Chorus Voices Ep 39: Dementia journey part 2: Tea with Sarah and Blanche

Louise Forster (Left) Blanche (Centre) and Sarah Newbold (Right)

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Sarah cares for her mother Blanche who lives with dementia. Louise has been following Sarah and Blanche’s story online and caught up for a chat.

“I actually felt like I knew her before I reached out to catch up and she was very generous,” says Louise on meeting Sarah.

Sarah talks about transitioning Blanche into care and the importance of home to them both.

“I have seen transition care and the standards are not great,” says Sarah. “I knew my mum would find that environment really distressing. So, in that week I spent a lot of time driving from nursing home to nursing home that had vacancies.”

Sarah had to quit her job to care for Blanche. “Workplaces need to be particularly flexible and understanding,” she says.

Finding joy in the sadness has helped Sarah build resilience. “There are lots of really funny moments and you really need to…hold onto them because they’re what keeps you going.”

Dan and Lou reflect on the importance of flexibility in employment and the economic value of unpaid carers. 

“There’s some really interesting work going on in that space to try and recognise the value that it creates,” says Dan. “If that was visible in the economic data, then we would make a lot of different policy decisions.”

“We need to rehumanise the system. What that starts with is the one-on-one relationship that Jason spoke very eloquently about, is that when I’m sitting here looking at you as a person with dementia and thinking that you are somehow different from me, that’s where it starts to break apart.”

 

Listen: Chorus Voices Ep 38: Dementia journey part 1: Finding joy

Read: How to care for someone with dementia without losing yourself

 

Podcast Hosts: Louise Forster and Dan Minchin

Opening Voiceover: Ryan Burke

Music: “Wattlebird” by Dylan Hatton Music

Interviewer: Louise Forster

Producer: Judith Hatton

Production: Matthew Clark

Special thanks to:

Sarah Newbold

Blanche

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