Dementia-Friendly Kent: Your Guide to Local Initiatives

Dementia-Friendly Kent: Your Guide to Local Initiatives

Steps have been taken in recent years to make Kent more dementia-friendly, although it still lags behind some other counties in regard to the number of certified dementia-friendly high streets, shopping centres, churches and exercise groups. To find out more about the project to make Kent dementia-friendly, check out the Dementia Friendly Kent website.

Despite this, there are still some fantastic local initiatives that are making life easier for people affected by Dementia in Kent. Many of them provide a great opportunity for people with memory difficulties, and their carers, to engage socially with people experiencing something similar.

This page will guide you through some of the best dementia-friendly schemes in Kent:

Dementia Cafes in Kent

Coffee group

Dementia Cafes are a great resource for people with dementia, and their carers. They provide a supportive and informative space in which to share experiences of living with dementia and ask questions to health professionals. Additionally, they are a great opportunity to make new friends who may be going through something similar. Below we have compiled a list of dementia cafes throughout Kent, sorted by the organisation providing them.

Alzheimer’s Society Cafes in Kent

Alzheimer’s Society are a national charity who run a range of services for people with dementia, including Dementia Cafes. You can find a list below of all the locations of their dementia cafes in Kent and their locations. Click on the links below to find out more.

Forget-Me-Not Cafes in Kent

Forget-Me-Not Cafes provide support and companionship to people having trouble with their memory in West Kent. They do not require a formal diagnosis. As well as hot drinks they also offer activities at their cafes, including quizzes, reminiscence activities, exercises, and craft activities. The Tunbridge Wells cafe is an LGBT+ cafe, supporting Kent’s older LGBT+ community of people affected by dementia.

There are five forget-me-not cafes in West Kent, the locations of which you can find below. For more information about all of them, visit the Forget Me Not Cafes website.

  • Edenbridge, last Friday of the month, 10:30am to 12pm
  • Hildenborough, 2nd Wednesday of the month, 11:00am to 12:30pm
  • Sevenoaks, 1st Friday of the month, 10:30am to 12pm
  • Tunbridge Wells, 2nd Friday of the month, 1:30pm to 3pm
  • Westerham, 3rd Friday of the month, 11am to 1pm

ADSS Memory Cafes in Kent

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services are a Kent charity that hosts Memory Cafes in the Gravesham, Dartford and Swanley area, amongst other things. These cafes provide a relaxed and reassuring environment in which people can have discussions, share experiences, receive support and speak to dementia specialists. The locations of the cafes can be found below. For more detailed information about the cafes and their addresses you can look on the ADSS website.

  • Dartford, 3rd Wednesday of the month, 10am – 12pm
  • Gravesend, 4th Wednesday of the month, 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • Meopham, 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10am – 12pm
  • Swanley, 2nd Friday of the month, 2pm – 4pm
  • West Kingsdown, 1st Tuesday of the month, 10am – 12pm


Dementia-Friendly Church Services in Kent

Church candles

Dementia shouldn’t be a reason for people to feel as though they can no longer maintain their faith. Some churches in Kent have taken steps towards organising regular dementia-friendly services. These services are formatted more similarly to a casual meet-up, and the Worship includes familiar hymns and prayers as well as a practical activities.

A list of the dementia-friendly church services in Kent can be found below. It is worth noting that although there are only a few certified dementia-friendly church services, many churches in Kent have ‘relaxed’ or ‘informal’ Worship services once a week, which may be more appropriate for people with dementia. It may be worth contacting your local church to ask about these services.

Dementia-Friendly Exercise in Kent

Many studies have shown that exercise is greatly beneficial to the health of people living with dementia. There is not a wealth of dementia-friendly exercise schemes in operation in Kent, but there are standout facilities in Tonbridge and Medway. Many of the Age UK groups offer exercise and movement as part of their Dementia Day Break service.

