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
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.