Ken Howard has important messages to share about living well with dementia and we need to listen. Ken has already shared a wonderful blog, detailing his twelve personal coping strategies. Today he wants to say a big “Thank you” to three people who have helped him with “Wow” moments along the way. Here is the story…
Back in March, I received a very moving email from Ken.
Hi Gill I wrote this down after meeting Liz again
after 8 years
it was very emotional
it made me realise that we make changes
to people that we never know about
this is me trying to put it right
with the very first people who
helped me to become me again
do you think it is ok
“People who helped me to become me again” – “Wow! What do you say?
Ken sent me some slides and the following text:
My three Mantras
I recently met my friend (crystal) Liz for the first time in 8 years
She had no idea the impact that one comment she made has had on my life
When I was first diagnosed Tina from the Alzheimer’s society came to visit me at home
She also made one comment that changed my life without realising
The third comment came from the Dr who oversees my care I have told him how important it has been to me
So maybe as we go through life trying to help and change things we get very frustrated because we think nobody is listening
People are listening I believe, but very often circumstance does not give them (us) the opportunity to say
How true! We often do not think to or perhaps get the opportunity to thank people who have a massive influence on our lives.
With Ken’s permission, I was going to publish his words and slides as a blog. But then we got the opportunity to go on a wonderful ‘storytelling weekend’ with Pip Hardy and Tony Sumner from Patient Voices and Ken turned these slides into a short film.
I was very privileged to show this film for the first time during my presentation at the Quality and Safety Forum in Paris and also at many Whose Shoes? workshops since, particularly our Dementia friendly Communities sessions in Kent, but we have not yet posted it publicly.
I wanted it to have maximum impact because it is special. Ken is special – particularly in the passion he has to share his experiences of living with dementia, how he has climbed back from the dark times (literally) after his diagnosis and has an incredible urgency about sharing what he has learned.
So here is Ken Howard’s wonderful film to coincide with the day we do our live WebEx talking about the impact of our NHS Change Day campaign.
How cool to have a second chance to tell my (grown-up) kids about something they might not have heard of!! A WebEx Jam, eh Mum?
It is fantastic that we are getting more and more opportunities to talk about the progress of our campaign.
Only yesterday, we were at the ‘Innovations in dementia’ Barbican in London, co-presenting a Pecha Kucha… Don’t worry, all will be revealed shortly. I think it was filmed, so if it is not toooo embarrassing, I will publish it in a blog shortly.
But today we need to focus on our WebEx. Please join us live today 1.15 – 2.00pm.
And Ken’s approach is making waves. Take a look at this powerful tweet he posted about his Dad. it caused a storm of RTs, ‘favourites’ and strong comments. Keep going, dear Ken – we need a few more storms to get the ‘remember the person’ message embedded in health and care services!
P.S. Happy birthday Ken. Somehow I think the swinging 60s will have a lot to offer for you!
You can read an excellent blog about Ken Howard, published last week by Pippa Kelly here.