A diagnosis of Dementia can be a daunting prospect for individuals, and for their families and carers. Although it is still one of the most feared diseases, there is a great deal of help and support available.
Enter Dementia Friends – an innovative and ground-breaking campaign by the Alzheimer’s Society, aimed at transforming both our understanding of dementia and the way in which we help those whose lives are affected by it.
There are currently more than a million Dementia Friends across Britain – ordinary people who work to increase people’s understanding of dementia, and do small things to support people living with dementia in their local communities.
How can Chipping Norton play a part in this initiative? Through residents who choose to become a Dementia Friend, and are committed to an action that will make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit better. This might be through getting in touch with someone living with dementia to reduce their loneliness, or tackling stigma by talking to friends about the Dementia Friends campaign.
Becoming a Dementia Friend is probably the biggest single step any of us can take in helping improve the quality of their lives.
ECN is proud to host our local Dementia Friends page – why not find out more?
How does it work, and how can you play your part?
Meet Claire Sexton, Chippy’s very own Dementia Champion. Watch the video, and feel free to get in touch with her.
Dementia Champions are trained volunteers whose aim is to educate and support people about the needs of those living with dementia. From these ranks they find their Dementia Friends – those who wish to take their learning further, and interact more deeply with their community in pursuit of the Alzheimer Society’s wider goal . . . reaching 4 million Dementia Friends across the UK by 2020.
As an individual, you can start by attending a face-to-face Dementia Friends information session free of charge.
As an organisation, you can host one of these sessions, lasting from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the needs of your establishment.
Claire is your local contact for all information and events regarding Dementia Friends.
“You are welcome to do as little or as much as you feel comfortable with”, she says. “Anyone can assist in the smallest way. From chatting to your own friends and colleagues about Dementia Friends to popping in to see someone you know who lives with dementia, it all helps break down the walls which so often fence people in.”
What’s Happening in Chippy right Now?
Claire is in the process of organising Dementia Friends sessions in and around Chipping Norton, and would be delighted to hear from you.
Her aim is to set up a local steering group featuring a range of members including:
- Any local person with dementia, their carer/s and people with an interest in supporting a Dementia Friendly community
- Local business leaders and retailers
- Local authority, public services and voluntary organisations ( eg local councillors, police, fire, leisure centre, library and Age UK)
- Health and social care providers (eg GPs, residential homes and memory clinics)
The final goal is accreditation of Chipping Norton as a Dementia Friendly town, but we’re right at the start of the journey. If we work together, however, amazing things can happen. So contact Claire via firstname.lastname@example.org and get the ball rolling today.
Carers in Need of Support
The Alzheimer’s Society runs a Chipping Norton Carers’ Support Group. This gives carers the opportunity to meet with others who understand some of what they are going through. Run by a facilitator, the sessions offer a chance to ask questions, get information and share experiences in a safe and supportive environment.