Archive by Author | blog4cobalt

Brian’s blog – Tuesday 2nd January 2013

Hello. It seems such a long time since I last posted a blog. Probably most of us are very busy at this time of the year.

I am delighted to tell you that there has been no further progress with my Dementia. Every thing is fine and I am physically well.

I have been working on a Presentation which I have to deliver in three weeks time. This will be my biggest piece of work in terms of content and length since I was diagnosed with Dementia.

Dr. Maggie has been teaching me how to use Power Point and I will be using it for the presentation. Together we have covered a wide range of possibilities to use and we have agreed on the items which will be appropriate on the day. I particularly like the idea of using bullet points just to keep me on track during the delivery.

My i.Phone has been a great advantage to me as I have a good deal of information in my personal journal which I can use during my presentation.

At Christmas I was delighted when my wife S gave me a Kindle. I could not wait to start using it but mindful of what Dr. Maggie has taught me, I have taken time to get to know it and read the instructions. Add to that my five years old Grandson E always looking over my shoulder and keeping me right.

I have spent many hours reading through the list of books available for purchase, and it certainly beats going into town to visit the library. Before my diagnosis I was a bit of a bookworm and suddenly I was missing something that I had really enjoyed.

Things in my everyday living were lost and I could not find a way through it. Then along came Dr. Maggie who re-introduced me to modern technology, and taught me other technology which I had not even heard of.

I understand that I will not be the quickest of students but when I learn something new I am still able to retain it in the memory I thought I had lost.

Thank you for following or just taking time to read this blog.


Brian’s blog – Thursday 13th December

Hello again. Forgive me for the lack of Blogs in recent weeks. I have had a number of bad patches with my Dementia. I have also been very busy helping my wife S in the run up to Christmas. Take this morning for example. The both of us were doing some shopping in our local supermarket. S was searching the aisles for what we required. She would place an article in the trolley (which I was pushing. As usual) and then moved on for her next selection. Meanwhile, I was quite happily placing anything and everything into the trolley also. When S turned to make sure that I was okay, she looked at the trolley-looked at me-shrugged her shoulders and started to laugh and began to replace the unwanted items. Since the day of my diagnosis, this is how she coped with it. Never questioning, never angry and never lying down to my Dementia. She deals with it face on. She has led by example and this is why I can be so positive about my Dementia.

Just recently my immediate short term memory has been poor and this is why my i.Phone has become very important. As I wrote some time ago, Dr. Maggie encouraged me to keep a daily journal on my i.Phone. She very kindly downloaded a very “clever” journal on to my phone. As well as being “clever” it is remarkably easy to use. I make use of the alert mode to help me with my medication times and to remind me of meetings and appointments. I am also able to refresh my memory about what has happened recently at the touch of a button.

I am now using modern technology in my everyday living. I can safely operate the Micro-wave, the digital TV remote control and the door exit alarm system. Things which I found so simple in the past are now a great mystery to me. That is until I met Dr. Maggie and I started the re-learning process. Friends, relatives and even some carers have said that they were sure that a diagnosis of dementia would leave me without these skills forever. Some of them have been shocked to see me use me use an i.Phone. Especially, when I know when they cannot use one.

My work with the Scottish Dementia Working Group requires me to travel out of Dundee fairly often. My phone carries all my files and information so I can travel lightly. It is also a great comfort to me as I can keep in touch with everyone I need to. Dr. Maggie taught me very early. Always keep more than one copy as a safeguard. In the past I have lost very important information and contact numbers with the touch of a button. I will end this blog now but I am sure I will be back soon to keep you up to date with my progress in the world of using modern technology while dealing with Dementia.

Pioneer groups – Liz’s blog Monday 10th December

Dear Maggie, Sorry about taking so long to send you my thoughts but I was up to Newmachar last week and it always takes me a day or two to get back to normal. While I remember, I do think a triangle might be a nice addition to the jingle. You can see you are still in my thoughts. Ihave to admit I took a while to get the hang of what we were doing and it was just as well I often had Norman as my partner so that he could keep me right especially in the business plan not to mention the strategies. That was when I realised he had a completely different kind of mind from mine. I really enjoyed your way of dealing with your unruly class. It was great when your smile brought a chink of light in the clouds when I was having a particularly dense moment. I also loved Lin’s skill at lateral thinking with her wee comments that just got us going in a slightly different direction. I am still amazed that I was part of a group which really did plan and visualise a system for which at least Geoffry and I could see immediate use. I realise I must have been pretty enthusiastic about our lighting system at home too when my husband said (out of the blue) “You could do with your lights here”, when the bulb blew in our bedroom one night. Rereading the Project notes on the cover of my folder I guess I’ll better accept that it was just a fictional company right enough even though we were almost set on going the whole way and couldn’t quite believe it wasn’t going to happen – unless Geoffrey goes it alone!!!! I look forward to our next meeting –  with the Sheffield group or whatever. Thanks so much for letting me be part of something so far removed from my normal life. I really loved it. Thank you too for the money – we did feel we should have been paying you for making it all such fun. Have a great Christmas. Love and best wishes, Liz

Pioneer groups – Norman’s blog Wednesday 5th December

First a big thank you for a most enjoyable experience.

I have been thinking about our response to the new technologies and I wonder if we got that right. Technology moves in cycles and it does take, depending on the new technology, anywhere between 10 to 25 years for the innovation to roll to the whole population. As an example, the Arpanet,which became the Internet,was operational in about 1974 in a pilot site in the UK but it required
–  the development of agreed international communication standards( the ISO 7-layer model and the incorporation ofTCP/IP in that model, and
– the progressive upgrading,in the UK, of the BT Network from copper wires to fibre optics to go fast enough to become a usable network and these processes took some 25 years.

Then along comes the WWW and it can piggyback on the work already done to be,and in only about 10 year has become accepted, and then we get smartphones and tablets( over 1billion in use today, then add in Facebook, founded in 2004 but already with more than 1billion users, and you can see that an appropriate infrastructure for rapid development is in place now. Finally, tomorrows pensioners , say those in work but aged 55 or more, will be using these facilities on a daily basis so will be IT literate when they retire. They, unlike today’s  70 year olds will want to use the technology

More to follow  but must break now.

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.

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.