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Dementia Friends - Carers UK Forum

Dementia Friends

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
If you don't already know about the charity Dementia Friends, working in conjunction with, but separate from, the Alzheimer's Society, then here's the low down.

Early November this year, I attended an all day workshop run by Dementia Friends in order to become a Dementia Champion. This means I go out into the community giving one hour workshops to the public as and when I can manage it.
The aim of these workshops is to help increase understanding of dementia, dispel some of the misunderstandings around dementia, encourage those who attend to become Dementia Friends, and signpost people to other relevant organisations.
Needless to say, I’ll be signposting CUK a lot were relevant. We are NOT there to give medical advice, simply to raise awareness of dementia in general.

A dementia Friend is simply someone who vows to do something in their local community involving dementia. It could be talking to your work colleagues about what you’ve learnt at your 1hour session, or offering to help keep the garden tidy of a neighbour/relative with dementia. Anything really, no matter how big or small. You then email in/twitter/facebook what you’ve done.

In this way DF’s hopes to have amassed 1,000,000 registered Dementia Friend’s by 2015. The ultimate aim is to change society’s negative attitudes around dementia and make our society as a whole more dementia friendly.
Collectively, 5 million small changes in attitude from a million people will make a far bigger impact than 10,000 people making big changes. That’s why it doesn’t matter how little someone’s mite is; every little helps!

It’s only just occurred to me to let this forum know about this organisation. Some champion I’ve turned out to be!
Anyway, better late than never. If you’re interested in becoming a Dementia Friend, or becoming a Dementia Champion yourself, here’s the website thingy.

http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/?gcli ... tAodtnAAcw

There’s a short vid narrated by Judith Dench. If only to listen to her gorgeous voice, I strongly recommend you check out the website.
My friend is a dementia champion and I have done 2 school visits with her. One was taking hubby along so he could talk about how he is affected by his Alzheimers. Other visit was as a carer to talk about how it affects myself, even in these early stages.

Well done you for doing this

x x
Yes, well done Image

can I suggest something else? Might be a step too far for you but I am going to say it anyway!

have you considered approaching a specialised dementia unit/nursing home in your area. They might (and I stress MIGHT) be willing to let you visit and perhaps chat to staff, in particular if they have staff employed for "activities" specifically....

Activity staff are usually very experienced, often qualified mental health nurses specialising in dementia care and you might find it of use in widening you knowledge.

Having said that, it could also be a bit of an eye opener and you might find it too distressing an environment. hence, I am dithering whether or not to post this Image Image Image
Hi Dancedintherain,

Are you psychic or wot? I've already approached loads of nursing homes, etc to be a volunteer visitor or something. I didn't know what, I was just chucking ideas around. Most weren't interested. Can't says that I blame them, volunteers are a pain according to some I pressed on the issue.
That's why I'm doing an online course, as suggested by KiwiJazz, I think? Or at least it was suggested by someone on his thread about him getting a job looking after kids on a bus. Maybe it was Bowlingbun? This forum gets a bit confusing after a while regarding who posted what, when.
Back to the point... That way, when I approach them again, maybe they'll take me more seriously. if not, then I'll think of something else.
Visiting these homes WAS an eye opener, let alone working in one.
There's an old expression that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. My reply back is, "So what! How can you have a lot of knowledge without having a little bit first?" Image

Thanks Oh Psychic One, you've actually encouraged me. Now whether that's a good thing or not is a separate matter.... maybe you shouldn't have posted after all. But I'm glad you did!
Sajehar, I knew you was going to say that Image Image Image BTW I think you have asked me that before.

Another suggestion then....maybe not practical due to the time factor but I will throw it on the table.
Your local Age Concern may have training sessions for Volunteer Befrienders. probably covering basic Relevant H and S factors and other support if you manage to proceed with it.
Might be worth investigating.

Who knows, you may end up with a career in dementia care....long time before your retirement I think?
What I have to add is that the world of dementia is intellectually "interesting"for many people, in fact it's become "popular". Whether that is going to prove a beneficial effect for society or not has yet to be proved. But, as you are I suspect beginning to discover, the emotional strength and patience and empathy needed to offer good hands on dementia care,across the board,in all circumstances, with all people with dementia... Is ....HUGE. X
Did I? can't remember.
Actually, what I really want to do is what you suggested in last e. are you phycic or what? This is getting a bit ground dog dayish, but it's true.

Age Concern, eh! Is that something to do with Help the Aged. I went to them when I was made redundant in 2010. My elderly neighbor encouraged me to do so. I'd been helping her for years, just as a neighbour. She thought I'd be good at the job. I'm dead practical, and can talk the hind leg of a donkey. But I also listen to the front ones according to her.

Basically, they didn't want to know. What if I got a job, what then? They'd have spent a load of money on my CRB check for nothing. I got the general impression they were looking for bored housewives, and who can blame them. These CRB checks are not cheap, and I did get a job.. eventually.

Then I was accosted by some lad in St John's market, going on about helping the elderly in their homes. "Great", says I, "Where do I sign?"
"Oh no," he says, "We're not looking to recruit helpers, we're looking for funders; we've loads of helpers."

"Really? The Big Society is that successful?"

"Oh yes, we just need backers now."

"Then why don't you pester the likes of Theo Pathetis, who can provide the money, rather than hassling me who can only give time and effort, which is not needed."
I was so angry, I pushed him out of my way.
I kind of regret that, but not really. Bugger these charities, I'll stick to what I'm doing.

It sounds boastful, but I've done more to help my neighbours than all these charities combined. That's wrong. There's something not right there.

I HATE the society we live in and have become; we are now so flea spirited it defies belief.We are flea spirited to fleas!
Try your local Alzheimers office if you have one. Ours have involved both hubby and I for various occasions, plus now working with the regional manager for the North East.

Check with some of your local supermarkets if any close to you. For example ASDA do Community Champions and you can go in and give talks to staff. Helping them understand so they can help any customers who may have Alzheimers, or other problems.
Sister Rosemary, a great big cyber smackaroony from me to you; that's an ace idea. It's the ideal intro to being a Dementia Champion. I'm going to start with the Tesco's I worked in in Liverpool. I know the woman there who does all the community stuff (we started in groceries together), she'll jump at the chance.Plus there's a largish room next to the canteen I can use.
And I'm going to approach my parent's local Morrison's, Sainsbury's and Co-Op too. No Asda I know of near by, but if they do it, why shouldn't the others?
Sister Rosemary
Sister Rosemary, of the Order of Geordies. Took a vow of silence when joined this forum Image Image Image Image

Most stores will have a member of staff for community stuff. Does Dementia friends have certificates the shops can display to say Dementia Aware?

Check with your local carers groups too. If they have a Carer Ambassador/Champion, you could link up for events too.

x x
Thank you, Sister Rosemary, of the North Eastern Climes, will do.

Methinks thou art like Maria,