With one person being diagnosed with Dementia every 3 minutes in the UK*, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic creating new challenges for those living with Dementia and their carers, the actions of the various support organisations across the county is vital. Everyone can play their part in this, and by learning a little more about Dementia, and the small actions we can all take to show a little more understanding can make a huge difference.
As restrictions start to be lifted and people who have been isolating for months start to re-enter their local communities, simple tasks such as a visit to the shops is now very much different to what it was like in March. Everyone wearing masks, queuing on the marks on the floor, direction arrows to follow, and often waiting to enter the shop in the first place. All of these are difficult for many elderly and vulnerable people and even more so for those living with dementia.
Whilst support organisations have been keeping in contact with clients on a regular basis. Carers and people living with dementia had little or no respite as the usual gatherings and hubs have been on hold since March, and no sign of these opening to any great degree for some time to come. Everyone has been learning new skills on-line with Zoom, Skype and Facetime.
The Alzheimer’s Society has a programme of increasing the number of people in our communities who are more aware of the issues of living with Dementia. These Dementia Friends awareness sessions can now be provided on-line and several Dementia Champions have recently been trained to provide these sessions in the County.
The information sessions only take around 30 minutes and are designed to highlight five key messages about Dementia to increase awareness and understanding. As well as encouraging people to take small actions to support people they know affected by Dementia, they also encourage people to spread the word as far and wide as possible to make these challenging times as easy as possible for those most affected.
There have been many new volunteers active in our communities and the mutual aid groups that have been providing much needed support will continue to be needed in some form for the foreseeable time. We would encourage these groups to offer the dementia friends training sessions to these volunteers as many will be in contact with the more vulnerable in their communities.
To find out more about when the sessions are to be held and to receive a link to book your place please email Amanda Ingram [email protected]