Dementia Friends helping change understanding | In Safe Hands

Dementia Friends helping change understanding

It is true that more people over 65 have dementia but it is not exclusively an older person’s disease.

Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect us all. Because public understanding is so poor, people with dementia often feel – and are – misunderstood, marginalised and isolated. And that means that they’re less likely to be able to live independently in their own communities.

Dementia Friends is the biggest ever initiative to transform how the nation thinks, acts, and talks about dementia.

What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Dementia Friends

The Alzheimer’s society started the initiative to help create a climate of kindness and understanding, so that everyone affected by dementia feels part of, not apart from, society.

Becoming a Dementia Friend simply means finding out more about how dementia affects a person – and then, armed with this understanding, doing small everyday things that help. For example, being patient in a shop queue, or spending time with someone you know who’s living with dementia.

Learning more about dementia, putting yourself in the shoes of someone living with the condition, and turning your understanding into action is all that it takes. Every action counts, no matter how small.  United, Dementia Friends can transform the dementia landscape.

How InSafeHands supports Dementia

At InSafeHands, we ensure that all our Carers become Dementia Friends, and this is led by one of our Managers, Lynn Lurcock,  who promotes this as part of her role as a Dementia Champion. Our Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help.

Lynn has created over 250 Dementia Friends both in our company and local community since taking on this valuable role.

Living with Dementia

Supporting a person with dementia can be both positive and rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Looking after yourself is also important for both the individual, Carer or relative, and the person you are supporting, our Carers and Clients are equally important to us,  we want to be able to support everyone well and care for people living with Dementia in the best and most rewarding way.

Living with dementia at any time is a challenge for those with the condition and the people close to them. Many face stigma and isolation in everyday life and coronavirus is making things even harder. Now more than ever, it is important that people affected by dementia get the help and support they need, and InSafeHands can help with this.

Local Dementia Friends Activities

InSafeHands became involved in raising awareness and the passion of the subject when one of our Managers became a Dementia Champion, initiating and leading on establishing a group to work towards creating a Dementia Friendly Nantwich.  T

his involved engaging with like-minded individuals from the town, including other local care providers, Cheshire East Council, Age Uk, Police, people living with Dementia/family member, charitable organisations and interested businesses and groups within the town. The process of recognition with the Alzheimer’s Society and plans to progress were formulated.

Current Covid impact

The main achievement within the first 18 months was commencing a Dementia Friendly club, known as the, “Thursday club”. With local donations and peoples volunteer time, the club started to engage with vulnerable local people and advertise through a variety of means to establish the club as  a regular activity. The ran successfully until we were forced to close during 2020 due not Covid Restrictions, during the summer/autumn a walking group was established for those people who could undertake the walks/outdoor socially distance events until Dec 2020.

The group is now on hold but will re commence with our Manager being freed up to re-establish the group again as soon as is safe to do so. This is InSafeHands contribution to our community, that we allow LL to do this in work time for the benefit of our community not our business.

Also, as part of the role within the wider community, Lynn is involved in ensuring  that Nantwich town engages with the wider national activities, such as Dementia Action week, and whilst the plans for 2020 could not go ahead, the team are hoping that we can resurrect interest and inclusion with “turning the town blue” in May 2021.

 

 

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