All are welcome to attend the preview and to attend any of the accompanying events over the next couple of months. We are very pleased and proud to have been a partner in this project
Thanks to funding from Guinness Housing, we will be running new pilot activity and friendship groups in east and then north Manchester. Guinness are keen to improve their offer to people with dementia, wanting them to be better integrated into the sheltered schemes in which they live or welcoming them to visit the schemes and join a group. We hope that the more able tenants will enjoy the activities too, which will focus on physical activity, maintaining skills – (such as cooking), and having fun. Information sessions will be on offer too so that family carers, tenants and others can learn more about what dementia is and isn’t. In this way we hope to reduce the stigma and embarressment around age-related memory changes and dementia. Our first ‘Feel Good Stay Well Club’ will start at Auden Court, Clayton on Wednesday 15 August at 1.30pm. If you are interested in attending PLEASE contact Sally on : 07854 335 890 to check that we can accommodate you and/or your relative
We are in the process of updating and expanding the website, thanks to James who is giving his time and expertise free of charge. There are several functions that don’t work so please bear with us and take another look in a couple of months at a much more detailed, and easier-to-navigate site.
At the Carers’ Drop-In this week, carers discussed how they can promote wellbeing and contentedness in their relatives. With input from group facilitator, Sally, we acknowledged that dementia causes brain damage that can alter mood and lower stress thresholds. However, the same things that put us in a bad mood can also affect the person with dementia – bad weather, being patronised, being in pain, being hungry, being bored – and we should always consider why the person is upset before we try to respond. Then we need to be self-conscious about how we respond and not simply placate the person but perhaps divert, distract or empathise with him/her. “Isn’t it a miserable day. Are you feeling fed up? Shall we think of something nice to do?” Our response might involve putting on an act and telling therapeutic lies. Often relatives resist telling lies but there can be a case for telling the person what he/she needs to believe to keep him feeling safe. secure and respected. One such instance is the person with dementia accusing the relative of stealing her clothes. This might arise because the lady feels out of control and confused by losing things. She can’t think logically, because of her dementia, so her emotional response is to blame the carer. The carer might respond, “I’m sorry your skirt has gone missing. And I’m sorry if I’ve taken it by mistake. I’ll go and look for it”. The carer should then re-appear with one of the lady’s skirts and hope that the re-appeared skirt is acceptable. Why have an argument about a false accusation! It will likely upset the carer more than the person with dementia. Two books that can help carers are ‘Keeping Mum’ by Marianne Talbot and ‘Contented Dementia’ by Oliver James. Getting another person’s perspective on your relative’s mood changes can also be helpful.
What a great start for the Fabulous Forgetful Friends in 2017. We were so pleased to have our leading light, Ronnie, back with us and we made plans for what we hope to tackle and achieve this year.
We are keen that the group offers a mix of activism, peer support, and socialising. (Life’s too short not to have some fun!)
However there is still so much work to be done to change attitudes, educate the public and professionals, and get better services for people living with dementia.
So we want to offer talks and training to any professional or social group – from school children, nursing students, housing staff, and GP practice staff.
- We want to influence GPs to take social prescribing more seriously, finding out what services they can signpost their patients to – and encouraging them to try the groups.
- We want to give our views about how the Memory Clinic experience can be improved and made a more positive, helpful experience
- We want to improve the hospital experience for people with dementia who go into hospital for another medical condition
- We want to improve provision in Manchester for younger people with dementia including appropriate respite care
- We want to improve transport provision to enable us to safely get out more
We will invite members of the new Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust to come and talk with us and also the movers and shakers behind Dementia United.
However, we are still keen to have new members and any other supporters who would like to help us take forward this work. We are always looking for financial support, hands-on help or invitations to speak to groups.
Please get in touch with our Co-ordinator, Sally, if you can help us in any way.