More emphasis on caring in the home ‘up north’

Gary Rycroft.
Gary Rycroft.

Every time I go to London I’m grateful for living in Lancaster.

Last weekend I had a trip to The Alzheimer’s Show at The Olympia Exhibition Centre in the capital where I was talking about how making a Lasting Power of Attorney can ensure you can decide who will make decisions for you if you can no longer make them for yourself and how an Advance Decision and Advance Statement can set out your wishes for future care.

I also took part in a ‘Question Time’ where visitors to the exhibition were able to pose questions to a panel also including a specialist dementia nurse and a person with Early Onset Dementia.

My ‘Rip Off Britain’ colleague Angela Rippon was chairing the Question Time Panel. A consummate professional, she timed it to perfection, so straight afterwards I was able to make the train I was booked on back north, which meant I was home on time to see Ruby Turner at The Grand Theatre.

I just hope Angela was able to catch the end of the French Open Tennis she was avidly following.

Angela was happy to miss most of the tennis because she is committed to supporting The Alzheimer’s Society as an ambassador of the charity.

Her mother Edna had dementia before she died and Angela talks affectionately about how she had to go along with her mother’s ‘parallel universe’ rather than distress her mother by correcting her mistakes about the real world.

For instance, Angela’s mother would often say she’s looking forward to having tea with Angela’s gran, even thought she was in fact long dead. Angela says it was far kinder to just agree, which I am sure is correct.

As I crawled through the London traffic in a cab heading for Euston Station, I reflected on the north/south divide. Having spoken at The Alzheimer’s Show in Manchester last year it was interesting to observe that ‘up north’ many of those attending and exhibiting had a focus on providing care for those living with dementia in their own home for as long as possible.

In London there was a definite emphasis on care being provided outside the home, namely in a residential care home.