Norfolk Norwich Blogs

Making Yourself Heard  

Written by Helen Burgess

For the last six months Age UK Norwich has been piloting Dementia Awareness and Communication workshops around the city. Age UK Norwich Dementia Lead Marie Lucas  tells Age Space Norfolk how they have been going ….

Imagine you’ve been married for 40 years, you know everything about your partner – you know what they’re thinking before they say it and you finish each others sentences.

Then you notice your partner is beginning to change: small nuisances at first like forgetting the words for things, repeating themselves and getting increasingly frustrated.

Dementia doesn’t discriminate – it could affect us all. In fact, someone is developing dementia every three minutes and it’s set to be the 21st Century’s biggest killer. There is currently no cure, so for now we need to educate and raise awareness, improve care and understanding and work harder to raise money to fund vital research.

For the last six months Age UK Norwich, in association with NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has been piloting Dementia Awareness and Communication workshops around the city.

The workshops are for people whose loved ones have dementia and they aim to give carers the confidence to adapt how they communicate with their loved one to take into account the changes brought on by dementia.

Ultimately, the courses will help reduce the strain on relationships that dementia can bring and help families remain closer than they otherwise would.

Not only that, Age UK Norwich has been instrumental in establishing the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance, and has delivered Dementia Friendly training to 600 people since April 2016.  This has been very well received, with many people asking how they could learn more, and get help to develop the skills themselves – which is why the communication training has been developed.

Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of Age UK Norwich says: ‘Caring for someone living with dementia can be very stressful – especially if it becomes difficult to communicate with your loved one in the way you used to.

‘Carers have told us that feeling more confident about making themselves understood would make all the difference to them.’

The workshops are free to attend and if you’d like to book onto one of the below sessions, please contact Age UK Norwich’s Dementia Development Lead, Marie Lucas – marie.lucas@ageuknorwich.org.uk or 01603 496381

31 July 2017 10.00 am – 12.00 pm St John House, Heigham Road Norwich NR2 3AT  

7 August 2017 11.00 am – 12.30 pm Narthex Café, Unthank Road Norwich NR2 2PA  

9 August 2017 10.00 am – 12.00 pm Witard Road Baptist Church Norwich NR7 9XD  

14 August 2017 10.00 am – 12.00 pm Marion Road Day Centre Norwich NR1 4BN  

20 Sept. 2017 10.00 am – 12.00 pm St John House, Heigham Road Norwich NR2 3AT  

2 October 2017 10.00 am – 12.00 pm The Forum Millennium Library Norwich NR2 1AN

About the author

Helen Burgess