily until 23rd December. Please visit their website http://www.ssaviours.org for full details and carol services.

Love and protect the elderly

Now I know the world has gone completely mad. I am not one to shy away from technology and as my amazing mother used to say ‘don’t be beaten by man nor machine.‘ But, seriously, my lovely fellow bloggers and followers  do we really want robots looking after our elderly?

I work with clients with dementia and their families with some friends contemplating and facing putting their parents into nursing homes for various health reasons. The idea that they will be put in a room with a robot is crazy if not cruel.

Having visited various nursing homes what the residents need is the personal touch and social interaction to keep their spirits up and help fight loneliness. It is a huge and difficult period of adjustment when somebody leaves their family home to move into a nursing home. I’m sorry but a robot cannot monitor the wellbeing of humans.

These private nursing homes are making a fortune with many paying staff low wages and expecting a lot of the entertainment and other facilities to be met by volunteers. The idea they will save money by investing in robots just shows the mentality of what we are dealing with. It’s obvious a real case of business not personal care!

Many people approaching the age/stage of life to end up in a nursing home will be like me and think of robots as the cybermen from Dr Who or the classic series The Avengers of the 60’s and that is neither funny nor a entertaining thought.

Why can’t we be like other countries who value, respect and provide proper care for the elderly? The generation, in many cases who have fought for their country giving a huge chunk of their early lives in the process. What a great thank you…I am spitting feathers today I kid you not.