On Wednesday 28 March, The Lakes Care Centre held a family awareness event for those caring for loved ones with Dementia.
Dementia is a devastating illness and not only affects the person living with it, but those who love and care for the person as well. Understanding exactly what dementia is and how to support someone living with dementia can be confusing and overwhelming.
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) home, The Lakes Care Centre in South Cerney near Cirencester, is aware of just how many families suffer with not only coming to terms with the news their loved one is living with dementia, but understanding how they can help. The home hosted a dementia awareness event help the community understand what dementia is, including busting common myths.
“The presentation covered what dementia is, including symptoms, understanding of the two most common forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia, how to get a diagnosis, sources of support for families, power of attorneys, continence, music therapy and tips on how to communicate with someone living with dementia,” OSJCT’s Admiral Nurse, Nicola Rowe, said. “It’s really important relatives talk to their loved one living with dementia, talk to each other, and talk to experts. It can be a very difficult conversation to have, and we hope to get the ball rolling on these conversations.”
There were two sessions for the community to attend, and around 23 people came to both sessions to learn more about dementia. A thought-provoking video, was shown to those who attended, that gave viewers a first-hand experience of what it’s like to live with dementia. The video features a point-of-view camera perspective through the eyes of a resident living with dementia, and how they feel and react to situations.
“The dementia awareness event was a huge success with 23 people in attendance from many aspects of the community and the home. We had a very open and honest discussion about the real experiences that families face caring for a loved one living with dementia, both good and bad. People who attended have fed back that being able to discuss their caring needs in a safe environment was so informative, and the support at the event was fantastic,” Nicola said.
Scrubditch Care Farm, a registered charity in North Cerney came along and brought chickens, eggs and wool for people to look at and touch, and connect with nature. The Farm will be running regular sessions at the home for people living with dementia to come along to.
"The sessions themselves will provide the opportunity for people living with dementia to have safe access to the countryside, be physically active, helping to care for the animals, grow and harvest fruit and vegetables and other purposeful and rewarding tasks in a friendly and welcoming environment," Gerry Fouracres from Scrubditch Care Farm said. "Spending time outdoors, with animals and carrying out meaningful activities has been found to improve mental and physical wellbeing, as well as increasing confidence and self-esteem."