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Unprecedented partnership to express and understand the importance of language for dementia patients launched

This week at the National Eisteddfod, a special event will be staged, which is the result of a timely and innovative partnership between the Welsh Language Commissioner, Alzheimer's Society Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
In an unprecedented session in the Senedd, the three partners will communicate the importance of care through the medium of Welsh for people living with dementia, and what needs to be done to ensure that the appropriate care is available for people in all parts of Wales.
The session will start with a performance of ‘Y Tad’, staged by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. In this piece, the audience will gain insight into the relationship between the main character, Arwyn (Dyfan Roberts) and his carer (Mirain Fflur) and will see the importance of a common language to the quality of care, the trust and to Arwyn’s dignity.
After the performance, there will be a panel discussion led by Emyr Roberts, who is a Trustee of the Alzheimer's Society; with Meri Huws – Welsh Language Commissioner; Beti George – the broadcaster who has been a carer for her partner who had dementia; and Menna Boyns, Services Manager for West Wales for Alzheimer's Society Cymru.
Meri Huws said: ‘Y Tad’ portrays the harrowing story of the impact of dementia, not only on the person living with the condition, but also on the whole family. It is a story which is a reality for tens of thousands of families in Wales today. When discussing the subject, I want to give a voice and a platform to the people behind the statistics, and the theatrical performance will mean that the individual living with dementia is represented in the discussion.
"Over the past few months we have been working with Alzheimer's Society Cymru, to listen to the experiences of patients, carers and care providers in order to understand the importance of language to dementia care. It is clear that language makes the difference between understanding and not understanding; between feeling comfortable and feeling frustrated; and it is about respecting the dignity of the individual - at the time when it is most needed. It is a vital part of the care package.
"We will publish the findings of this research in the autumn with robust recommendations regarding the planning of services to meet the need of care through the medium of Welsh."
Sue Phelps, Country Director of Alzheimer’s Society Cymru said: “Alzheimer’s Society Cymru has undertaken pioneering research with the Welsh Language Commissioner which will help us to understand the challenges and opportunities for providing care and support in the Welsh language for people affected by dementia across Wales.
“This event will demonstrate the importance of providing support for a person with dementia in the language of their choice and conversely, the detrimental impact of not offering a service through this medium can have on a person affected by dementia.“
This will be the first time that Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru have contributed to a discussion in Societies, the discussing zone at the Eisteddfod. Arwel Gruffydd, Theatrical Director, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru said: “The reactions we had to Theatr Genedlaethol Cymu’s production of Geraint Løvgreen’s award-winning translation of the contemporary classic, Le Père, was astounding. The play touched so many people throughout Wales, one assumes, because this topic effects the lives of so many of us – be we those that are living with the condition or their carers and relations. The play is the result of the French playwright’s study of how his own family was effected when the condition took hold of his grandmother. Whether the family lives in Paris or Penmaenmawr, the experience is all too common.”
The session will be held 10:15am Wednesday 8 August 2018, in Societies 3, in the Senedd.

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