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Kenís story is told across the nation...

Reporter: Janice Barker
Date online: 24 November 2009

The Life Story initiative pioneered in Oldham to help carers of people with dementia, has became a national project.

Life Story was created by Shaw resident Ken Holt, whose wife Alice was cared for in Franklin House, Oldham, the specialist care home for dementia sufferers, until her death last year.

They were married for 62 years and his love for her inspired him to write her life story so her carers would know all about Alice, her life and her family, where she worked and her likes and dislikes.

The idea was adopted as a model by Oldham Social Services and the Oldham Primary Care Trust, and 100 professionals were trained to promote Life Story.

Now Life Story has been taken up by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and Mr Holt has made a DVD which features on the NHS mental health website.

And in Leeds in February, 86-year-old Mr Holt will be speaking to a conference of health professionals, after he became a member of the Life Story steering group for the Department of Health’s mental health policy team for older people.

Also a member is Polly Kaiser, consultant clinical psychologist for the Pennine Care Trust which is responsible for Oldham people with mental health issues.

Mr Holt said: “I am so proud that something which started for Alice has gone so far and become national,

“It started in Oldham and has really taken off. I am also pleased that Pennine Care has also got the ethnic minority communities involved.”


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