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Dementia Action Week 2022

picture of our help team

Published on 18 May 2022 01:00 PM

The Help Team's visit to see the Dementia Cafe organised by Year 8 pupils at Thomas Keble

This month the we were invited to speak with the Year 8 pupils as part of their Citizenship course. The pupils had set up a 'Dementia Cafe' as part of their learning about Dementia and the effect on those diagnosed as well as family and friends.

The students set up their Dementia Café to take some time to hear from older generations of their own families alongside guests who support people with dementia around the county. The main focus of the day was empathy, improving the students’ awareness of the effects of dementia to help them further realise the importance of treating people with care and understanding.

Throughout the day we were invited to chat about the connections we have at Age UK Gloucestershire with those living with Dementia. We were able to share with the students the ways in which we can help individuals and families experiencing dementia, whether that be support during diagnosis or finding ways assist with the change in daily life which dementia can bring. Our team have many connections around the county which provide tailored services for those with dementia from creative outlets to carers’ support, chatting about the different aspects of a dementia diagnosis helped show how people can be affected.

The children were so interested and thoughtful in the way they approached this topic. We were hugely impressed with their consideration of those going through diagnosis and awareness of the impact on family and friends. We were able to have a look at some of the work they had created over their previous lessons, some examples are shown below.

Thomas Keble Pupils Work Close Up.png

We’re hugely grateful to have been able to come and chat to the group and are very inspired by the care and understanding all of the children showed. Projects such as this are so important in ensuring we create societies which show compassion to all, building communities which are aware of the needs of others and ready to help each other.

The ‘Memory Mat’ idea was based upon research which showed that picture imagery can spark memories more easily than words for people with dementia. The mats include a mix of images aiming to evoke memories and start conversations, a lovely idea for families to do together. Another idea was based upon the idea of animals providing comfort when people feel unsettled or confused. The ‘Dog Bandanas’ all contain uplifting messages and imagery to help people feel more relaxed even when they may be struggling to remember things or understand a situation.

Thank you to all of the children we met, and to their teachers for the invitation; we will certainly remember this day! We can’t wait to see what other powerful projects Thomas Keble and other schools around the county are working on!
If you are aware of any other projects, please let us know at enquiries@ageukgloucestershire.org.uk.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing dementia, click here to find out more about how the Help Team can support you.