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Dementia Action Week 2019 – What’s On?

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Written by Helen Burgess

The Norwich Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) members will be hosting a wide programme of events during Dementia Action Week 20-26 May 2019, with the aim of encouraging people to start a conversation about Dementia.

Age UK Norwich CEO – Dan Skipper

“It’s incredibly important to share with people living with the disease and their families the support in the city to make them feel safe and confident as they go about their daily lives. We have over 80 organisations in Norwich working to train their staff to become aware of dementia, reviewing their products and processes and changing their physical environments so they are more accessible. 

Dementia Action Week is an opportunity for us to promote those organisations who are demonstrating their support, and hopefully engage more people to get involved to make our city truly a Dementia Friendly place to live.”

Some of the things happening across the week include;

  • John Lewis are giving away free knitting patterns and wool and encouraging their customers to knit forget me knots as part of an awareness and fundraising campaign.
  • On Monday 20th May, the DAA will be hosting a ‘Rebel Alliance’ workshop for its members to share success stories and learn new ways of being dementia friendly.
  • The Dial House in Reepham is offering a free cuppa for anyone living with Dementia.
  • The Museum of Norwich will be hosting a relaxed get to together for people living with dementia and their families.
  • The Norfolk & Norwich Festival has their annual ‘The Afternoon Social’ in the Speigaltent – a chance to dance, play games and eat cake.
  • A new ‘Love Later Life’ Business Awards will be launching to recognise and celebrate local businesses who support older people in the community, including dementia.

For a full list of events and details click here Dementia-Action-Week-Events-And-Activities-V3.0

talking to your parents about care

If you can’t attend an event, simply talking to someone with dementia is a great place to start. Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ and despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with the disease report feeling isolated and lonely.

That’s why this year, the charity is encouraging everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour, it’s time to start talking.

It can be difficult to know what to say, so below are six tips from people living with dementia on how to get a conversation started.

  1. ‘Talk to me, smile, be a little patient and give me time to reply.’
  2. ‘A simple ‘hello’, ask about the weather, anything that you feel comfortable with.’
  3. ‘Just be yourself and yes, we will make mistakes but it’s ok to laugh along with us.’
  4. ‘I love it when people ask me questions. It gives me an opportunity to show that people with dementia exist, that we can still contribute to things going on around us and that life goes on. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like me again’
  5. ‘Just don’t ask if I remember.’
  6. ‘Don’t be afraid. All it takes is a conversation to see we’re still us.’

Dan Skipper continues

“It’s good to talk and at Age UK Norwich we understand that caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting. We have one of the few dementia day care facilities in the city – Marion Day Care Centre where families can be safe in the knowledge their loved one will have a nice day amongst experienced staff and come home feeling happy. We invite families to get in touch and see how we can help.

About the author

Helen Burgess

Helen has worked in the charity sector for 20 years in fundraising and marketing roles. Prior to becoming Regional Manager for Age Space Norfolk, Helen was at Age UK Norwich and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on all aspects of elderly care.