"It's vital that we look at both how we care for people with dementia and how we support for the people who care for them."
More than 70 people braved torrential downpours yesterday (2 May) to be part of HRCH's annual dementia conference at The Stoop in Twickenham.
Delegates were moved by some very emotive and personal stories, told with bravery and passion. Barbara, a carer in Hounslow, painted a picture of life with her husband that was both touching and hugely inspiring.
"Bring pictures," she said. "Not just for you, but so the clinicians can see that this is not just a frail person in a bed, but someone with a life and a family."
Barbara is one of 103,000 unpaid carers in North West London alone who dedicate themselves to supporting their loved ones. The value of their role cannot be overstated and we are extremely grateful to Barbara for sharing her story.
Hedley Finn, a specialist dementia design consultant, spoke about the importance of understanding the way that environments tell us what to expect and how to behave, and how we can adapt people's living spaces to help people live more independently. Many of these changes, he said, are very simple - bringing in more light, using contrast to make furniture stand out and creating more seamless transitions between different rooms.
Huge thanks go to community dementia clinical specialists Teresa Keegal and Nina Jalota who were instrumental in making the conference such a success.