An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world




A DMC for Ross - First Press Release (PR 1)                                                         Home page here 

                                                                      A menu of textual opportunity

The aim is to arrive at an agreed final version (PR 1).   The draft version way down the page contains virtually everything which might be said and it's easier to remove text than keep adding it.  That doesn't mean the draft is exhaustive.  The volunteers meeting on 28 Oct may determine when it is dealt with and by whom.

Paragraphs in PR 1 are numbered to aid referencing and discussion.

Nothing has been agreed.  These are drafts.  It is suggested that the DMC opens on the second Wednesday in January.  The 4th is still within the twelve days of Christmas-resistance mentality.  The doors-open date can be discussed.



Publicity Timing - proposed

From 28 Oct to 11 Jan, there are eleven weeks but knock out two weeks for Christmas.

PR1 could be published on 9 Nov and would be the main info output and resource request.

What could well be a major influence on when PR1 is published is the Ross Mental Health Steering Group - RMHSG -  and it meets on 9 Nov at Christ Church.  On the agenda is Ross as a Dementia Friendly Community - DFC.  That is complicated by how the necessary Dementia Action Alliance - DAA - is incorporated.  

It is appropriate to read extracts from a long section elsewhere which brings in other issues.  From where I sit, it makes sense to combine with RMHSG within a Public Meeting - PM.  However, Christmas can squeeze the weeks before opening our DMC. 
  • Clearly, you need to muster your local orgs and companies and point them towards DAA during the PM

  • The PM serves to raise awareness of the three main components of project impetus - your locality as a DFC, membership of the local DAA, and your DIY DMC
          The source if more text is needed is 3 Third  -Prepare for Public Meeting 1 here.  

Let's assume for the moment that our 28 Oct meeting concludes that Deborah and I go to the Steering Group Meeting on 9 Nov and propose a PM.  We represent our DMC as important part and parcel of the wider mental health momentum of the DFC.    If agreed on 9 Nov, prepare for publicity being delayed to 30 Nov, as there's a web of intricacy.   

However, on 28 Oct, it might be decided to go it alone.  If the suggested date of the first PR - publish on 23 Nov -  is accepted, there will be seven weeks to doors opening.  Longer if RMHSG eliminated.  Publish on 9 Nov - coming up.

PR2 would be a reminder on 4 Jan that doors are open a week later and it would give positive feedback on PR1. 


  1. The first PR gives carers time to see GP.  

  2. It includes the first call for resources

  3. The Vols Meeting may agree that two or three members work with AFH to finalise and  approve PR1. 

  4. It then goes to Dr Lennane unless 5 decides to send text of his mention   

  5. That done, it goes to the Gazette by Fri 25 Nov for publication on Weds 30th.  

  6. If we cut out the Steering Group involvement,  it can go when 5 has been achieved.  Let's try to give it to the Gazette on Fri 4 Nov, (publish on 9 Nov),  latest 11 Nov (publish on 16 Nov).

  7. There's a good case for Item 11.  We don't want all the action just before Christmas.  I'd like to know who the carers and carees are if Dr Lennane is to "supply" them all.  If Pendeen is on board, a more involved situation arises.  

  8. If 13 doesn't muster, say eight carer/caree couples and four independent carees  (see 8.5 here), we'll be looking for more via PR1.  

  9. If, however, 13 becomes reality, we need to think hard about the FAQs page content re joining criteria.

  10. All this settled within the situation of cutting out the Steering Group,  the documentation can be out of the way in plenty of time.  I hope for at least one meeting of carers, ideally two, before the break.  

  11.  PR 2  for publication on 4 Jan would remind readers that the doors open a week later.  It would describe the success of PR1.
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Of possible use.

1  Level 2 text

2  Random text

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1     Level 2 text

1.1   For PR 1


A Dementia Meeting Centre for Ross - publicity   

Section A
  1. "DMC" is a lot more convenient  A DMC is an up-to-date version of a daycare centre with important advantages. Carers leave their carees at the daycare centre in the morning and collect them in the afternoon without participation in the care process.  According to caree ability to remember, carers may not know what happened during that time.  There's a care-triangle of the caree, the carer and the Ross DMC as a cohesive and innovative way of dealing with the growing numbers of dementia sufferers. 

  2. Depending on the capacity of their caree to remember what took place,  combined with the level of cooperation of the daycare staff, the caree feedback can vary on the worth of a specific daycare centre.

  3. The  purpose of DMCs is to improve on that situation.  The huge difference between a daycare centre and a DMC is that carers participate in the wider aspects of the care process which is person-centred.  One clear fact is that a significant proportion of  people with dementia who attend DMCs regularly, experience delayed entry into residential care.  The financial savings are obvious.  The wider benefits to carees, their carers and to the families involved would double the length of this article.  We will summarise them later.

