Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Leeds LS9 0BD

Gypsies and Travellers and memory loss - new guide to be launched soon

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  January 26, 2016 |

For some time now Leeds Gypsy and Traveller families have been working with friends and colleagues from the Irish in Britain Cuimhne (Irish Memory Loss Alliance) to produce a good practice guide for service providers  and commissioners to raise awareness and improve services  for Gypsies and Travellers experiencing memory loss (Alzheimers and dementia). The report author, Dr Mary Tilki, has written for us on the subject previously which you can read here.

The guide is nearly complete and we are delighted to announce that it will be launched in Leeds on the 31st of March this year. We are especially honoured and pleased that Ian Sherriff will be joining us.  Ian works tirelessly on issues of dementia and advises David Cameron on his  Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.

We know that our friends and colleagues will be pleased to hear that the needs vulnerable Gypsy and Traveller families, those experiencing, and caring for people living with  memory loss, will be getting much needed attention.  Places at the event will unfortunately be limited, if you would like to attend please get in touch with the office.

We are going to include some very short case studies of memory loss in Gypsy and Traveller families with the guide - and we plan to develop some longer ones to go on our website.  The case studies will be completely anonymous and no identifying details will be shared.  We need your help and especially your stories to liven up our report and website by including real examples . 

Do you have an experience that others could learn from, or be encouraged by? 

Have you experiences of memory loss in your family?  Have you got a particular experience, good or not so good, that you would like to share?  Is there something that services could do differently to help? Do you have an experience of caring for a relative at home where something has been really useful that others might benefit from?  Have you an experience of a care home for respite or longer term care?

The information that would be helpful to include would be:- the type of home the family member with memory loss lives in, whether it is privately owned or owned by a landlord, whether it is on a site or by  roadside. It would also be useful to know how old the family member was when memory loss was identified and how this affected them and the family. We want to know your experiences of getting help and who or what was the most helpful.  We’d be really happy to hear, share, and learn from the stories you want to tell. We can’t guarantee that all the stories will be used and we may bring together example case studies drawn from several people’s experiences if it helps to identify an important theme.  A lot can be done to help people with memory loss and their carers but we want to know what works best for Gypsies and Travellers. 

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