Expert by Experience: Keith Oliver’s Alzheimer Story


My name is Keith Oliver, and I was a primary school head teacher until diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010.

In my role within the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group, I was delighted to meet Caroline Bartle, and through Caroline to have the opportunity to support on line workshops providing dementia training. Amongst topics covered in these workshops are dementia and the environment, mental health and dementia and what life is like to live with dementia.

I always prepare and write my pieces bespoke specifically for 3 Spirit and sit in on introductions to enable delegates to meet me and for me to tweak my input to meet their needs. It is 100% apparent of the need to give delegates insight into the lived experience which I always do honestly and truthfully.

Dementia was the biggest issue facing our society and social care system prior to the pandemic and the past 18 months have made this even more so. The work 3 Spirit does with the help of folks like me is helping to address this. I have co-presented with Caroline and two of her colleagues, and all the team are great to work with they support and encourage me and it is evident they do this for delegates too. Sometimes delegates have limited technical experience of on line events and the patience of the 3 Spirit team is admirable in supporting them. Content of the courses is excellent and pitched at just the right level with differentiation incorporated in both planning and delivery.

Support from the admin team is always excellent and settling of invoices is prompt and efficient which makes life easier for me and my problems I have with Alzheimer’s. I really enjoy working with the 3 Spirit team and look forward, my health permitting to many more future collaborative ventures.

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Dementia and Post Diagnostic Support

BY Caroline Bartle, CEO 3SpiritUk

Many individuals do not receive the post diagnostic support that is needed. Finding affordable and sustainable post diagnostic support has been a challenge in the UK and waiting lists have been impacted negatively since COVID-19. Lack of funding and problems with integrated services are some of the many barriers to good post diagnostic support.

The research shows clearly that good quality post diagnostic support is required to provide people with the information, resources and support that they need to live as well as possible with their dementia.

So, what does good quality post diagnostic support look like?

  • As a basis, this should include how to manage symptoms but should also include how to maximise on strengths and abilities.
  • It should also include how to manage and maintain cognitive skills. This might include offering Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST).  
  • It should also include how to keep connected with existing networks, people who are important but should also include information on new support networks. This might include peer networks where a person can share insights, experiences and strategies with others going through similar situations.
  • It should also include things like practical support, specifically where a person has care and support needs.
  • It should also include how to plan for the future, including making legal provisions.

Our ‘Still My Life’ framework attached is a great outline of the things a person can do following a diagnosis. We co-created this in collaboration with people living with dementia.

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