An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

What is a Dementia Meeting Centre?  And then, what is a DIY DMC?

Introduction                                                                                     Nav page here  Home page  here

This is a one-page description of the main points.  Ordinary bullet-points, while more informal, do not help specific referencing which is why individual entries are numbered. They help navigation.

The page is a rubric for any DIY DMC to use as it sees fit.

  1. What is a Dementia Meeting Centre?
  2. Why not use a daycare centre?
  3. What are the criteria for participation within your DIY DMC?
  4. What happens at a DIY DMC?
  5. What are the opening times of the DIY DMC?
  6. Do I have to attend every day and/or all day?
  7. Can I attend on my own?
  8. How much will it cost to attend?
  9. Will transport be available? 
  10. What do I need to do to attend the Meeting Centre?
  11. Who do I need to contact?

1   What is a Dementia Meeting Centre? 

  1. It is an exciting and innovative new local service for people with mild or moderate dementia which is designed to provide support to them and their carers/families, and offer an enjoyable and adaptive programme.

  2. 125 Dementia Meeting Centres - DMCs - have been successful in the Netherlands for over ten years. The approach is person-centred, focusing on helping both the person with dementia - the caree, their carer, and their family adapt to living with dementia.  The way of providing the service incorporates proven support techniques.

  3. View the Leominster, Herefordshire youtube.

2   Why not use a daycare centre?

  1. Many carers take their carees to a daycare centre and collect them later.  The huge difference between a daycare centre and a DMC is that carers participate in the wider aspects of the care process which is person-centred, and there is a shared benefit. Shared between carer and caree and more.  Shared with all the other carees and carers.  

  2. The main benefits for people with dementia who visit the DMCs regularly are that they show fewer depressive symptoms and they have a higher self-esteem than carees in regular daycare.  Furthermore, admission to a care home is delayed significantly..

  3. The main benefits for their carers is that they experience more support, have an increased feeling of competence, and feel less burdened.  Their morale is heightened by participating with their peers, and the DMC staff/volunteers, in the care given to their loved-ones, and others, with dementia.   

3   What are the criteria for participation within your DIY DMC?

  1. An invitation is extended to carers with carees who are at the early or intermediate stage of dementia
  3. The principal criterion is that carees' personal care needs ie WC and medication, are met.  If carees are unable to manage, their carers must be there.  That means no popping out for ten minutes.

  4. Elements of commonsense prevail.  Clearly, the criterion of predictability dominates.  Carees with behaviour disorder will not be able to participate.
  5. An invitation is extended to people who are at the early or intermediate stage of dementia who cope without a carer.  More later.

  6. Use of the term dementia does not rule out those who suffer from related mind ailments 

  7. Elements of commonsense continue.  A significant proportion of carees suffer other ailments additional to dementia.  Physical disability is dominant.  There are activities which combine exercise/motion with hand-eye coordination such as throwing/catching a soft ball.  

  8. Jenga is a game which calls for participants to get up and be in front of a tower of wooden slats.  Some carees will need help with that very short journey. A certain amount of manual dexterity is required for the removal of one slat.  more
  10. The DIY DMC will not expect every caree to participate in every activity.  However, if there is likely to be very low participation, discussion is warranted.    

  11. You need to make contact (see 11) before you can start.

4   What happens at a DIY DMC?

4.1   Carees

  1. There are activities outlined under the next two headings.  Carees are part and parcel of the "care-outwards" to other carees and carers and are not solely receivers of "care-inwards".  

  2. You can imagine that "care-outwards" might be aimed at the specific carer as a subconscious thank you.  As much as that may be valid, there is a positively-pervasive group care-outwards which reaches the parts that conventional daycare centres don't reach.
  4. Reminiscence therapy is well-used within DMCs and carees enjoy including their photos and other memorabilia in the reminiscence sessions. Making the most of long-term memory contributes to overall wellbeing.  Sharing memories is a major part of that.  Carees bring out the best within each other, enjoy it and the incrementally increased benefits continue to pile up.

