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Posts Tagged ‘dementia’

Thank you to everyone who voted for my book ‘Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect Friends’ to become a FINALIST in the People’s Book Prize. I am su-purr excited. Of course Chatty Cat (my rescue cat) is just taking it in her stride, mind you that’s probably because I haven’t told her.

Voting is now open for people to vote again and this time it’s to vote for the book to WIN the children’s category.

front-cover-on-amazon   #paperback & #kindle

Title: Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect Friends    

Author: Suzan Collins                                  ISBN: 978-0993493454

One of the many 5* reviews on Amazon

‘I was reading it as soon as it was out of the package! I wasn’t disappointed it is brilliant, immediately I’m there with Chatty Cat and her purr-felt friends on their adventures. Suzan Collins at her best sprinkled with magic. If you are owned by cats it’s a must read!’  If you would like to read more reviews or purchase your own copy click here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Suzan-Collins/e/B0037DXY46/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1495315316&sr=1-2-ent

Vote for me

#Collar Tree #Sun Switch #Cat Prison #Feed-me-Time #Chatty Cat #Micky #Maggie #The Poop Group #Sardine Saturday #Toffee Cat #Shehooman #Stray Cat #Clancy Cat #Sooty Cat #Bert the Parrot #Rocky Dog #Brandi Dog #Om #Daenerys

#humour #social etiquette  *introduces bullying and dementia in a subtle way*

If you would like to vote for my book to WIN the People’s Book Prize please vote now!

front-cover-on-amazon

http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1474

Thank you for your support.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend x

PS: My Chatty Cat books are written as though it’s Chatty Cat telling the stories. They are suitable for children of 8 years and above. And guess what? Adults love the Chatty Cat books too.

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Little Kitty banner

NEWS RELEASE (sent out from Alzheimer’s Research UK)
Alzheimer’s Research UK to benefit from Suffolk author’s latest children’s book

An established author, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, has published a children’s book and all proceeds from book sales will be donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. With more than 30 years’ experience working in the care sector Suzan Collins has met many people dealing with dementia, which has motivated her to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity and bring new treatments closer.

The book Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar is aimed at seven to nine year olds (and adults will like it too!) and follows the adventures of Little Kitty told through the voices of eight writers. The cover for the book has been created by designer Rachel Lawston who also worked on the covers of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s children’s novels The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy. Sir Terry Pratchett was a patron of Alzheimer’s Research UK until he passed away with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) in March this year.

Speaking about her reasons for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK, Suzan said:

“During my time working in the care sector I have come into contact with many people living with dementia. It is a devastating condition and one where there are still huge advances to be made in the understanding of the disease processes.

Alongside my career as an author and ex-manager of care homes I now specialise as a consultant and trainer in social care. The funds raised from this book will be donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK as myself and the other contributing writers all firmly believe that research holds the answer to dementia. It is vital that more money is invested in dementia research so that the treatments that are so desperately needed and can change the lives of so many people can be discovered.”

Jessica Hiscocks, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are very grateful to Suzan and all of the writers involved in creating this book and for giving their time (free) and donating all proceeds to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The money raised from book sales will help provide crucial resources for our scientists and fund many hours of pioneering research work, driving the next breakthrough.”

“There are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, including nearly 12,000 people in Suffolk. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We rely entirely on public donations to fund our world class research and it’s thanks to the support of people like Suzan that we’re able to continue our crucial work.”

Joining Suzan in this marvellous project:

Local authors: Lucille Rayner, Ros Lyons, Ann Bowyer Jo Wilde.

Other authors (from across the country): JB Johnston, Tracy Terry and Tottie Limejuice in France.

Editor: Jaine Keskeys  Illustrator: Catie Atkinson.’

Authors (L-R) Ann Bowyer, Lucille Rayner and I met with Jessica Hiscocks, Regional Fundraising Officer last week.

 ann jess lucille and suzan 30th Oct 2015

When I first asked some of the writers to join me in this fab project I was delighted when people said they would, as time went on I was overwhelmed by just how many people were giving their time and skills for FREE! (I did shed a few tears fortunately no-ne saw). We didn’t know how the story would end, we just followed on from the chapter before and it is actually a very good book (but please don’t just take my word for it …)

Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar is available to buy now on Amazon in both paperback and ebook/kindle and costs £5.00 and … ALL royalties go to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Oh and there’s more … it’s an ideal Christmas present.

