Carer + Founder/Chair of Dementia Friendly Communities Ltd known as Connecting Communities.
Place of work / study:
Helmsdale, Scottish Highlands
What does your role involve:
Caring for my husband who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2006 as well as supporting Connecting Communities in an advisory capacity.
Tell us a little about yourself:
After I became a Churchill Fellow (2012) and went back to University to do an MSc in dementia (2014), together with my ‘lived experience’, I was able to effect change in our remote rural world and as a carer activist was able to use those opportunities to better support dementia families in our rural area.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I’ve been an avid film fan – am also a Trekkie – for as long as I can remember and during the pandemic discovered a new (for me) genre of Chinese mythological/period dramas which I’ve found utterly absorbing.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My interest in dementia, was initially around their experiences of loneliness and isolation. This has expanded to include their carers and a broader focus on wellbeing through my participation in the IDEAL research programme. We can’t yet cure or prevent dementia but we can try to maximise the quality of life for those with dementia and their carer. This is why the IDEAL research programme, with its explicit focus on ‘living well’ is both so important and fits with my research interests and values, in particular the involvement of people with dementia and their carers.