Carers help people live well with dementia

Colin and Lillian

Colin who has dementia and his wife and carer, Lillian

A recent survey has found that there are over 25,000 people living with dementia in Leeds. This number is growing as we all live longer, and more families know someone who has dementia. Most of these people are looked after by family and friends – an enormous army of people doing a very difficult job.

It was National Dementia Carers Day at the weekend and here we talk to someone from the Dementia Friendly Leeds campaign, about what’s around in Leeds to support people. There’s also a very short film where Colin and Lillian from Leeds talk about what it’s like living with dementia. Continue reading

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Could you become a provider of supported lodgings?

Originally posted on Child friendly Leeds::

Today we talk to Ben Whitehead, a manager within Leeds City Council’s fostering team, about Leeds City Council’s new supported lodgings initiative. The initiative provides lodgings for young people aged 16-21, and we wanted to know how this new initiative works and who can get involved and become a supported lodgings provider…

Supported lodgings are a new initiative from Leeds City Council, what prompted the initiative starting up?

Leeds has a lack of appropriate semi-independent living for young people aged 16 plus, and as a result these young people often find themselves in a range of temporary accommodation, or being provided with their own accommodation when they aren’t emotionally and practically ready for full independence.

Supported lodgings are about offering young people a half-way house, an environment where they’re given a high degree of independence, but that they will have support from their lodgings provider to talk to and help…

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Mick Ward shares his attempts at suicide…

I mentioned yesterday how knowing someone who’s been through one of life’s most tragic times (in this case attempted suicide), makes it all the more real and that today we’d be sharing it with you. I was asked by Mick Ward, Head of Commissioning at Adult Social Care what I thought to him sharing his story of attempted suicide.  It’s a question I never thought I’d ever be asked nor that Mick would be the one asking it, but he did and my immediate response was why? Why would you want to bare your soul for all to see and potentially put yourself at risk of office chatter and people seeing you in such a different light? His bold and, in my eyes, brave response was that in telling his story, it might stop people from doing what he tried but failed to do. Suicide wasn’t the answer for squaring off life’s credits and debits and for those that think this is a way; is THE only way, it really doesn’t have to be as Mick will share. According to Mick, the greatest tragedies of all are the people you leave behind and not being able to ever tell your story or the many stories to come. Simply put, suicide to ‘square off’ and stop unbearable misery and torment isn’t the only option even if, at the time, it might seem so.

Lizzie Continue reading

Posted in Choice, Health and Wellbeing, Information, Mental Health, Safeguarding, suicide | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Dying to be heard… please

hand holding

There are some blog subjects that are easy to write and a delight to research. Then there are some which make you stop and shudder; that stay with you long after the words have been written and the ‘save’ button pressed. This is one of those, but as difficult as this subject is to tackle, perhaps, just perhaps by reading this you may wonder a little more about an altogether different boy’s ‘club’ (although women not excluded) and help save a life too.

Tomorrow, it is National Suicide Prevention day and as much as you may be reaching for the delete key, please don’t because the facts are shocking. Yes, most of us will be aware that Robin Williams’ recent suicide from depression threw the world into a flurry of disbelief. Many of us grew up with his films; the funny man who became a familiar face and entertained the masses from the last millennia to (sadly) only recently. But he wasn’t as familiar as, say, someone you work with. He was but a stranger on the screen but when you bring the spotlight on suicide closer to home (someone in Adult Social Care) for me at least, it becomes all the more real. Continue reading

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As old as my tongue and as Age Friendly as my teeth


We often use the term ‘I feel old’ rather than ‘I am old’. Maybe there’s something telling in how we express our age. But how do we know when we are old and how do we react when people tell us we might be?

In the build up to International Day of Older People on 1st October we will be looking at age and what it might mean to different people. We start with a post by a member of our communications team who has a significant birthday on the horizon but who maybe doesn’t see it that way. Continue reading

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Stepping back in time with the Care & Repair Memories Reminiscence Library


This week we’ve been shining the spotlight on dementia, taking a closer look at a number of organisations and groups that support people in Leeds. Today’s post comes from Karen Bentley, Memories Outreach Worker for Care & Repair Leeds who has been helping people step back in time to stimulate conversation and reminisce about the good times. Continue reading

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In search of the lost chord – the Singing for the Brain choir

This week we’ll be shining a spotlight on activities that helps people with dementia live well and also their carers.  The Singing for the Brain choir based at Otley Courthouse and later Care and Repair’s memory library resource.

Singing for the brain choir

Singing for the Brain choir

“It is absolutely delightful” says Penny “We didn’t know anyone here to begin with but they’re such a lovely group of people.”

Penny and her husband, Stanley, who has mild cognitive impairment, joined the Singing for the Brain choir at Otley Courthouse eighteen months ago. The choir consists of people with dementia, their carers and volunteers.

Hymns, showstoppers, 60s pop, jazz or folk – all have a place in their songbook and the music soothes, stimulates and brings to mind long-forgotten memories and unites them in song. Continue reading

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