Thursday, May 29, 2014

Carey Mulligan - Alzheimer's Society Ambassador - Grandmother's Dementia: VIDEO

A beautiful insight into the world of the grandmother of actress Carey Mulligan, who has dementia.


Says the YouTube description:

Carey Mulligan joined people with dementia and their carers at a dementia cafĂ© in Kentish Town, London. The Bafta-winning star has chosen to support Alzheimer's Society as her grandmother Margaret, known as Nans, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2004. In this film she discusses her relationship with Nans, and the effect dementia has had on her life. 

Speaking at the event, Alzheimer's Society Ambassador, Carey said:

'I am committed to helping the Alzheimer's Society in any way I can. My family and I rely on the help of organisations like Alzheimer's Society to help us understand the disease and guide us in the care of my grandmother. It's been a privilege to meet so many carers and people with dementia.'

The transcript of this video is available on the Alzheimer's Society website - click here.

Such powerful, beautiful words.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Alzheimer's Australia - 2011 Dementia Facts Australia

When people go searching for information on dementia as soon as they suspect a loved one - or they - may have it, it may be hard to get their head around what dementia is, its incidence and what to do next.

What I love about Alzheimer's Australia is how they do an exceptional job at simplifying and demystifying a diagnosis which can cause much concern and distress.

Here is a video they created on dementia stats and facts:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sparking Connections: Ways to find beauty, joy and meaning in dementia - Carrie Clarke at TEDxExeter VIDEO

This is just beautiful - I could listen to this woman talk for hours.

Carrie Clarke is a former traditional signwriter who has worked for many years in the arts and health field. She is currently an occupational therapist working with an inpatient unit for people with dementia in Exeter, UK; she is also a practising artist.

Watch her TedX talk on 'sparking connections': ways to find beauty, joy and meaning in dementia. It's quite powerful and the concepts make complete sense:

Says the YouTube description:

In 2010 she led a team in developing an innovative 'Enhancing the Healing Environment' project to transform an inpatient hospital environment for people with dementia. The project had at its heart a participatory approach, consulting with people living with dementia, their carers and staff, and incorporating their views and ideas into the design. These individuals were also actively involved in creating some of the outstanding and moving artwork for the new unit.

As an Occupational Therapist, the fundamental inter-relationship between people, meaningful occupation and the environment is central to Carrie's work. To this she brings an aesthetic eye and a strong desire to raise awareness of the impact of environments on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people living with dementia.

Carrie is passionate about finding new ways to create a more sustainable, respectful, meaningful and engaging way of being with people with dementia, that will support a better quality of life based on a sense of connection to place, to self and to others. For this to happen, new relationships and partnerships need to be forged that cross conventional boundaries, encouraging creative and innovative approaches to one of society's greatest challenges -- that of ageing and dementia.

The 'EHE' project was recently 'highly commended' in the Arts and Health South West Awards 2012, and Carrie's work won an NHS award for 'Change and Innovation' in September 2012.

What an incredibly insightful, beautiful human being.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

'Generation Squeeze': Life gets harder for those caught between supporting dependent children and caring for elderly parents

This. This. And this.

A million times over.

This article - from - completely echoes why I have written my forthcoming book 'The Australian Ageing Generation Handbook' (out June 2014, through Jane Curry Publishing).

Here is an excerpt from the article:

There is no respite for generation squeeze, with pressures simply mounting for people in their 40s and 50s, and women generally doing the heaviest lifting of all, according to Graeme Hugo, director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide.

''The load falls disproportionately on these women who straddle the younger baby boomers and the older Gen X-ers,'' he said. ''They have multiple demands on them.''

His observation is supported by the findings from the Australian Work and Life Index, compiled by the University of South Australia's Centre for Work + Life.

Women aged 35 to 44 have the worst work-life balance, but those who are carers for both children and others fare worst of all.

Sara Charlesworth, associate professor at the Centre for Work + Life, said this group was already pushed to the limit with changes flagged in the budget expected to weigh heavily.

''These people are always rushed and pressed for time because they are juggling multiple responsibilities,'' she said.

''That affects their capacity for social interaction, relaxation, exercise. All that gets pushed aside.

''Now we have government policy which is withdrawing financial support at the same time as it's creating an extra care burden for families who will be expected to absorb that.''

Read the rest here.

Utterly accurate. It's the life I am living now. None of my friends are. But in time… they will be. It's the circle of life, pure and simple.

Thoughts on this concept? Can you relate?

Below, the photo collage (created by Adam Cubito from Hello PR & Creative) which shows MY sandwich generation:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The endota Experiment #endotalovesmums - VIDEO

I spotted this on Australian TV - on 'Sunrise' - a few days ago and positively bawled.

It's all about mums, in time for Mother's Day.

Watch and share. I defy you to not cry:

If we are caring for elderly mums - and dads - the importance of the message of this video is amplified about tenfold.

If they have dementia, multiply that by about 100.

The YouTube description says:

"Even on Mother's Day, we fail - sorry people, but we do - we fail to tell our Mothers just how much they mean to us, and just how grateful we are for their tireless sacrifice and support.

Because #endotalovesmums, we conducted an experiment...

We invited six unsuspecting people to take part. Unaware of what it would involve, the participants were given a list of prompts and asked to reflect on what their Mums mean to them.
The prompts included "when I imagine my Mum, I see her...", "now that I'm a parent myself, I want to thank my Mum for...", and "if Mum were no longer around, I would feel..."

They were then were asked to take the confronting step of calling their Mums to relay their feelings -- a task so simple in theory, but in reality hugely emotional, surprisingly difficult and ultimately massively rewarding. Cue heartfelt thanks. Genuine appreciation. Thrilled Mums. And oh so many tears.

We hope it encourages you to do the same this Mother's Day.
'endota loves Mums' gift cards are available from your local endota spa. Grab one, and tell your Mum how you really feel this Mother's Day."

Social links:
Join the conversation by using the #endotalovesmums hashtag