Dementia Friends are people who have taken the time to learn a bit more about dementia and some of the small things we can all do to help those with the condition.
Turning that understanding into action could mean basic courtesies such as helping someone to find the right bus or being patient at the supermarket checkout if the customer in front is taking longer to pay. After all, people with dementia want to carry on going about their daily lives and feeling included in their local communities.
At Colten Care, we have committed to giving all our team members the opportunity to become dementia friends if they so wish.
One of those providing information sessions is Denise Arthur-Briskham, Home Manager at The Aldbury. Denise is a Dementia Champion and our representative on the Poole Dementia Action Group.
At Poole Library, she has helped local shopkeepers raise their dementia awareness and also led courses at Winchelsea Special School and for sixth formers at Lytchett Minster School.
In Colten Care, Denise has already given dementia friend sessions to colleagues at The Aldbury and administrative staff from our office at Portman House, Ringwood.
Denise said: “Being a dementia friendly community means getting across the message that people with dementia should be met with understanding. People sometimes need a helping hand and often it is the small things that make a difference. I have had 26 years of working with people who have dementia and I know that no two people living with it are the same. At The Aldbury, we deliver a bespoke, completely tailored service for each and every individual. I’m happy to share my experience with the other volunteers in the action group and with others in the community.”
As well as Poole, Colten Care team members are actively supporting the creation of dementia friendly communities in Winchester, Lymington and East Dorset.
Tim Wookey, our Marketing Director, is Chairman of the Lymington Dementia Action Group (LDAG). He recently presented at a Dementia Friendly Hampshire conference where he explained how LDAG is working with over 40 local businesses and aims to provide 20 information points along Lymington High Street for people living with dementia.
Vanda Baker, the new Home Manager at St Catherines View, is keen that the home continues to host meetings for dementia groups in Winchester. Vanda said: “It is an ideal place for groups to meet. We can offer the home as a community hub for dementia care.”