New Year and lots of new activity in The Carents Room. Our caring connections are growing on multiple fronts and in multiple regions. One region which has shown particular interest is America, and so, in January, we made our first public steps to connect with the carenting community there.
I made a virtual trip to the USA to meet Jessica, Founder of The Proactive Caregiver. Based in Texas, and an accountant by background, Jessica left the world of finance to become a full time caregiver for her mother. Drawing on her own experiences, she has developed a wide range of support for carers including a weekly podcast.
Like ourselves, Jessica recognises that, by empowering carents, by giving them the knowledge and support they need, we can improve outcomes and experiences for themselves and for those that they care for.
You can watch some of our discussion here – we explore the importance of healthy ageing, the links between diabetes and dementia, and ways to promote inclusion for those with cognitive decline (watch time is almost one hour - or listen to The Proactive Caregiver podcast for free on Jessica's website or Apple podcasts ).
I also discuss my aims for The Carents Room and my future plans for more caring connections and extra furniture in this special room of our own.
It was both interesting and heartening to explore the international differences. We are blessed in the UK to benefit from such a strong public health function giving consistent health advice, access to national screening programmes and of course our universal, free and comprehensive national health service.
But, despite national differences in funding, provision and policy, we found that we had plenty in common. We found that many of the practical challenges of ageing and caring are essentially the same regardless of any geographical or political boundaries.
These differences and commonalities, suggest that the solutions might not lie in the way we fund or provide health and social care services but in other aspects of life in western society.