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Connecting the generations

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TheAgePage reflects the values of REAL Communication and Sarah's ongoing advocacy of older people.

Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed founded Many Happy Returns in 2008 as the result of ten years caring for her mother, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Noticing how challenged carers were to have 'real' conversations with the residents of the care homes where her mother lived, she started to research the fundamentals of older people's relational needs: conversation, memory, reminiscence, listening and of course, dementia. She developed a philosophy and mantra

"We cannot care for people unless we care about them and we cannot care about them if we don't know who they are"

After interviewing more than 120 older people about their happy memories from their youth, she developed, designed and published unique 1940s and 1950s 'Chatterbox' cards which make encounters across the generations more fun and rewarding for everyone involved, through rich, enjoyable conversation.

Her interactive REAL Communication workshops, were developed from an evidence-based model and offer relevant, simple techniques and space in which to practice and reflect on better dementia communication. The model is integral to Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance carer training and with them, won Gold at the 2014 Learning Awards.

Sarah is a long-term volunteer and trustee of Contact the Elderly, a CQC 'expert by experience' and serves on the NCVO advisory board for volunteering in care homes.

Prior to her career turn-about, for thirty-five years, Sarah was an award-winning creative producer in media production.

More here

She has two adult children and slightly dodgy collections of 'abused' Mona Lisa memorabilia and early twentieth century self-improvement books.