Archive | November 2012

Researcher’s Blog, Sheffield Session 9

This week’s session was ‘Coaching the User’ with a presentation by our guest speaker Nina Evan, an Occupational Therapist (OT) from Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME). Nina spoke about the OT role and its person-centred approach. She has been involved in technology projects such as the Night Light Tray which were relevant to the group and thinking of the needs of the person and providing them with the correct solution for them. After this the group undertook activities around who would be the best person to train users to use the product and created a strategy for how this should be done. They agreed that flexibility to the user was key and that a choice of one-to-one or group tutorials which were held at community venues and run by a local, patient, flexible person was the best way forward. They recognised the need to visit people in their own homes or in a care setting and the practicalities around this. The group also discussed initial ideas for dissemination of our findings and outputs such as flash mobs and healty eating barbeques. This will be built on in our final session next Tuesday.


Brian’s blog – Monday 26th November

I attended another conference last week, organised by Alzheimer Scotland. The conference was titled The Dementia Dialogue. The aims of the day were to collect evidence that could be put before the Scottish Government before they produce their Dementia Strategy for 2013. The audience was made up with people with a diagnosis of Dementia, their Carers and Professionals involved in The Care of people with Dementia.
There were many speakers and I found it very interesting to watch and listen to their methods of presentation. I was impressed most with those who used Power Point, and I have decided to use this method when I have to deliver presentations.
Also enjoyable was watching and listening to those who used short video clips to get their message across to the audience.
Maggie has already given my wife a short lesson to enable her to video me doing a short visual blog. Watching the finished product has served to boost my confidence yet again.
When I reflect on the last ten weeks I am amazed at how much I have learned and re-learned.
This is a result of my being asked to contribute a small offering for “COBALT”
During this period I have had little time to worry too much about my Dementia.
Off course, I still have my silly moments. An example of this would be, me taking hours to write up a piece of work, then managing to delete it all with one random push of a button.
Some of you who are reading this blog may have had the same experience. It certainly gives me some much needed typing practise.

Brian’s blog – Monday 19th November

I have just been looking through my files and realised I had not posted a blog recently. There are two reasons for this happening. My Dementia has been slowly progressing, (the LEWY BODY one). Nothing too serious but, noticeable to those close to me. My memory has proved to be problematic because of the nature of my Dementia. This can occur for long periods or daily and even hour by hour.
On the brighter side I have been elected on to the National Committee of The Scottish Dementia Working Group. This organisation is run by people who have Dementia. The committee represent others who have Dementia and their carers. The S.D.W.G. are funded by Alzheimer Scotland. The committee has a keen interest in the political departments who have any interest in Dementia Strategies. Being a newly elected member I will have to give a presentation to the rest of the existing Committee. Also, I will also be a representative of Alzheimer Scotland when giving talks, negotiating and presentations. I can see where the use of my I.PHONE will be beneficial. I will be able to research information I may need at short notice. Maggie has offered to teach me how to use Power Point.
So at this time I am well and looking forward to future challenges and have to say, the positives are easily outnumbering the negatives through this part of my Journey through Dementia.
It is my intention to keep posting my blogs. They have become part of my life.

Researcher’s Blog, Sheffield Session 8

This week’s session was ‘Technology Champions’ and our guest speaker was Jennifer Allinson, Sheffield Healthy Champion. We invited Jennifer along to discuss with participants what it means to champion a product or service. The activities we asked participants to undertake included thinking of why there should be a champion for the product (now possibly named ‘Life’), the attributes a champion for the product should have, how to access this person and how to promote the service. The group agreed that being a good listener, having ‘age to age’ skills and having life experience and knowledge of the product were vital for a Champion. They felt that there should be no barriers to who could champion the product. They also discussed practicalities that need to be addressed such as support for Champions and if they would be paid or unpaid. For me the most interesting activity was participants creating in pairs a job advertisement for the Champion which I have amalgated for the group to see next week and get their feedback on. Next week is the ‘Coaching the User’ session.


Sylvia’s Blog – Sheffield Pioneer Group Session 8

Jennifer Allinson, Sheffield Community Health Champion, described the life experiences that led to her interest in championing community health. She spoke of her positive gains, in both knowledge and confidence, which have helped her to encourage others into achieving good health and well being.