  4. DMCs have been running in Holland for twenty years. That's where the "delayed entry into residential care" quote came from.  There are only two DMCs in the UK so far (at Leominster and Droitwich) and there are less than half a dozen in progress.  It will take a long time to reach the Dutch numbers of over 125.  Such numbers can only be reached by local leaders and residents giving every encouragement.  In our case in Ross, to this innovative Ross DMC project. One aspect of innovation is the speed at which it is being developed.  Normally there is a slow procedure to recruit the right people, followed by several extensive meetings, which can take up to a year.  

  5. The Ross DMC project has begun on the authority of Dr Simon Lennane at Alton Street Surgery who is the Mental Health lead on the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. [here and to extract anything useful] He is a member of the Ross Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Group which meets at Christ Church in Eddie Cross Street.  Put "Ross-on-Wye Dementia-Friendly Town" into Google and find nothing.  The Group plans to change that.  If all in Ross respond well to the Ross DMC, the job will be done. The Group can sort Google out.

  6. The project could not start without the support of Reverend Deborah Cornish at the URC.  She has authorised and encouraged the project by kindly agreeing to host the Ross DMC.  One of the highest hurdles other projects have had to jump is finding suitable premises. 

  7. The project donkey-work is being carried out by Prof Alan F Harrison.  He looks forward to project-based assistance  from local residents and project-based financial etc assistance from local companies and other organisations.  He and his wife go to the Leominster DMC once a week.   Alan speaks with enthusiastic authority on the benefits of travelling for up to two hours.  However, other Ross residents will not want to travel far to benefit from and enjoy what is, essentially a right to better local dementia care provision. Alan has been informal/family carer to his wife since 2000 and they have been Ross residents since 2004. Teresa was confirmed as having dementia in 2013 since when Alan has made a study of dementia and improving care provision.

  8. Any carer making a transfer from a conventional daycare centre to a DMC might assume that DMCs deal with personal care.  It is Important to emphasise that no personal care can be carried out.  This includes giving medication and use of the WC.   

  9. So far, readers have also learned that within DMCs, carers participate in the dementia care provision and that carees benefit from delayed entry into residential care.  The latter benefit is achieved by person-centred care.  That's a big topic hardly capable of summary in a few words.  Essentially, it is treating the person with dignity and respect: understanding their history, lifestyle, culture and preferences: and looking at situations from the point of view of the person and not a set of symptoms.  The people in the care-triangle mentioned earlier all participate in the caree treatment on an equal level of interaction.

  10.  .. .. Participation in the DMC care provision and process, then, is the key characteristic of the DMC.  Note that the sentence didn't start with "Carer participation".  Carees also are part and parcel of the "care-outwards" to other carees and carers and are not solely receivers of "care-inwards".  You can imagine that "care-outwards" might be aimed at the specific carer as a subconscious thank you.  As much as that may be valid, there is a positively-pervasive group care-outwards which reaches the parts that conventional daycare centres don't reach.

  11. Carers having collected their carees from conventional daycare centres might ask "What did you have for lunch today?" half expecting and receiving the reply "Don't remember".  "I buttered a lot of rolls and then filled them with X and Y." is more likely within the Ross DMC situation.  It's easy to see that "participation" is the key word.  If an unpublished academic got hold of this, there would be a paper on "Differences between the active and passive lunch and their effect on caree wellbeing."!

  12. And that leads nicely back to the meal content.  "Have you tried the ham and cheese sandwiches which Tom made?"  "Or the broccoli quiche Janet and etc made."  Pick and mix caree/carer Janet/Tom. Birthdays don't pass without celebration.  Carers can bring the ingredients, candles etc and leave the rest to the group.  The caree can be occupied elsewhere.  If it's the carer's birthday, a family member can bring the components. Participation in the care activities results in greater understanding of the wider benefits to oneself as a carer, and those with dementia.  


Section B

Ross DMC carees and carers together might be offered topics such as shown on this list, to enjoy:

  • Recreational and social activities, such as reading/discussing the newspaper, painting, singing, preparing lunch, shopping and other caree/carer-suggested activities  

  • Therapy, such as reminiscence, dance, music and movement.  Retail therapy has been mentioned. Nail therapy and massage are added.

  • Make Do and Mend.  Bring in your mending and polishing.  Recycle that broken thing-me-jig.

