My campaigning journey
How I got involved with NDCAN
I first became aware of NDCAN when I was attending the Alzheimer Scotland Annual Conference in 2017. At the time, I was caring for my mum and had seen the conference advertised, and thought that it would help me understand her dementia better. NDCAN had a stand and I spoke to their Coordinator at the time, Jane, who explained that they helped to give a platform for carers. I thought this was something I could really get involved with and I Iater met up with Jane to chat more about NDCAN.
Joining the committee
Joining the committee
I joined the committee a year later in 2018. I felt passionately that the experiences and struggles we faced when caring for mum could have been avoided had there been better awareness, training and support. As a committee member, I have had huge opportunities to have a say, improve awareness, and make positive changes. With the current Covid pandemic, we have all seen the effects on our care homes. I have only been able to visit mum 3 times in 7 months, and my husband hasn't seen her at all due to visiting restrictions. Now visiting has been stopped and we only have 'window visits'. This makes me more determined to speak out, and I am grateful that I can.
At committee meetings, we have had speakers from all areas of dementia care, such as the Care Inspectorate, Dementia in Care Homes group, Focus on Dementia and more. We are able to give our opinions and share our experiences at these sessions. Shortly after I joined the committee, we met with the Minister for Mental Health and had the opportunity to discuss the implementation of Scotland's Dementia Strategy and the funding of Post Diagnostic Support.
"I really love that we can truly make a difference. I enjoy working alongside the Scottish Dementia Working Group and hearing the feelings of people living with dementia has given me a different viewpoint"
Some of my work
My role continued
"To anyone thinking of joining and feeling nervous, I would encourage you to join. You gain so much and i feel it helps me emotionally as I am able to make a difference. I can't help mum but I can help make the future better for others."