The group were then taxed with listing the attributes necessary for a future NANA champion. This proved to be not only interesting, but greatly entertaining.
After tea break we discussed ways of reaching our potential audience; in order to pass on healtrhy living advice. Post It notes were soon filled with ‘brilliant’ ideas – including possible venues, advertising methods etc:-

Maggie suggested we adopted a Flash Mob script. Never heard of such a thing but we might well ‘give it a go’ next week.
Don’t envy Maggie and Sarah having to collate all our ideas to bring back to a later session!


Liz’s blog – Friday 2nd November

What an enthusiastic and talented chap Gary is. However, yet again I felt out of my depth. But i wonder if our publicity could have a catchy musical link as I only remember products which have good music attached. I may be all on my own in this but perhaps not. Just a thought. I always know it is going to be about when the music starts up even if I am not looking at the TV. Am still loving the challenge that Friday afternoon brings!!!!

Geoffrey’s blog – Friday 26th October


The Group met for the 5th time on Friday 26th October to develop, with expert assistance, a business model for the product. Whilst the purpose and production of such a model was clearly understood the actual plan content appeared to be somewhat vague due to a variety of factors and these became all to obvious during the two hour discussion.

Practical issues, as yet unresolved, include the physical form of the product, manufacturing costs, product quality and possible variants (portable version and fully installed version).

These problems, which only became fully apparent when trying to build the business model, need resolution prior to deciding market identification and marketing strategy.

Norman’s bog – Monday 19th November

Great fun on Friday.Ben stuck to his brief,managed his ( and
therefore our) time well and covered All the topics asked of him.Good
need to work out how to sell it to the world! Note that Ben’s approach allowed
everyone in the group to participate fully,and have their say.

Sent from
my iPad

Brian’s blog – Wednesday 14th November

Once again I have been unwell so I have not been posting any blogs for more than one week. I have been unwell as a result of “too much” Internet research. I went very deeply into one of my Dementias and discovered that there was a life expectancy of seven years after the original diagnoses. I suppose to say I was shocked is an understatement. However I eventually shared this new information with S my wife. As always she showed me love and understanding and spoke to me at great length about this news. I also talked to my Dementia Advisor at Alzheimer Scotland and slowly I was back in the Loop. I realised that recently, some very positive things had happened to me. I was successfully relearning my pre- diagnosis ability to use the computer. Thanks to Maggie, I was also learning to use my new I.Phone. Other things have happened recently as a result of meeting Maggie such as delivering presentations and public speaking with a new found confidence.

Maggie came to see S and me to-day. She listened (as always) to what had happened to me since our last meeting. She encouraged me to continue to take things slowly but positively. She asked me how I felt about doing a video as part of the programme. Maggie demonstrated to S how to use the phone as a camera. She left us until the video was finished and when she played it back she said the quality was good enough to use with a little piece of editing. Maggie then showed S how to e-mail it to another phone. S was delighted that she too was now more confident using the phone. I think I may consider putting a security lock on the phone or better still give S a phone for Christmas.


I feel encouraged with so many good people around me to help in my hour of need. I include in this the people who actually read the blog. As long as I am doing the blog and know that others are interested, it gives me that extra strength and confidence. Thank you all.

Pioneer Group, Sheffield, Researcher’s Blog – Session 7

Today’s session was ‘Partnership Development’ and was led by our guest speaker Sarah Wren from Hertfordshire Community Meals. Sarah has vast experience of working with other partners through her social enterprise business which provides meals to older adults in Hertfordshire and therefore she felt like a very relevant person to have on board particularly due to the focus of NANA on nutrition.

The tasks Sarah set including getting participants to think of what makes a successful partnership versus what makes a partnership more difficult and getting participants to think of the best partners for NANA. She then asked participants to group them into categories i.e. social care teams, celebrities and medical establishments. There was some debate as to which celebrity chef would be write to endorse the new product for example would Delia or Nigella be best? The last task Sarah set was for participants to focus in on the message we would tell the partner about NANA which would be of benefit for them, how to contact them, barriers to gaining their support and their role in the partnership. I feel that these tasks really focussed in on good strategies and gained a lot of information from the two hour session.

Having watched the last two sessions on video I feel that the session order of Business Sessions then Promotion flowed on very well into Partnership Development. Next week is ‘Technology Champions’ where participants will look at who can champion the new NANA and how this can be done. I can’t believe we only have three weeks left…time flies!