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Wendy & Ivan at Garden Project for Dementia Clients

Anastasia Barnes, a senior occupational therapist at the Emerald Centre in Colchester, was the proud winner of the Cosyfeet OT Award 2018. The £1000 award helped to fund the creation of a sensory garden where dementia clients and their families spend quality time, gardening and relaxing together. Here she reports on the project.

We recently celebrated the official opening of a very special garden at the Emerald Centre. Clients and their families, supported by staff, worked very hard to create the sensory garden, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Colchester.

The Emerald Centre is part of the Essex Partnership University Trust. The centre houses services for people with a diagnosis of dementia. These services include initial memory assessments, consultant reviews, medication monitoring, crisis intervention assessments, home treatment, occupational therapy, psychological assessment / treatments and a 24-hour helpline. The centre also houses group therapies and activities, including cognitive stimulation therapy and a vascular wellbeing group.

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Dementia friends team at Teesside care home

DEMENTIA friends gathered at Teesside care home for training to support those with the condition.

Dementia champion and crime prevention officer at Cleveland Police, Peter Ridley facilitated the session at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, Stockton on Tees.

There were more than a dozen attendees, including staff from the home, family of residents, members of the Carlton WI and others from the community.

WI member Ann Swinbank said: “I wanted to learn more as a family member has been showing dementia-like symptoms and I felt it would help if I knew how to assist them going forward.”

The Beeches Care Home manager, Jess Brown, met session facilitator Pete during their dementia friends training at the Dementia Hub in Thornaby.

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Forest Nursery Students with Dementia Sufferer

An innovative forest school and nursery based in South East Northumberland is branching out with a new partnership involving North East charity MIND Active, so that people with dementia can join in with the children's memory-building exercises.

Footprints on the Moon was established in 2015 by Annie Blight from Cramlington. As a child, she frequently cycled to Plessey Woods to play in the peaceful woodland surroundings while enjoying exciting adventures beneath the trees. It became Annie's mission to help children enjoy nature and learn from the forest, as she had done herself as a child. After running a range of activities at various outdoor locations in Northumberland, Annie's dream came true last year when she set up Footprints on the Moon's permanent base at Plessey Woods Country Park.

Annie says, "I chose the name 'Footprints on the Moon' as I believe that there are no limits to what our children can achieve. Using their imagination and creativity, they can reach the moon and beyond."

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Woman from RCH Care Homes finishing a dementia jigsaw

RCH Care Homes makes dementia commitment as part of Dementia Action Week

To mark Dementia Action Week (DAW), which ran from 20 to 26 May 2019, RCH Care Homes committed to creating 900 new Dementia Friends!

As part of RCH’s ongoing partnership with the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS), and to complement our dementia strategy, By Your Side; all 900 employees across our 10 care homes and support services will become ‘Dementia Friends’ over the coming months.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme aims to change the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition so supporting the initiative seemed a fitting action to commit to during DAW.

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Residents sat around a light projection table

Staff at MHA Langholme care home in Falmouth were left in awe after seeing first-hand the transformative effect that a motion-activated sensory projection had on residents living with dementia in the home.

With the goal of stimulating, engaging and relaxing the mind, this projection technology, which is manufactured in the UK, comes equipped with quizzes, music and themes that have been designed to prompt conversation, spark nostalgia and maintain memory. Its use of therapeutic scenes and sounds which derive from nature have been known to instantly improve a dementia resident’s sense of calm.

Through this OM Interactive motion-activated technology, residents can reach out to pop a bubble, grow a flower simply by touching it, and even dip their toes in the water as the tide rolls in – all without leaving the sense of security that their own room provides. This is made possible by the equipment’s portable and height-adjustable properties which are able to project coloured streams of light onto any table, bed or floor.

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Residents on sponsored walk for dementia friendly sensory garden

RESIDENTS and staff have raised hundreds of pounds for a dementia friendly sensory garden at their care home.

A 3.5-mile sponsored walk around Carr Ellison Park, in Hebburn, near Newcastle, generated more than £280 in sponsorship.

The funds will be used to buy a variety of plants and vegetables, raised flower beds and other multi-sensory items for the garden at Willowdene Care Home, on Victoria Road West.

The sponsored walk was undertaken by residents, staff, family and friends of the home.

