‘Conversations about Covid’ is run by the Yorkshire and Humber Dementia and Older People’s Clinical Network. They are held fortnightly and are always on a different theme. They are for Professionals and it is a different topic every time, usually a Powerpoint Presentation.
In November, Sarah Merriman, Carer Involvement Lead England took Jackie, Linda and Diana all carers of someone with Young Onset Dementia. Sarah did a introduction to tide and then they all spoke in turn about their experiences, starting with Linda who is still caring for her husband at home, follwed by Jackie who talked about the awful experience she had watching her husband’s rapid decline during covid and having to put him into a care home, finally to Diana, whose husband was already in a care home and who sadly died during the first lockdown.
You can watch Jackie story here
When carers tell their story it is straight from the heart and so moving because its raw.
After they had finished speaking, Sarah asked if there were any comments and there was total silence for some time until one of the GP leads Dr Rod Kersh said,
“I’m absolutely speechless, that was so powerful”
Dr Rod Kersh writes a blog and he wrote about the session afterwards. You can read it here.
Below are some of the comments that I received by email , following on from the session.
“Thank you all it was very powerful today and I will help as much as I can”
“Thank you so much for speaking at this morning’s Conversations session. It was so powerful to hear the 3 stories from three wives who have been providing support and care for their husbands during the pandemic – to hear the challenges faced and in Diana and Eugene’s case at least, some of the blessings.”
The Quality Improvement Lead – Mental Health Clinical Networks (Yorkshire and the Humber)NHS England and NHS Improvement (North East and Yorkshire) said,
“It was lovely to meet you all virtually yesterday. I have to say … I was glad I was asked to support the session yesterday, it was so powerful and inspirational. I certainly have identified some actions I can take forward as a result of what I heard.”
This demonstrates the power of sharing stories and this is what we do and will contine to do as tide.