Jess and Ann five pound Little Kitty book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Kitty-Burglar-Suzan-Collins-ebook/dp/B017I34XEU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446543305&sr=8-2&keywords=little+kitty+the+cat+burglar

LITTLE KITTY CVR FINAL

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As you will have read in my recent blogs Jo Wilde and I are in our third year of organising the local Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and this year we also teamed up with six other authors, one children’s editor, one illustrator and one designer to create Little Kitty, a children’s book. We all gave our time freely and all royalties will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

I invited Jo to come along and talk about her support for two charities close to her heart, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK (two different charities). Jo told me …

There’s so much going on at the moment, and life is getting very busy, what with all the writing and editing and publishing and fundraising.

I’ve just been involved in a really exciting project – writing a book to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, a great charity that is working hard to find a treatment for dementia.   It’s the first time I’ve written anything that’s made it as far as publication – and seeing it out there in print is fantastic!   I’m so excited, and sharing it with everybody!  I signed my first copy today, that’s when I realised that I’m now an author…and I just want to keep writing.

I can’t remember how I first got involved with the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, but I suspect it was because Suzan asked me, and she’s not an easy person to say no to.  Besides, I’ve always done various sorts of voluntary work, which I had less and less time for when my  paid working hours got ridiculously long, so it was nice to get a chance to do something that didn’t take up as much time, but was equally valuable to the community.

For the past couple of years, we’ve done all the organising locally, with some help from the local Alzheimer’s Society branch, but this year for the first time we registered as a community walk which meant we had involvement from regional and national offices.

We’re trying to grow the walk, to enable more people to participate, and raise more money so that more people can benefit.  This year for the first time, we had a whole committee to help organise, which has been great – there have been other people to do some of the work, and to bounce ideas off.  I’ve met new people and reconnected with old friends, and altogether had a blast.

I love organising things like this, and seeing the whole community come together to support a common cause.  As the day gets closer there’s more and more to do…and we all get busier and busier until the day. Our walk on Sunday 27th September was bigger than we expected. Would you like to join us next year? https://www.facebook.com/Lowestoft-Memory-Walk-25th-Sept-2016-1070431756308752/timeline/

My first book and my first book signing, Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar

Jo signing Little Kitty

LITTLE KITTY CVR FINAL

Amazon UK http://goo.gl/m84FTe

Amazon USA http://goo.gl/AAYYfR

Let’s find out about the authors who took:

Jo Wilde

Jo was born in Yorkshire, many more years ago than she cares to remember. She works in a theatre and a library, and fills up the rest of her time reading, writing, editing, proofreading, event organising, eating chocolate and drinking wine.

To find out more about Jo, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.scaryjojo.wordpress.com

Ann Bowyer

Ann is a retired Business Studies teacher. She has two sons and six grandchildren, and lives in Norfolk. After writing factual articles for magazines, Ann published her first fictional book in 2013. A Token of Love, which is based on the true story of her grandparents’ lives, has sold all around the world. She was featured in an article in the Hindu, India’s national paper, and, following numerous requests, is due to publish a sequel, Lost in a Homeland.

To find out more about Ann, or to follow her on social media, visit: http://www.annbowyer.com

Suzan Collins

Suzan is an internationally selling author who writes in various genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Her non-fiction includes textbooks pertaining to her work as consultant and trainer in Social Care and Management. Suzan also writes fiction – naughty, spicy and otherwise – under the pen name Zina Adams.

Finalist – People’s Book Prize, 2014 Shortlisted for Best Achievement Award – People’s Book Prize, 2014

To find out more about Suzan, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.suzancollins.com

Tottie Limejuice

Tottie Limejuice is one of the pen names of former journalist and copywriter Lesley Tottie. Lesley lives in France and now writes full-time. Her travel memoirs are published under the name Tottie Limejuice, and she also writes crime novels as L M Krier and children’s books as L M Kay. Her interests include organic gardening, camping and walking with her two rescued border collies.

To find out more about Tottie, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.tottielimejuice.com

Ros Lyons

Ros is interested in writing both fiction and memoirs. Her two cats provide much inspiration for creating stories. She belongs to two writing groups, where authors share their work and learn from each other. She enters the occasional writing competition and has had some success. As well as writing, Ros enjoys walking, the theatre and playing social bridge.

Lucille Rayner

Lucille is a Support Worker and assists and supports older people. She loves holidays in the sunshine, family get-togethers and walking in the Suffolk countryside. Lucille enjoys writing in her spare time and is currently writing a children’s book.