One of those was 75-year-old Harry West, who was joined by his granddaughter Samantha West, daughter Angela Groark, son Malcolm West and daughter-in-law Annemarie West.

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Man helping out for Dementia Action Week

This Dementia Action Week, 20 – 26 May, Alzheimer’s Society is calling for people to focus on inclusion, and take action so people living with dementia can stay connected to the things they love for longer.

 

Over a third of people living with dementia have recently felt lonely and over a third have lost touch with their friends following a diagnosis (Alzheimer’s Society’s Turning up the Volume report). Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, this means hundreds and thousands of people living with dementia are feeling cut off.

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Penwortham man living with dementia

69-year-old John Holt who is living with dementia has been inspired to write a song about his experiences of the condition. The song ‘The Secret D’ has been released on iTunes with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Society. 

John, who lives in Penwortham, attends Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain in Penwortham, and is also a member of the Skylarks Community Choir. As a former musician in a brass band, John penned the lyrics and contacted ‘The Songwriting Charity’, set up by Nathan Timothy, who agreed to write the music and produce it.

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Dementia Café support group

Parbold and Skelmersdale Alzheimer’s Society dementia cafes will become one new café support group for people with dementia starting on Wednesday 10 April at Skelmersdale library. The amalgamated Café will provide an opportunity for people with dementia and their carers to socialise and get much needed face to face support.

Dementia Cafés provide people with dementia and carers a platform to talk openly about living with dementia within a relaxed and informal environment. The group will also hear from a variety of guest speakers, including health and social care professionals and representatives from the local community, about topics and services relevant to them.

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Fraser Quin on The changing face of dementia identity

A North East-based not-for-profit provider of specialist care services for people living with dementia has undergone a complete rebrand, launching a new corporate identity and website to support the charity’s transition to a full-service care provider.

Dementia Matters, previously known as Dementia Care, has recently invested in transforming office space at its Bradbury Centre near Newcastle into residential bedrooms for delivering boutique-style in-house care. In addition, the charity has also launched its own recruitment academy to provide training opportunities for those looking for work in the care sector, as well as a pioneering Dementia Advice Centre in partnership with Newcastle Carers to provide an outlet for anyone whose lives have been affected by dementia to seek advice and support.

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The Latest Technology That’s Driving Quality of Life in Dementia Care

With dementia care in residential care settings becoming increasingly important as diagnoses rise, Person Centred Software has launched a new ‘Who I Am’ feature as part of its electronic evidence of care and care planning system, Mobile Care Monitoring. The feature enables staff to provide a more responsive and personalised quality of dementia care and improve residents’ quality of life.

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Rita Newman - “Being part of this has honestly been the highlight of my life”

Rita Newman, who is a carer for her husband who lives with dementia, tells how a National Lottery funded arts project has helped her cope with loneliness

 

Rita Newman is originally from London but has lived in Mold, Flintshire for over forty years and has been attending Arts from the Armchair workshops since 2016.

 

The weekly creative sessions are for people with early onset memory loss and dementia and was founded in 2015 as a collaboration between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Theatr Clwyd.

 

Arts from the Armchair works closely with the carers involved, who’s daily experiences can be lonely and both physically and emotionally tiring.

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Dementia Support Group

The Winchester care home, Tegfield House has launched a new dementia support group for relatives who want to gain a greater understanding of their loved ones who are living with dementia.

The two-hour session gave families a chance to talk, listen and share experiences. All attendees have something in common – they have a relation living at Tegfield House, who is also living with dementia. The gatherings allow conversations to reflect on emotive topics such as the changes we see as people get older.

The welcoming and family orientated Chilbolton Avenue care home hosted the first session recently with General Manager Jo Aitken, Deputy Manager Jacqui Standing welcoming eight relatives in to the friendly setting. 

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thousands unite against dementia

Thousands of people took to the streets of Manchester at the weekend to unite against dementia.

More than 3,400 attended Alzheimer’s Society’s special 5km night walk, known as Ready Steady GLOW, which started and finished at Media City.

Participants, most of whom were walking in memory of – or to pay tribute to – a loved one affected by dementia, formed a sea of blue in their Memory Walk T-shirts as they made their way along the city’s waterfront.

From there, they snaked their way across some of the city’s iconic bridges and past the famous Imperial War Museum and Lowry Theatre.

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