Dementia – research, support and activities

May 2021: Recommending: ‘Finding the Light in Dementia’ by Jane M Mullens. A really useful and easy read ideal for carers and families with a loved one meeting the daily challenge of living with Dementia. Great tips and assistance in focusing ways to improve the way we interact with our loved one and at the same time making life slightly easier for ourselves.

Please read following link for interview between the Bio Medical Research Centre London UCLH and Jonathan Schott

I am pleased to be a regular visitor/volunteer to our local Dementia Hub held Friday mornings at Redbourn Parish Centre/Village Hall where dementia clients and their carers enjoy activities and an opportunity to talk -everybody benefits and hubs such as this should be fully supported.

October  12th 2021 The Dementia Hub were extremely fortunate last week to be visited and entertained by the U3A Ukulele group. It was a brilliant morning and both carers and those living with Dementia really enjoyed the musical inter action. Everybody had a fun time and it was kind of the members to volunteer their time in this way. We also had an impromptu sing-along afterwards. 

**June 2020  Passed:   NCFE CACHE Certificate Level  2 Principles in Dementia Care &  working towards Level 3

Extract article: St Saviours Parish Magazine

Benefits of communication for people with dementia

We are all aware of how dementia changes people’s lives and those around them. I won’t talk about worrying statistics but what I can recommend is seeking as much help and advice as possible. Sadly for those loved ones who might be the main carer they may stumble upon a few leaflets in the doctor’s surgery but do not find time to explore just what is actually available.  I thoroughly recommend carers, friends and family to contact The Alzheimer’s Society – leading the fight against dementia. Please check out their website as they have an amazing library of extremely useful literature which is readily accessible and free.

How we communicate with somebody with dementia is crucial, learning simple techniques, listening carefully, being patient when they struggle with words, avoid interrupting or finishing what they are trying to say. Keep eye contact and try to be sitting at their level. Always aim to include them in conversations.

As with anybody people suffering with dementia like to do things they enjoy –this may sound obvious but it’s true. Additionally, keeping their mind stimulated whether this is reading to them or anything of a creative nature can help them to feel involved and connected.  I am currently helping one client to write some of their memories for their children, an activity I have run in the past in writers group. Dementia sufferers find it easier to discuss and recall the past, shared memories can be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren.

I often write about transient reminiscent bumps which act as triggers bringing memories flooding back. These bumps can often be inspired by our senses i.e. visually looking at photographs, smelling perfumes, listening to music or even tasting a sweet from our childhood.  These are all easy sensory stimulating activities that we can use to try to help encourage engagement with somebody with dementia. It can enhance feeling relaxed, remember happy times and improve their feelings of security.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s literature confirms that: ‘Shared activities can provide mutual enjoyment and companionship, which can support the relationship between the person with dementia and their carer’

The Alzheimer’s Society’s National Helpline is: 0300 222 1122

Annie Manning MASC (CBT)/NLP Life Skills Coach©