Dementia Awareness Week 18th – 22nd May 2015
At Catholic Care we care and support people living with dementia in our different adult services, particularly in our community groups for older people.
Our community groups are inclusive of all denominations and we welcome people who live with dementia and their carers. One caring husband whose wife attends a group and enjoys her lunch said “I go home to catch up with the housework and enjoy a cup of coffee on my own.”
We know from experience that people living with dementia have difficulty remembering what they are doing, speaking and finding the right word, remembering names and faces, understanding instructions and getting around in new and confusing environments. With this in mind we welcome people when they arrive, greeting them with a warm and friendly smile, ensuring we make eye contact, using a friendly tone and speaking clearly and slowly so allowing people time to understand what is being said. We also listen carefully to what people say and give them plenty of encouragement. We have the room set out in such a way that it is easy to move around and where possible try to keep things the same as we know change can be confusing. We support people in a non-intrusive way, encouraging ability whilst it is still present, but ensuring any support we give is not overtly obvious.
In a world where sadly dementia still carries a stigma, we have experienced great acceptance from other group members who have become quite protective of those living with dementia.