To find out more about Lucille, or to follow her on social media, visit:

www.facebook.com/pages/Lucille-Rayner/362171100645432?fref=ts

Tracy Terry

A Geordie lass, rumoured to have been born with a paperback in her hand, Tracy spends her days reading and reviewing books on her blog Pen and Paper. A lover of hedgehogs as well as cats, she also enjoys writing and receiving letters and is quite the movie buff. Her taste in films is almost as eclectic as her taste in novels!

To find out more about Tracy, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk

About the Artists

Catie Atkinson

Catie is an illustrator and designer based in Leeds. When she’s not drawing, she enjoys reading, cooking, acting, singing in the choir and attempting to play various instruments – although not all at the same time! She also loves crime thrillers and is convinced that in another life she would have made a great detective!

To find out more about Catie, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.catieatkinsonart.co.uk

Rachel Lawston

Rachel is a book designer who has worked with Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Walker Books, to name a few. Rising to the challenge of designing books and commissioning artwork for amazing authors like Terry Pratchett, John Boyne and Malorie Blackman are some of her biggest accomplishments. She is a huge tortoise enthusiast, and is

secretly hoping that at least one of the fantastic authors who took part in this project might base their next book on

her two naughty Hermann’s tortoises, Daenerys and Om . . .

To find out more about Rachel, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.lawstondesign.com

About the Editor:

Jaine Keskeys

Jaine is a Senior Editor who has worked in Children’s publishing for over ten years. She has written and edited projects for many fantastic publishers, including Penguin Random House, Egmont, Parragon Books and Titan. She spends her spare time reading and writing, and hopes to one day have her own picture books – perhaps even a novel! – published.

To find out more about Jaine, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.editorjaine.com

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On Sunday we had our memory walk. The sky was aqua blue and the sun shone not only on us but also on the sea. It was beautiful. A beautiful day where everyone appeared happy but no doubt had mixed emotions, either walking for someone they knew who had dementia or walking in memory of someone who had passed who had dementia. I took a few minutes of time out to sit on the bench and gaze into the sea, keeping my own emotions under control but I couldn’t help think of the lovely young lady who a short while previously asked if she could buy a second medal to put on her Nan’s grave. We gave her the medal. This fabulous young lady had cared for her Nan for many years and I take my hat off to her.

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There wasn’t a tree where we held the walk so we couldn’t have a memory tree and instead we had a beacon tree (tied some string round the beacon and the walkers wrote on a tag who they were walking for and tied it to the string on the beacon).

Beacon tree

We had various stalls, cakes, guess the name of the monkey (he was called Charlie but I think he should have been called Dave), guess the weight of the cake, a super raffle, and we raised the fantastic amount of £747.49 (this amount does not include any sponsor money).

Monkey

Jo and I starting the walk~1  Jo and I starting the walk

Jo Wilde and I started the walks this year. Not expecting such a big crowd we didn’t really know how to get everyone’s attention and start the walk (next time we’ll have a microphone), so as you can see from this pic, Jo and I stood on the   table, thanked everyone for supporting this great cause and then we counted down from 10-1 and off they walked, along the cliff overlooking the sea. We had two walked around, a small one of 2K and one of 4K and everyone, inc people pushing wheelchairs chose to do the 4K one.

P1130840

It will be a while before we know the actual amount that was raised as we wait for people to send in their sponsorship money and the on line just-giving pages are open for up to one year (which is great as someone has just put £15.00 on my page). The weekly totals for the amounts that have come in on the just-giving pages are passed on to me (in my role of one of the organisers) and we, the Lowestoft fundraising committee are proud to announce that already it looks like we will pass the £5000.00 mark.

Our Memory Walk next year will be even bigger than this years. The committee will be meeting in two weeks’ time to discuss our next event. Here is our new page on Facebook, please feel free to like it and if you would like to be involved next year please let us know.

https://www.facebook.com/Lowestoft-Memory-Walk-25th-Sept-2016-1070431756308752/timeline/

Piece in the local newspaper

Dozens take part in Lowestoft Memory Walk: The Lowestoft Memory Walk held its third annual walk on Sunday. http://b it.ly/1iEu7dA  #Lowestoft

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I am in my third year of organising the local Memory Walk with Jo Wilde for the Alzheimer’s Society. Previously Jo and I have organised this by ourselves but we had such a lot of interest last year so we designed a committee to help us and this year it is going swimmingly.

Being with the committee group has been great to generate and discuss new ideas and this year our event will be better than ever. Not only do we have two walks but we also have various stalls inc: raffle, cake stalls, guess the name of the monkey (I think it should be called Dave), guess how many sweets in the jar, face painting and some craft stalls.

Monkey

It takes a lot of advertising to get an event off the ground and I had great fun talking on the radio promoting our event.

