It’s Dementia Action Week this week, and if you know us, you’ll know we are incredibly passionate about supporting people with dementia and memory loss as well as running a range of services to try and prevent loneliness and isolation.
The theme for this year is all about starting a conversation, supporting and raising awareness to help people not only understand dementia a little better but also to feel confident in opening up a conversation with someone who has dementia.
Alzheimer's Society have found that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. Despite most people knowing someone affected, two thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely. This is a really worrying statistic, that’s why sharing advice and raising awareness to try and change this is important. The more people who understand dementia and feel confident talking to and supporting people with dementia, the less people will feel isolated and alone.
This is something we absolutely can get behind and support, and so this week, we have been chatting to the team here at Age UK Sheffield to find out what they have learnt along the way about talking to and supporting people with dementia.
We’ve shared these conversations with our team below. You can read their reflections and insights, including their first thoughts when visiting our wonderful Wellbeing Centre & find out a alittle more about their roles below. simply click the links to read more.
We hope you'll enjoy reading these and we hope they'll inspire you to "join the conversation".
Melissa & Mark
My Name is Melissa Hatfield and I am an Independent Living Coordinator at Age UK Sheffield. My role is to visit older vulnerable adults out in the community to support them with aspects of their life they are finding difficult in order to help them to remain independent and to ensure we have maximised safety and quality of life.
My name is Mark Egglestone and I am an Enhanced Independent Living Coordinator (ILC). I support those in later life with maximizing their level of independence. This can include helping to increase their social interaction, accessing the community, receiving a financial benefit check and obtaining equipment and adaptations for the home to name just a few. As an enhanced ILC I also supervise two other ILC’s and represent Age UK Sheffield at external meetings.
John & Laura
My name is John Parr and I am part of the Information and Advice team at Age UK Sheffield. My role is predominantly based around advising people about their benefit options, but I also offer information and advice to support older people with a variety of different social and economic problems.
I’m Laura Morley and I’m the Retail Development Officer at Age UK Sheffield. I’m overseeing the opening and running of our first charity shops which will raise funds directly for our work supporting older people. Our first shop at Bradway is due to open in the next month or so.
Cally & Steve
My name is Cally Bowman and I am the PR and Communications Officer at Age UK Sheffield. My role is to help people to find out about the services and support that we offer, and let people know about the great work that my team are doing to support older people across the city. Whether I’m supporting the organisation of events, writing articles and blog posts or taking photos for social media, I’m lucky enough to be in a role that keeps me involved in all the great things we are doing across our charity.
I’m Steve Chu and I’m Chief Executive of Age UK Sheffield. Through our work, we support a huge number of people living with dementia in Sheffield