4.2   For both carees and their carers

  1. Recreational and social activities, such as painting, singing one example here, making music together, shopping and preparing lunch, story-telling by the members, knit and natter picture 16 here, shed-talk - pic 3, charity shop dash, swimming, and activities you might like to suggest.  more

  2. Gentle exercise, dance, music and movement, even line-knitting - picture 17 here

  3. Massage, nail sessions, hair-dressing - usually by visiting specialists

  4. Visits to places of interests such as gardens and memory museums

  5. Visits to other DMCs when more are in operation

  6. Combined activities with local care support groups

  7. Visits from healthcare professional such as occupational therapists

  8. Regular consulting sessions

  9. Assistance with practical, emotional and social issues with referrals as appropriate

4.3   Carers

  1. Informative meetings such as learning about dementia

  2. Feed-back and planning meetings

  3. Discussion groups including just-carer times of input and exchange and the resultant feelings of being valued and being able to relax with friends of similar interest.,  

  4. Participation in the activities which results in greater understanding of the wider benefits to oneself and those with dementia

  5. Assistance with practical, emotional and social issues with referrals as appropriate

  6. Enjoying the carers-organisers relationship where carer needs, wants and views affecting them and their loved-ones have a clear influence on the nature and content of the caring and other aspects of what happens

  7. Sharing the caring when, normally, it is a one-to-one activity - the end to loneliness and the despair it can bring 

  8. Liaison with other carer support groups
  9. On the basis that carees don't stop wanting to care for their carers, they are carers while singing the song, at least. Therefore it is for all.

  10. The Recycled songs Home page is here.  The DIY DMC you create will include musical members and attract musical volunteers.  Converting your well-known songs to the situation is great fun and very beneficial. 

  11. As is making your own instruments.  A Squiffle double bass design here The Squiffle Group song here   The song is played by the Ross-on-Wye Ukulele Society here.  Yours truly on the bass.

5   What are the opening times of the DMC?

  • 1100 to 1500 - one day per week at first - day to be finalised

6   Do I have to attend every day and/or all day?

  • It is not expected that people will attend every day or all day – the programme is to suit individual needs. However we would like people to inform us of changes in advance to help with planning.

7  How much will it cost to attend?

  1. You will be asked to pay for lunch and for any additional sessions such as massage or for trips out - you would pay for these anyway if you weren't at the DIY DMC

  2. The first two weeks will include consulting sessions when carers help decide regarding the purchase of equipment and payment for specialists with something beneficial to carees, carees/carers together, and carers on their own

  3. There will be emphasis on extending the DIY approach to acquiring equipment. See top of page.

    8   Can I attend on my own? 
    1. Yes, you can.  You remember from 1.1 - It is an exciting and innovative new local service for people with mild or moderate dementia ...  and they were invited in 3.1.

    2. The principal criteria of personal care, and predictability are dealt with at 3.3 and 3.5

    3. An invitation is extended to people who are at the early or intermediate stage of dementia who are able to live their lives independently and who cope without a carer  

    4. If in doubt, refer to your GP

    5. Those criterion met, let's look at how you will arrive.  If you can't drive, of course you can be brought and collected.

    9    Will transport be available? 

    • You will need to make your own way to the DMC. You might be able to arrange transport via RWVS and community transport.  Ross Residents' Handbook here.

    10   What do I need to do to attend the Meeting Centre? 

    • You can make contact with us so that all can discuss how best we can help you.  We look forward to you joining the group as appropriate.
    • We provide you with a "This is me" form before you start.  See it here.  We will help you complete it or you can send it to us by post or online.

    11  Who do I need to contact?
    • Contact info --

    pagetop    DIY DMC FAQs here

                       Nav page here

                       Home page -  A DIY Dementia Meeting Centre for your local community here

            These pages are written for readers interested in starting a DIY DMC.

            If you are at the planning stage or further, your next stop is the Volunteers page here