  • A Harp (etc) demo and a chance to try it with a visiting musician.  [perhaps use extracts from We're singing for the brain here which carries a link to other recycled songs]  

  • Take your turn Ceilidh with music supplied by members

  • Knit and natter  pic (1) or 18  or -  shed talk  more

  • Alan and his wife Teresa  have made many friends at the Leominster DMC.  He hopes the Ross DMC will combine with the Leominster DMC and vice versa half way between the towns.  A gardens would be ideal and two Leominster visits were very successful.
Section C

  1. DMC-participating carers enjoy the carer-DMC relationship where carer needs, wants and views affecting them and their loved-ones have a clear influence on the nature and content of the caring and other aspects of what happens.  They enjoy sharing the caring when, normally, it is a one-to-one activity.  They enjoy the interaction within the normal activities, and occasional carer-group cohesion in the backroom together while their carees are busy and being looked after elsewhere.

  2. You recall "Participation in the DMC care provision and process, then, is the key characteristic of the DMC." Volunteers are a key part of the care provision and the supporting admin.  The Ross DMC begins on a self-funding-project basis.  Volunteers are not asked to donate anything but their time. Come and help set up a project where the carers pay a few £s per session on food which would otherwise be eaten elsewhere.  Someone is needed to collect the money and processes it.  More to the point, help the carees and carers get the best out of their one day a week.  Spread the joy.  The aim is the normal DMC three days a week before Christmas.

  3. You also recall "Normally there are numerous and extensive meetings to recruit the right people which can take up to a year."  The Ross DMC project philosophy is run in pilot format for a few weeks and then show "the right people" who will look after the project via meetings and minutes etc. All in due course.

  4. Let's look at the first few weeks.  Volunteers are needed to participate in the DMC care process.  They  will learn the broad principles within and ethos of an international project to increase the numbers of DMCs.  A UK university is looking after the research aspects.  Results will be published around March next year.  A major charity has provided most of the UK money so far.  The future of existing and in-pipeline DMCs can  depend on those results.  Ross DMC is free from such worrying constraints at the start and and hopes to find independent funding for its launch and while further funding is sought.

  5. The Ross DMC project philosophy is don't hang around dangling from the edge of a pound sign.  We in Ross can raise enough initial finance and enthusiasm to operate on a one day a week basis.  The Ross DMC can then ask for Herefordshire Council etc support and continue finding independent funding.  

  6. A diagnosis of dementia can be frightening for those affected by the syndrome, their carers and other family members. Learning more about dementia can help.  source  Ross DMC carers can opt to participate in discussion based on sharing their problems and helping each other.  Points of common concern can be identified and the appropriate expertise sought.  The Alzheimer's Society is the main benefactor to the two DMCs up and running.  A Dementia Advisor will be invited at the appropriate time.  Other experts will follow.

  7. If it is decided by common consent when the Ross DMC is up and running to connect to the international DMC project, there will be formal meetings.  Learning more about dementia is included and experts give talks. There will be public meetings to learn about Ross DMC at the end of its first month, and to learn about the international project on X and Y dates/times. being considered  In the meantime, that well-known WW2 Army recruiting poster needs to be revamped to say "Ross DMC needs you."  

  8. Given that there will be a body which decides how Ross DMC operates, the detail will be worked out. People will want to find out more before deciding to help.  One way of doing things is to group interested parties which send one visitor, or established groups such as Ross Traders send one visitor.  Ross DMC hopes that the Ross Gazette which has kindly given Ross DMC the limelight will come back, say once a quarter, to report progress.

  9. Come on in Ross residents, companies and organisations.  The first level of help from residents is encouragement.  Reminiscence therapy is well-used within DMCs and participants enjoy including their photos and memorabilia in the reminiscence sessions. Making the most of long-term memory contributes to overall wellbeing.  Sharing memories is a major part of that.  Musical instruments - nothing mouth-blown thanks.  Participants can buy recorders for £2, if wanted.  That mincer or washboard in the loft dating from 1940 etc, A Woodbines packet, empty OXO cube boxes, that string of pearls, Snakes & Ladders, Ludo, Happy Families, those vinyl records and long-since used CDs of old songs and music can be handed in at the St Michael's Hospice charity shop in Gloucester Road. Add working Meccano models etc, Dinky toys. You get the idea, don't you. Please don't give clothes in need of carbon dating. However, more-recent fancy dress will be enjoyed again.
  10.  pagetop
  11. Another level of help is participation as a volunteer. [Discussion with Christ Church in progress.]
  12.  
  13. Money lubricates the wheels of the wagon.  Personal donations via the St Michael's Hospice charity shop will be welcome. Companies and organisations may feel forever being asked for money.  The Ross DMC welcomes that form of support but differs thereafter.  
  14.  
  15. Some statistics: the number of carers in 2011 was 5,430,016   [source 1/12]   and 10% care for someone with dementia  [ - 6/12 - ] 543,000.  Around one in nine workers in the UK has caring responsibilities and there must be plenty of them in and around Ross.  To them, we say this: use the Ross DMC and if you can't be there with your caree, ask a family member or friend.  To the company directors, we say this: discuss the opportunities Ross DMC presents with your employee-carers with a view to mutual benefit.  Happy employees demonstrate a happy company.  They'll be even more happy with a cheque to present to Ross DMC !

