• BlogRSS

  • 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.

    Read more ›

    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.

    Read more ›

    Cuckoo? 12 November 2018 | Comments (0)

    12th November 2018 | By David Jolley

    Emile Rateband has made a point for those of us sensitive to Ageism – He has raised a few chuckles by applying to court in Arnhem to change his official date of birth from March 1949 to March 1969. His claim is based on feeling younger than his chronological years – compounded by the disadvantages associated with being labelled old. One disadvantage cited is lack of interest from dating agencies. In itself this speaks of a characteristic of life amongst older people which may be a surprise to many.

    The comparison with changes in the law which allow legal re-designation of gender may be clumsy and perhaps offensive. The proposition that a date of birth be altered is preposterous. Maybe an alternative might be to advertise someone’s expected healthy life years remaining. Best of all is to accept age, but to counter the prejudice and ignorance that stigmatises people who are different. Now if Emile will learn to say: ‘I am pleased to be old. I have seen a great deal and learned so much. I have met wonderful people and received and given help and affection. Maybe I could have done more in these first 69 years – but there is time enough to do more.’ That will be a better resolution and an example to be followed.

    This week of remembrance, celebration of the end of The Great War, is a time when older people are feted by the media for their stories and memories of times past. Poppies are such a wonderful phenomenon – blood red and sprouting from the earth when it has been disturbed – by shells, or boots or road builders. Poppies all around a present – many made in tribute will last longer than the living flowers. The coming and the fading are their essence: ‘The flowers of the fields.’ Beyond capture.

    I have missed being at the Dementia Congress at Brighton. I hope people will let me know what happened there.

    Read more ›

    Small talk 12 November 2018 | Comments (0)

    5th November 2018 | By David Jolley

    I am grateful to Hannah Jane Parkinson for her first article in the Guardian Saturday Colour Supplement 27.10.18.

    Mostly I scan the colour supplement for pictures, and read only the ‘Let’s move to’ story. Last week it was Worcester, this week Wimborne Minster. I hope that one week it will be Wolverhampton’s turn.

    I think it was the header ‘The joy of small things’ which caught my eye. I am keen on joy, and small things. But she drew me to look at J.B. Priestley and his book of essays: ‘Delight’. J. B. Priestley is a name I have known but never known much of. Now I find him to be of my grandfathers’ generation, Yorkshire (Bradford) born, taking a local clerical job from school but then studying at Cambridge after time with the armed forces during World War 1. It is sobering to know that something good followed from that dreadful conflict. He became a celebrated author, essayist and playwright. Celebrated too as a curmudgeon, he would say. He countered this infamy with a collection of essays about those small things which gave him quiet delight – outwardly enjoying his grumble – inside experiencing a private ecstasy.

    It is these smallish personal things which mean most to us, away from the yawning of national and international politics and corporate endeavours. These are the pleasures and values which stay with us in times of happiness and times of trial – deep enough to withstand the erosion which dementia and similar illnesses might bring.
    So far I have read his reflections on fountains (generating a list of fountains I have known), shopping in a small town (well my home town, current market town, markets which are past, and favourite holiday places), detective stories in bed (not for me – I simply hold tight to a prayer, and flick through the now-and-then of things I might have shelved for the rest of the day. Then sleep.) Finishing a task, a friend’s face or voice in a lonely place, deck in the early morning (never been on a deck but every morning is a good place, the earlier the better), tobacco, gin/tonic and crisps in solitude at his local after a routinely crazy week at work in London, and tobacco again!

    These essays are no more than two pages, perfectly written, and each a delight in itself. I shall carry on reading to one-hundred-and- fourteen. Hannah Jane Parkinson has written this week of dressing gowns. It seems to me that this is an exercise we could use when people come together for an afternoon of conversation, whether or not their memories are becoming stretched by the details of the here and now.

    Thanks to JBP and to HJP

    Best wishes to everyone at the Dementia Congress in Brighton. This is the first I have missed. That’s the thing with the coming of grandchildren

    Read more ›
    First ... Previous 3 4 5 6 7 Next ... Last