Dementia Friends


 

This issue of the Hospice blog is all about what the Hospice is trying to do to Help people with dementia and raise awareness.

Claire Halsey is one of the ‘Dementia Champions’ at the hospice and has been running dementia training courses for staff and the public. Anyone who attends one of these courses can then consider themselves a ‘Dementia Friend’. There are now around 2.2 million dementia friends in the UK. Claire has been working as Project Lead for the Community Dementia Companion Service here at the Hospice for about a year now and is working hard to raise awareness and provide training on dementia and how to help not only people with dementia but the families and friends it effects.

(Claire Halsey and Helena Smith, dementia champions at East Cheshire Hospice)

The dementia friends training sessions are an excellent way to develop knowledge of dementia and how to help people who have it. The sessions cover how the different types of the disseise effect people, and how the symptoms can effect perspective, sight, and perhaps the symptom we all most commonly associate with dementia, memory loss. The sessions are interactive and really make you think about what it would be like to be someone with dementia, and in turn helping you understand the best ways to help them.

The key point from the session is that all individuals are different, and dementia will affect people indifferent ways, meaning an adaptive approach to each individual is essential.

Another important point, which will be of comfort to those who care for people, or have a friend/family member with dementia, is that feelings and emotions last much longer than actual memories. So if you do something nice for someone and they forget it almost instantly, don’t be disheartened. They may have forgotten the activity or kind gesture, but they will still feel the happiness it gave them and also make them feel much warmer to you the next time you see them.   

I myself have attended one of the sessions and am now a dementia friend. I would highly recommend to anybody to attend a session as the information and tips you pick up are invaluable. If everybody was a ‘dementia friend’ and had more insight into dementia and how it effects people, people with dementia would feel much less isolated and would feel much happier due to the support and understanding around them. The sessions do run at the Hospice and many of the staff and volunteers are now dementia friends, however there are many dementia champions around the country and many sessions run locally for most people.

 

To attend a dementia training session in your area or to find out more about dementia friends please visit dementiafriends.org.uk/

 

Thank you.

 

To read the last edition of the blog please visit https://www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/blog-2018/blog-hospice-home