  16. All companies and organisations are welcome to help.  Money talks and there are other ways of helping.  An accountant would be a good start.  Within the first month, a look-in by a Health & Safety expert would be appreciated. Include looking at the equipment.  A Personnel Officer could help set up the record system and advise as finance allows the project to take on paid staff.  Once the Ross DMC Manager is appointed, all the experts can relax as members of the Steering Group or whatever name is decided.  
  17.  
  18. It won't be long before a formal management system involving committees is reached. We've looked at care volunteers and expert volunteers.  A different type of volunteer is sought.  Anyone aiming to improve dementia care services in their area would not expect to find all they need on one sheet of A4 or a small webpage.  It is appropriate from the start to emphasise that there is plenty to be read and plenty of meetings.  The Ross DMC needs community as well as professional support to keep going. With or without experience of involvement in any type of community project, your participation will be welcomed. "Meetings people" are needed but no matter if you aren't one.  Enthusiasm and energy is more important than diplomas on an office wall.  If you are a carer aiming to use the Ross DMC, or volunteer within any charity, you have  much to offer. 

  19. Nothing happens until enough people ask.  Inform as many people as possible and ask them to ask for this new approach to local dementia care provision. Send emails. Put in requests to your GP, local councillors, Adult Wellbeing and other social services.  If you are a carer, when Occupational Therapists and District Nurses etc arrive to see your caree, talk about the need for and benefits of Ross DMC.  Whenever you are in conversation about healthcare, maximise the opportunity.  It's all a matter of spreading the word while at the same time you are pushing.
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1.2  The next PR

  1. To use 3 , 5 & 7  in PR 2

  2. Reminiscence keeps the family memories alive and creates the space where the family can remember good times and, as a consequence, they feel more positive about the situation they are thrown into when dementia strikes. This is a condition which the whole family suffers from, our whole family is affected by dementia, and there is often a feeling of powerlessness which comes with being on the outside of the primary care ‘net’. 

  3. The ability to re-live and re-enjoy a shared experience, even one that was traumatic in its origin, can be a golden thread back to a loved-one, and for a few minutes you can forget there are any barriers.  The sense of sharing, and the empathy and understanding that shared and communal feeling promotes, are great gifts when much of this condition is quite hard.  The New Daily Sparkle newsletter 1307 on 13 sept

  4. For anyone who has potentially become isolated and less confident, it can be a worrying or stressful concept to join a group or start a conversation. For people living with dementia this issue is especially acute. Most of us are not qualified reminiscence therapists, but that shouldn't stop us from supporting people to reminisce, both one-to-one and in groups.  ibid  The new Ross DMC ...
2  Random text
  1. Thanks for this. There's a lot to digest here but I'll try and put some text together. I am very limited in available time so forgive tardy responses. I'm told the crucial thing is to get all the partner agencies on board - Age Concern, Council, Alzheimers Uk etc etc - I don't want to get mired in red tape or endless meetings but I'm also keen to collate all the various resources available locally. One option would be to start with a meeting of any interested parties - I know Hannah Lerego & Caroline Bennett on the town council are both supportive and there will be plenty more in the community when we reach out. Are you aware of the community garden on Old Glos Rd? one of Tim's roles is around dementia support & it's a great facility. We would struggle to release staff members from the surgery - they are already overstretched and coping with some illness / absence. It would be great to tap into volunteers out there - do you know anyone else who is interested? Thanks, Simon

  2. CCGs are the organisations that are responsible for managing the local health services in your area, like your GP practice. source

  3. Everyone with dementia has a Right to Know more 
  4.     
  5. There's a lot to digest within the overall DMC project and I will recommend that Christ Church

  6. If an unpublished academic got hold of this, there would be a paper on "Differences between the active and passive lunch and their effect on caree wellbeing."! 

  7.  dial a ride ross on wye here

  8. The aim is the normal DMC three days a week once two blocks of six weeks pilot have been assessed.    Change c3 here
  9. Improving dementia care services in Ross

  10.  file:///C:/Users/alan%20f%20harrison/Downloads/Patient_Journey_FINAL_FOR_ZINC_Sept_17_2013%20(1).pdf