Me talking on air at Blyth Valley Radio 2015

I would like to pay a special thanks to TMS Media for writing our press releases,  and the Lowestoft Journal and the Beach Radio for their support. Would also like to thank local businesses that have donated fab raffle prizes and their names will be in the post walk article in the newspaper.

Thanks to the fab committee for all their hard work: Jo Wilde, Linda Harmer, Liana Moyse, Estelle Tasker, Carla Neve, Phil Mummery, Lucy Rayner, Helen Thwaites and Enid Thwaites.

Memory Walk poster

Journal piece~Friday before event

If you would like to know more about our event please click on this link:

https://www.facebook.com/Lowestoft-Memory-Walk-27th-Sept-2015-1468057330150195/timeline/

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Dementia

‘UK’s dementia care betrayal: Nine in ten care homes and hospitals fail patients, says damning report

  • CQC review finds widespread neglect, lack of care and poor training
  • They found that 90% had some aspect of poor or inconsistent care.’                                                                                                                                    Daily Mail 13th Oct 2014

Reading this is worrying but not a surprise. We’re hearing more now about poor care. It can be very stressful if you need to find a care/nursing home for your loved one with dementia, a care/nursing home that provides care and support with a dedicated staff team.

But as we read above, there is ‘a staggering 90 per cent of the care homes and hospitals inspected found to have aspects of variable or poor care’. So where does this leave us for who are trying to find a good care home for our loved one. And why is this happening?

I have seen great staff across the country who genuinely care for those they support. They are dedicated and provide person centred support, and many a time work long hours due to staff shortages/sickness. I have also seen staff that have delivered poor care. Sometimes, it’s not their fault. The staff/client ratios in these large homes are minimal and it would be helpful for the Care Quality Commission to bring in a minimum number of clients to staff ratio. The former Commission of Social Care Inspection [CSCI] had this.

Dementia is a specilised area and need staff who are trained to support people with dementia. It is not good enough to receive training on how to support older people, training is needed on how to support individuals with dementia. People can live well with dementia, but only if staff have the knowledge on how to support the individual to do this.

Is a care/nursing home needed for the individual with dementia or can they be supported at home, with a Personal Budget? [Personal budgets give you flexibility in how your care needs are met.]

What is needed in a care/nursing home to enable a person with dementia to be cared for, and be safe? As a minimum this is needed:

The care assessment completed prior to going into the care/nursing home needs to give an accurate full description of the individual’s needs.

We need to get the right quality of care. Staff to be recruited who genuinely want to care and support others [not those who see it as ‘just a job’].

High turnover rates lead to lack of continuity. Do the managers carry out an Exit Interview with staff to see why they’re leaving? If they did, this may help them see the reasons and if the reasons are to do with the Home then the manager can look to rectify this.

Money available to train staff in this specialised area and this money to be used for training and nothing else.

Time for staff to complete training.

Staff to discuss with their supervisor/manager afterwards to see if the training met their need.

Good client staff ratio on shifts.

Time for staff to carry out best practice [and not cut corners due to short staffing].

Senior on shift to lead the shift, monitor, observe and discuss poor practice if apparent.

Staff to receive regular 1-1 confidential supervision sessions where training needs are identified, performance discussed, feedback given and concerns shared.

Staff to be able to express their concerns without fear of reprisal or losing their job.

What makes a good care/nursing home?

Many care/nursing homes can look grand from the outside, and sometimes on the inside too. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they pay the same amount of time cleaning the place to supporting the people who live there.

Some of the things I feel should be in place:

Care/support plans are individual to the person [and not the same as everyone elses]. The plans should take in the uniqueness of the individual, their interests, abilities, needs and preferences.

Staff must treat individuals with dignity and respect.

Systems should be in place to help the individual with choices. This can be objects to refer to or pictures/photographs.

Dedicated and trained staff team.

Keyworker system in place.

Good leadership and support for staff.

Clients and family are listened to.

House meetings where the people living there are able to express opinions and make suggestions for their home.

Happy, relaxed atmosphere.

Activities for the individual to choose if s/he wishes to participate.

Useful websites:

Alzheimer’s Society http://alzheimers.org.uk/

Age UK http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Health Watch http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/

The Silver Line http://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

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We failed elderly because we were too scared care home owners would sue us, watchdog admits

Head of watchdog for care homes admits: we failed to protect vulnerable because we feared being sued

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11021374/We-failed-elderly-because-we-were-too-scared-care-home-owners-would-sue-us-watchdog-admits.html

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