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  • Accidental link 14 December 2018 | Comments (0)

    10th December 2018 | By David Jolley

    It is down to Sue that we have discovered this link to our past: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Chorlton/

    Sue was looking for other things and came first across the link to the register of residents of the Chorlton on Medlock Union 1881 – a daunting list of inmates and staff. The base description of the history of the workhouse site and buildings is full and fascinating. Much of the content reminds me of a booklet which I used to look through at the library of Withington Hospital in the 1970s. The booklet was not available to buy at the time and I failed to get organised to copy it for personal study. With changes which took the University of South Manchester and the library to Wythenshawe, I lost track. The internet can be a friend to lost souls.

    The Union became known locally as ‘Nell Lane’ – the name of the road where it stood. It grew to include an array of hospital wards which were visited by, and commended by Florence Nightingale as a model to be followed elsewhere.

    During the 1960s plans were laid to extend the activities on the site so that it became Withington Hospital, the University Hospital of South Manchester. Chairs in General Medicine, Surgery were established and John Brocklehurst was appointed to the first Chair of Geriatric Medicine in England.

    I came to the University Hospital of South Manchester in 1970 as a Senior House Officer to join the department of psychiatry which was awaiting completion of a building to hold be the base for a comprehensive mental health service which would serve the local population of South Manchester (200,000), take a lead in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates, and conducting clinical research.

    So much has followed – so much from what was the local workhouse

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    Tangled web 03 December 2018 | Comments (0)

    3rd Ddecember 2018 | By David Jolley

    We are really pleased that Christians on Ageing has announced the launch of its revised website www.christiansonageing.org.uk. I hope people will take a look and begin to use the resource which Christians on Ageing surely is. I am glad to be associated with the organisation and to be part of its executive committee. The website provides a summary of its origins 35 years ago and some of its activity since and currently. With a main objective to support churches in the UK in improving their knowledge and understanding of older people, C on A has sought mainly to provide information and pointers to good practice. This is reflected in the website. I hope more interactive communication will be generated and more comments shared on the dilemmas of life for older people in the complex and demanding life of the 21st century.

    C on A plans to hold a conference in Sheffield in the autumn of 2019. This will be the first such opportunity for people to come together for some time. I hope this will attract interest and generate involvement and that more people will be drawn to benefit from the excellent, inexpensive and enlightening publications which C on A has produced. There is a spiral of engagement between a website and the people it wishes to serve and engage. The challenge for C on A is to become better known and made use of by the many older people who give their lives to local churches, and many others who might begin to do so again, or for the first time, with sympathetic encouragement.

    Other websites which I am associated with include http://dementiapathfinders.org/  which demonstrates the wide range of initiatives supported by Dementia Pathfinders although it has been in the field for very few years yet. I am glad that Dementia Conversations is featured. Our Bowdon Vale group has been meeting for well over two years now and we produce notes of every meeting. These can be shared with others if that would be of interest. In addition I produce this blog week by week. There are very few comments recorded, which leaves me to wonder how many people find time to read these musings. It is worthwhile for me – requiring a focus to put into print some of the vague wonderings which might otherwise fade and be lost before their time. Dementia Pathfinders uses Facebook and Twitter and these allow for more immediate comment and interaction.

    The other world I inhabit is John Leigh Park and its Friends group: http://www.johnleighpark.org.uk/history-of-the-park.html. This engages me very day, with attention to the birds in the aviary, gardening, and constant vigilance to keep the council and Amey playing their part in maintenance and improvements. We don’t do litter picks – we pick up what small amounts of litter are dropped as soon as it appears. That way it does not breed.

    There are events to organise, new ideas to explore, grants to be applied for, weekly notes to be written and distributed to our 250 members following weekly meetings, quarterly newsletters to be produced and distributed to over 2000 local households, annual inspections for Green Flag and North West in Bloom. All this is reflected by the website and nudges to the rest of the world are offered almost daily via Facebook and Twitter.

    So there are differences between these websites – and a more systematic look at other websites would tell us more. For Christians on Ageing the relaunch of the website is a great achievement with considerable potential. It can be an important resource in a campaign for growth.

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    Lords above 26 November 2018 | Comments (0)

    26th November 2018 | By David Jolley

    Having been outraged by DoLS and despairing that, as I had looked away, Government had drafted amendments to the Mental Capacity Act which lost so much of the good which the Law Society had advised in its report on the revision of DoLS (Blog October 29th), I am now encouraged to optimism as the House of Lords is succeeding in achieving a rescue act:



    Challenges and amendments originating from peers of all parties have seen limits placed on the role of care home managers, require that every person at risk of deprivation must be consulted with in the assessment procedure, and young people in the age range 16-17 are now to be included.

    The roles for Approved Mental capacity Professional have been increased.

    Emphasising a focus on the individual who lacks capacity, wording is to be altered to declare that the purpose of Liberty Protection Safeguards is to prevent harm to the cared for person. Arrangements must be proportionate to achieve this for the individual.

    The terminology ‘of unsound mind’ is to be replaced by ‘Mental Disorder’. I know that many professionals will be pleased with this. My understanding has been that ‘unsound mind’ is a term widely used, understood and accept in other European countries. I suspect the same is true for many ordinary people in this country.

    Overall though, it is wonderful to know that this immensely important legislation is being given such careful and effective attention. Confined to the shadows of minor pages by the press, with the glare of spotlight incessantly beamed on negotiations and responses relating to Brexit, the enduring significance of this work in the House of Lords is of the highest order.

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    19th November 2018 | By David Jolley

    Essay twenty six of J.B Priestley’s Delights celebrates his joy and satisfaction with achieving clarity, through simplicity in writing. Musing on an exchange with a ’youngish’ professional critic who congratulated him on the complexity and subtlety of his thinking as revealed in conversation – in contrast to a perceived simplicity in his writing - the great man takes pleasure in the appreciation of his written word. It is not easy to grasp the kernel of a topic or thought and translate their essence into a form which will be understood by almost everyone. He rails at the fashion for complex, ornate descriptions which may obscure meaning, demean readers and seek to be available to an exclusive elite.

    One of our revered teachers explained: ‘I am sorry I have you written such a long letter: I did not have time to write a short one’.

    Our park is rejoicing at the return of a trail of outdoor exercise stations – These are made of wood with minimal steel. There are no moving parts. Seven stations are costing less than £20,000 whereas many ‘modern’ individual pieces of apparatus for an outdoor gym will be priced at this or more – and maintenance costs are such that our council would refuse any grant to buy them. Each station has a small notice carrying a cartoon, etched in wood, which illustrates what to do with the apparatus and the muscle groups which will be exercised. No words – just brilliant.

    Last years’ congress at Doncaster was notable for signage which left no one in doubt where the toilets were located – and once inside the toilet there were clear directions of which door led to the outside. The same was true for the location of refreshments, seminar rooms and everything. The signage had been planned by a group of people with dementia. What works for people with dementia works for almost everyone.

    In contrast I hear that only people equipped with an IPad, and able to use it, could vote at the congress this year. That would have excluded me and probably many people with dementia. Which reminds me of our Dementia Conversations this week where we considered Kitwood’s Dementia Reconsidered.

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