There was a good turnout at the free Dementia Awareness workshops held at Stirlings Care Home in Wantage last week.

The workshops were led by OSJCT’s Admiral Nurse, Jane Moss, as part of last week’s Dementia Action Week and were attended by members of the local community and families of the residents. There was also a surprise appearance from Paro the therapeutic robotic seal!

Helping to inform local families about dementia, the workshops focussed on symptoms, how the disease progresses and how it can impact behaviour. The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) specialises in dementia care and Jane feels it is very important to continue talking about the disease to raise awareness. “Understanding more about the challenges faced by people living with dementia strengthens the quality of the relationship with loved ones. This will help to keep families connected,” she said.

Many attendees were kind enough to share their personal stories and ways in which they have found dementia can make communication more challenging. Along with offering tips and advice, Jane also introduced Paro, a robotic seal, which is often used to stimulate interaction and aid communication in people living with dementia. Covered in sensors, Paro reacts to touch and movement and responds to whoever is holding him, improving their relaxation levels. Paro was admired by attendees and residents alike, with one resident renaming him John.

Lisa Duffy, Home Manager at Stirlings, was delighted to host an event for the community and has already had positive feedback about the workshops. “The session was very interactive with lots of questions from the floor. Several attendees have been in touch to thank us for the event and have commented how informative and interesting it was.”

If you missed these workshops and would like to find out more about dementia please click here . Do look out for the next community event held at Stirlings; check this blog for updates about what’s coming up soon.