Poult Wood Golf Mornings, Tonbridge

Dementia-friendly golf mornings take place on the second Tuesday of each month from 11am onward at the Poult Wood Golf Course. The session costs £6 for participants, and carers go free.
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Multi-Activity Session for Older People, Tonbridge

The dementia-friendly multi-activity session at the Angel Centre, Tonbridge, includes table tennis, static cycling and golf putting. The sessions take place on the first and third Friday of the month from 2pm to 3.30pm. The cost is £4, and carers go free.
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Dementia-Friendly Swimming, Tonbridge

There are dementia-friendly swimming session every Friday between 12.15pm and 1.15pm at the Tonbridge Swimming Pool. They have a qualified Dementia Friend available throughout the session to guide participants to the changing rooms, meet them at the poolside and offer activities or routines for participants to try while swimming.
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Dementia Friendly Walk, Maidstone

The Kent countryside, a great place for a walk

Walking is a great form of exercise, that can be done at a time convenient to you. Maidstone Borough Council recently introduced a dementia-friendly walk in Mote Park. The walk is approximately one mile, with visual interpretation panels and audio posts, and a free leaflet can be picked up from the Park Cafe. You can find out more about the walk on the Age UK Maidstone website.

Dementia-Friendly Sports Sessions, Medway

Medway Council organise dementia-friendly sports sessions that take place on every first and third Monday of the month, between 11:30 and 12:30. The cost is £6.50 a session and carers go free. To find out more about these dementia-friendly sessions you can visit the Medway.gov website.


Dementia-Friendly Entertainment in Kent

Kent does boast a good range of singing and arts clubs for people with dementia. These clubs and groups can be a great source of entertainment and a good opportunity to socialise with others. Additionally, many of the activities are designed to be cognitively stimulating in a way that has been shown to be beneficial to people living with dementia.

Dementia-Friendly Cinema Screenings in Kent

Sevenoaks

Popcorn, a cinema snack

There are 2 care homes in Sevenoaks that organise regular dementia-friendly cinema mornings. They show films once a month in a very small, comfortable environment, and provide refreshments. You do not have to be a resident of the care homes to attend, but do need to book in advance. The locations and contact details of the homes can be found below:

Rivermere Care Home
64-70 Westerham Rd, Sevenoaks TN13 2PZ.
Telephone: 01732 748400
Email: enquiries.rivermere@averyhealthcare.co.uk
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Weald Heights Care Home
Bourchier Close, Sevenoaks TN13 1PD.
Telephone: 01732 747700
Email: amelia.moore2@careuk.com
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Ashford

Ashford Picturehouse runs Dementia-Friendly Screenings on the third Tuesday of each month. These screenings are open to all but cater especially to people with dementia. Tickets cost £4 and carers go free. To find out more about dementia-friendly screenings you can visit the Picturehouse website.


Dementia-Friendly Singing Classes in Kent

A singing class for older people


Dementia-friendly singing classes are a great way of socialising for older people, while also participating in a structured session to stimulate the brain. These dementia-friendly singing classes are for carers to take part in also, providing a stimulating activity for carers to be involved in also. Below is a list of dementia-friendly singing classes in Kent. You can click on the classes below to find out more details.

Dementia-Friendly Arts Groups in Kent


Zest Community Groups

Zest community groups, run by Bright Shadow, allow for people with memory problems and their carers to engage in creative activities led by professional artists. You can find more details about the time and location of the sessions by visiting the Bright Shadow website.

Zest sessions

Bright Shadow offer four creative Zest sessions per week, in Canterbury, Whitstable, Dover and Hythe. They are currently working towards safely recommencing these face to face sessions. To find out more get in touch.

Creativity in care

Bright Shadow also have activities for residents and staff of care homes, and families separated by the pandemic. Get in touch to find out more. 

Zest on Zoom

These fun, interactive 1 hour sessions are currently taking place via video call, at four different times per week. These sessions allow participants to take part in music, theatre, movement and much more with the guidance of a professional artist, such as actors, writers, dancers, mime and visual artists. 

One-to-one Creative Sessions

If you can’t get online or to a community session, Bright Shadow offer a personalised programme of activities led by an artist over the phone or at a social distance (through the garden window!)

The Art of Age, Dover

Older people enjoying a painting workshop

The Art of Age Group, run by the Dover Smart Project, is a free dementia-friendly group run by local artists. The group meets every Tuesday from 10am to midday in the My Gallery, near the seafront. Activities vary weekly from painting, to singing, to poetry. You can find more details about the group on the Dover Smart Project website.

Dementia Activity Group, Maidstone

The Activity Group in Maidstone, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, provides a range of engaging activities including arts and crafts, drama groups and exercises. The groups are led by specialist dementia facilitators and are open to anyone affected by dementia, and their carers. You can find more information about the group on the Alzheimer’s Society website.

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