Let’s get digital…digital…(oh and please vote for my blog!!)

I was casually checking my work email account last week- deleting the clutter that even seems to manage to penetrate my uni email account when….I received an exciting email.

A few weeks prior I was encouraged by my supervisor to submit my blog in the NIHR “Let’s get digital” competition. Although My rational self thought I- the small insignificant slightly tech-phobic speech and language therapist from the tiniest discipline in the world – don’t stand a chance. I figured well what the heck. And lo and behold I have been shortlisted in the category of top 5 online communities! Cue overwhelming fanfare of girlie speech and language therapy squealing….(my husband and all my media friends have been rolling theirs eyes and patting me on the shoulder as though I am a 10 year old with a school merit badge!)

But….I am now on the case, endeavouring to get as many votes as possible! I understand that I am up against a bunch of junior doctors and some amazing bug bashers. But sometimes the underdog can make it. And dementia is an issue that almost everyone I meet has experienced in some way. Their mum, grandfather, neighbour or someone very close may have had it. People are generally aware that the chances of finding a “cure” in the next few years is slim. As a society we need to focus on caring for and living well with people with dementia. My research focuses on just that.

Speech and language therapists are seeing increasing numbers of people with dementia on their caseloads. Yet there is little evidence to support our clinical practice in working with these people and their families. I hope that my research can provide that- evidence that speech and language therapists can improve communication, conversation and quality of life for people with the language variant of dementia- PPA.

This blog has been a great way of sharing my experiences as a clinician moving into a research role and to spread the word on what I am doing. The response has been overwhelming- not least being shortlisted for this competition. This has already spread the word further! So do please vote for me- before the 2nd August when the competition closes:

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news-and-events/support-our-campaigns/shortlisted-entries.htm

If I win I will learn lots more about social media and online communities- and will be able to spread the word even further!

(If not for me, vote for my not so hilarious husband who as I write this is sat next to me quietly singing “let’s get digital…digital….” to the tune of Olivia Newton-John’s “let’s get physical…physical….”)

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