Opinions

Joan’s Room

Written by: Tommy Whitelaw BCAh, UK Lead - Dementia Carer Voices, the ALLIANCE

Published: 20/04/2018

Our UK Lead Tommy Whitelaw is honoured to hear that Wexham Park Hospital's new dementia friendly lounge is to be named after his mum Joan

Dementia Carer Voices are very proud to announce the opening of Joan’s Room, Wexham Park Hospital’s new dementia friendly lounge.

It is to be named after our UK Lead Tommy Whitelaw’s late mother Joan. Tommy has been invited to speak at the opening of the new lounge on the 21st May.

Tommy would like to share the thanks below:

With great thanks to Alexandra Lukjaniek (Clinical Nurse Specialist for Dementia), Neil Curry, Matthew Scott, Robert Paige, Karen Sutton and colleagues at Wexham Park Hospital, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust for the greatest of honour in naming their new dementia friendly lounge Joan’s Room.

I was overwhelmed when Alex got in touch to ask and feel so very honoured on behalf of my mum Joan, my team mates and the people who share their stories and make personal pledges to make a difference with us.

The dementia friendly lounge is designed to bring some reassurance, improve patient experience and support quality of life. It will provide a reflective place outside of the clinical environment. We know from studies that this supports people, families and staff to have a better experience.

Thank you to all the team at Wexham for this great honour and I look forward to speaking at the trust and opening Joan’s room on May 21st.

Thank you from a son

Tommy

ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather would also like to extend the thanks below:

Naming a room where people are able to reflect outside of the clinical environment after Tommy’s mum Joan is a great way to remember the story of two people who fought the battle of dementia and won.

They won because – despite all the daily challenges that they faced, all the ups and downs and good days and sad days – nothing can separate Tommy and Joan from the love that weaves through their story and transcends life and death. The story of mother and son that uplifts, inspires and motivates others. I can’t think of a lovelier accolade for the amazing person – wife, mum, sister that Joan was – than this. And I know it means the world to Tommy to know his story touches and helps other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and friends.

Irene Oldfather

Director, but importantly, Fellow Traveller

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