Tag Archives: dementia friends

Dementia friendly Communities

EVERYONE HAS HEARD THE WORD DEMENTIA, BUT THE TROUBLE IS, NOT MANY UNDERSTAND IT ! …….”INCLUDING ME AND MY FAMILY BEFORE I WAS DIAGNOSED,
BUT, WITH UNDERSTANDING, FEAR CAN BE REDUCED,
ITS THE UNKNOWN ONE FEARS THE MOST !

THAT’S WHY A DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY SHOULD BE BASED FIRSTLY, ON EDUCATION,
EDUCATION WHICH SHOULD START IN SCHOOLS SO NO MORE
MIS-UNDERSTANDING AND STIGMA ABOUT THE ILLNESS WOULD THEN EXIST, CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE AND AN IMPORTANT ASSET, THEY SHOULDN’T BE LEFT OUT OF A DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY.

THEN START TO EDUCATE THE SHOPS AND BUSINESSES, THE BANKS AND POST OFFICES, NOT JUST THE OWNERS BUT ALL THE STAFF,
THEN THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT STAFF, TRAINS, TAXIES AND BUSES !

IT IS EASIER TO START WITH THE SMALLER, INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES, THEN THE LARGER ONES, THE CORPORATE MULTI-NATIONALS WILL FOLOW TOO.

MOST PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA LOSE THE CONFIDENCE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES ONCE DIAGNOSED……….I KNOW I DID !

THEN GO INTO THE CARE HOMES, THE NURSING HOMES, SURGERIES AND HOSPITALS, EDUCATE ALL !

THEN THE PUBLIC……… BECAUSE WITH EDUCATION COMES UNDERSTANDING,
WITH UNDERSTANDING COMES SUPPORT AND CARING
KNOWLEDGE IS A POWERFUL TOOL !!

THEN THE RESCUE SERVICES, THE POLICE, AND COUNCILS,
WORKING EVER UPWARDS AND OUTWARDS.

THEN COMES CHANGES TO THE ENVIRONMENT,
WORKING WITH THE ARCHITECTS, ESTATE MANAGERS AND THE BUILDERS.
LOOKING AT THINGS LIKE SIGNAGE, LIGHTING AND LIVING ACCESSORIES,
ALSO THINGS LIKE MARKING STEPS, ESCALATORS AND PAVEMENT EDGES ETC,

ALL THE THINGS THAT CAN SUPPORT SOMEONE AND GIVE THEM CONFIDENCE WITHOUT TAKING THEIR DIGNITY AWAY

A BIG THING NEEDED IS INCLUSION, PLEASE ASK US WHAT WE NEED, WHAT WE WANT, IT SHOULD BE NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US !
WE ARE, AFTER ALL, THE EXPERTS IN LIVING WITH DEMENTIA, WE ARE THE EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE,
US, AND OUR CARERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS.

YOU HAVE A WEALTH OF INFORMATION BETWEEN US !

PLEASE DONT FORGET THAT DEMENTIA IS A DISABILITY,
A DISABILITY YOU CANT ALWAYS SEE, THERE ISNT A LABEL

SO IF YOU GET IT RIGHT FOR THE PERSON WITH DEMENTIA THEN YOU GET IT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE !
ITS ABOUT PUTTING COMMUNITY SPIRIT BACK, SOMETHING THAT CAN BE SADLY LACKING, IN LOTS OF PLACES THESE DAYS.

ALL THESE THINGS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO MAKE GOOD PLACE FOR SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA,

DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT EVERYONE AT ALL AGES AND AT ALL STAGES OF THE ILLNESS,
MAINTAINING THEIR CONFIDENCE AND BOOSTING ONE’S ABILITY TO MANAGE THEIR EVERY DAY LIFE

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My write-up for Dementia Friends

Why Dementia Friends is so important to break down barriers

The Dementia Friends initiative is a very special thing it’s about breaking down the barriers and misconceptions that surround this illness.
The layout and training you receive is excellent. The first part of the training day is to make you a Dementia friend, once you’ve accomplished that it’s on with the training. It’s a very easy format with just enough information without sensory overload.
It’s quick and to the point without becoming too technical or boring. A selection of activities are also used to illustrate the problems people with dementia have in their daily living routines, reiterating the five points about dementia, which are :-

It’s not a part of getting old
It’s caused by diseases of the brain – the most common being Alzheimer’s
It’s not just about losing your memory
People can live well with dementia with the right support and understanding
There is more to the person than the dementia

The message of Dementia Friends came across really strongly and everyone was so enthusiastic. It’s a fantastic and simple idea that will make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia. It’s all about getting the message out there and expelling the myths and preconceptions that revolve around people with this condition.

By going around as many people and groups as we can we will be helping to improve the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and allow them to live normal lives for longer which in turn allows them more time at home with their loved ones, keeping people out of homes and saving the NHS millions! It has now rolled out to Wales where we, Jayne and I, attended the launch and actually ran an info session for Lloyd’s Bank for ITV in the morning prior. Watch the ITV interview here :-
http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2014-02-19/charity-launches-dementia-awareness-scheme/

So it’s up to us to take responsibility to change the attitude towards dementia; by becoming “aware” we can shift previous stigmas and misconceptions, creating a dementia aware society and creating dementia friendly communities.

By becoming Dementia Friends Champions, we (the wife and I) hope to play a part in this huge social action movement, and create 100′s of dementia friends.

It is estimated that there are over 45,500 people living with dementia in Wales; two-thirds of them live in the community. Yet sadly they don’t feel part of our community, but with help and support people with dementia can play an active part for sometimes many years.
It’s all about turning understanding into action, it’s about educating people.

As I said earlier the wife, Jayne, and I do our sessions together – as a team. Why you may ask, well it’s a necessity :-

It’s different, people quite enjoy the towing and frowing!
We work well together; we’re a team in the house and out!
But the biggest reason, is that she is there to support me because at the young- ish age of 52 years, I have Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s, a form of mixed dementia, so if I can be a Dementia Friends Champion ,any of you can do it! So please do!
So you see it is possible to live with dementia, especially when you have understanding and support! Which is what Dementia Friends is all about and which is why we enjoy being part of this fabulous initiative.

Chris Roberts
@mason4233

Dementia Friends Champion
dementiafriends.org.uk

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Feeling worthy again !

I have these ideas, then I have to remember I’m not the person I used to be.
But try I will and if you speak to the wife, very trying I can be !
The wife and I recently completed our dementia friends champion training, after all the worry and anxiety, it was worth the effort.
It could be or would be so easy to just sit and wait for the roof of ones world to just cave in, because stress and thinking just lay me flat out these days.
As I was saying, We have just done our first dementia info sessions, two on the same day ( which, afterwards I slept for nearly 14hours solid! ). A bit much with hind sight, we will stick to one a week after that !
Anyway where was I , oh yes, the wife did the bookcase analogy that explains dementia, I managed to do most of the rest ,
and there was I , feeling actually proud ! A feeling I haven’t felt for 12 months at least, I felt worthy again !
The feed back was positive, and want us back for more dates.
What team work !
So what I’m trying to say ,I think, is no matter what’s going on in your life, no matter how crappy, you Can rise above it and You can live with dementia. Just carry on doing this for as long as You can.
You just have to find that branch to hold onto and hold as tight as you can while you can .

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