Dementia Friends Press release

I’m pleased to say that Bridgwater College have kindly let me use the Walled gardens of Cannington tea rooms to run some Dementia Friends information sessions.

Me in action at a recent session in the Walled Gardens tea rooms. A Dementia Friends session for the staff and volunteers

Me in action at a recent session in the Walled Gardens tea rooms. A Dementia Friends session for the staff and volunteers

Click here to see the coverage on Walled Gardens Website

PRESS RELEASE from Bridgwater College
18 December 2014
Jenny Pearce 01278 441215

Walled Gardens of Cannington to hold free dementia training

The Walled Gardens of Cannington is to hold free training sessions for those interested in becoming Dementia Friends and learning more about dementia.

The sessions will be run by local Dementia Friends Champion Kris Scotting and held in the Gardens’ Tea Room. Members of the public can drop in to the sessions without pre-booking to find out how they can help be more dementia friendly. Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help improve the lives of the 670,000 people currently living with the condition.

The Walled Gardens Tea Room previously held a training session for staff and volunteers which was a great success.

Rich Mullan, who works at the Gardens said, “With dementia very much in the headlines of late, I was keen to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about it. This short introduction course was a real eye opener on both a personal and business level. We hope to introduce measures within the Plant and Gift Shop and Tea Room that will help all visitors to the Gardens, to leave having enjoyed a positive experience. I would encourage anyone to attend a Dementia Friend training session, a little understanding can make a big difference.”

Jayne Alcock, Grounds and Gardens Supervisor said, “This is an important initiative in raising awareness about the difficult subject of dementia. We are keen to ensure that all sections of the community are able to enjoy the Gardens and Kris gave us some useful tips on how to improve the experience and meet the needs of visitors who may be experiencing dementia.”

The Walled Gardens will be holding the sessions on Wednesday 14, 21 and 28 January, for anyone who is interested in finding out more to attend.

Kris Scotting said, “The Dementia Friends staff and volunteer session in Cannington was fantastic and the feedback from participants was really positive. It gives me such satisfaction to speak to people about dementia and how it affects people’s every day lives.”

For more information about the Walled Gardens of Cannington, visit, call 01278 655042 or email

Notes to editors:

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative funded by the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
Dementia Friends and Dementia Friends Champions can sign up through the Dementia Friends website
Dementia Friends is currently England only. However, Alzheimer’s Society is committed to exploring how the Dementia Friends initiative might develop in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.
Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, championing the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them .
You can find out more about Alzheimer’s Society through their website
Press Office 08450 744 395 Email:


Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone has had a happy and restful break. I certainly did, but have had to cram a couple of weeks work into five days in order to catch up!

Hence the lateness of the greeting.

One of the things that makes Christmas for me is the BBC.

It all starts with the Christmas Radio Times, and then Carols From Kings, The Reith lectures, The Royal Society Christmas Lectures and delightfully this year Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens!

The Reith Lectures by Professor Atul Gawande were a huge pleasure this year and I can highly recommend them.

Click here to go the BBC website to listen to them

The first lecture explores the topic of why doctors fail, and explores the factors which affect medicine, Ignorance (lack of knowledge) and Ineptitude (failure to use existing knowledge).

The second lecture is titled the century of the system,  and interestingly describes some simple systems that care and nursing homes would do well to copy.

Lecture three is about the problem of hubris and looks at the issues of aging and death and how society has a problem recognising the limits of what professionals can do.

The final lecture the idea of wellbeing is for me the highlight, and explores ideas around end of life care and assisted dying.

If nothing else, for me, the whole series re enforces the importance of the fact that people providing care need to care. A simple concept,but one that’s often overlooked.

Age Action Alliance South West update

I know I’ve mentioned this group before, but a quick update on activity and a pointer to the website and report on the first meeting is in order.

Im looking forward to the next meeting and hopeful we can get something positive out of the whole initiative.


I’ve been meaning to write about Derek for a few days now. The ads for the new series have drawn my attention to it. So I watched series one at the weekend.

I didn’t think I’d like it.

I didn’t want to like it.

I thought Ricky Gervais would be crass and insensitive.

I was wrong.

It’s not perfect, but it hits a tone and sends some messages.

Watch and tell me what you think.

New BBC documentary

There’s a new documentary on the telly this week.

Looking at Older People’s Services in Birmingham.

If it lives up to its billing it will be worth a watch.

If you are reading this after 17th April I’m sure it’ll be on I player. I’ll post a link when it’s up.

National Care Homes Open Day

I’m not a fan of care home open days, it all seems a bit Victorian Voyeur to me.

This initiative has some good aims at heart. Opening homes to be part of the community and getting people involved.

However it does seem by look of some of the big firm sign ups, that it’s become a marketing exercise.

Let’s hope it doesn’t.

And of course if you are looking for a home it’s a great chance to have a thorough look around and talk to folks before deciding.

One would also hope that CQC have boots on the ground.

Regardless of my reservations, inviting local communities into homes does provide opportunities. Reducing isolation and institutionalisation being two. Opportunities for local volunteers to get involved in activity in the home, for the dual benefits of themselves and the residents.

I’m going to sign up as a member of the public and see what happens, watch this space.

The Bad

I started this business to help people to find good quality care. Having worked in care for twenty eight years I think I know how to find good care and spot the bad.

I don’t want to frighten people or be alarmist, my priorities are-

1-Help people to find good care

2-Help people to get value for money

3-Help families to have peace of mind.

To ensure I am up to date I keep a weather eye on the news, and sadly there is usually at least one bad care story a day.

I know the press, led by the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, love a bad care story. I do filter out some of the weaker ones. I’m afraid this still leaves too many.

If you would like to keep up to date, I list them on my page-

Please don’t lose sleep, good quality care is out there and I can help you to find it.

Or free phone 0800 0016694

Dementia Champions Training

I had a really enjoyable day yesterday attending training for Dementia Champions.

This is the next step up from being a Dementia Friend and Champions can run information sessions for people interested in becoming Dementia friends.

It was a great and diverse group of people who attended the day, which was run by the Alzheimer’s Society. The Regional Support officer Camilla Alfred did a great job of delivering the training.

All being well I should be delivering information sessions soon, watch this space for details.

To find out more about Dementia friends:

Click here



Digital Inclusion

Here’s a thing I’ve been wrestling with for a while.

The marketers would like to think everyone over sixty is on the Internet for most of their day.

I’ve spoken with lots of you and apparently that’s not true.

Obviously I do a lot of work online, and would like nothing more than a ready audience for my words of wisdom.

So have a vested interest in folks being connected to the digital world.


Research by Age UK highlights some of the issues people have with getting online.

Fear of the technology, worry about fraud, not wanting to.

And makes some suggestions about how these might be addressed.

I like the idea of not focussing on the technology, more on what it can do for the person.

Not seen your sister in Canada for twenty years?

Look at this screen and you can talk face to face!! How amazing would that be.

I know my I pad has changed the way I work and play.

Clearly the potential is there for all.

So here’s to the next tea and tech party 🙂

For the full story