An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

                                                                   Additional choice for impact header below.

           helping to relieve                        despair
          who is caring for                          whom?
caree supported by a volunteer
caree busy while her carer talks to a volunteer

Ross DMC Press Release            

Intro and nothing there has influenced this page - yet.   DMC set-up meeting here   Ross Home page here

The aim is to arrive at an agreed final version (PR 1) soon after 1 Nov.   This draft version contains virtually everything which might be said and it's easier to remove text than keep adding it.  That doesn't mean the draft is exhaustive. (Remember - the aim is to fill a Gazette right-hand page.)  The volunteers meeting on 28 Oct was hoped to determine when it is dealt with and by whom. New text and pics welcomed from all readers. 

There is a balance to be determined between giving the Gazette a few pictures and not much text, and being specific in what you hope your audience will read.  

Paragraphs in PR 1 are numbered to aid referencing and discussion.  There will be few paragraphs in the final version. PRs lead to published block text.  When this is in final version, the text will be put into a Word doc in columns and with text the same size as in the Gazette.  It can be cut into chunks and laid on a Gazette page to estimate what will fit where when pics are added.  We can't predict number or which will be used. We can't predict that much will be used, anyway.   

Nothing has been agreed.  This a draft.  It is within text elsewhere that the DMC opens on the second Wednesday in January which will be changed to 1 March.

Several Ross pages include "DIY" in the title. It will be removed in due course.

Dementia Meeting Centres are the future of local dementia care provision

  1. Ross is fortunate in soon being able to access the third Dementia Meeting Centre (DMC) in the UK. One reason for so few is that they can take a year to create. The Ross DMC will be held at Christ Church in Eddie Cross Street and it has created a much shorter route.  It is to open on Wednesday 1 March. The two UK DMCs are based on 125 non-residential units within Holland which have been running with great success and validity for over ten years.  The Ross DMC takes them all to an advanced stage.

  2. A DMC is an up-to-date version of a daycare centre with important advantages. Carers leave their carees at the conventional daycare centre in the morning and collect them in the afternoon without participation in the care process.  Depending on the capacity of their caree to remember what took place, combined with the level of cooperation of the daycare staff, the caree feedback to their carers can vary on the worth of a specific daycare centre.

  3. The  purpose of DMCs is to improve that situation.  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.  One clear fact is that a significant number of  people with dementia who attend DMCs regularly, experience delayed entry into residential care.  The financial savings are obvious.  The wider benefits to carees, their carers and to the families involved would double the length of this article.  We will summarise them later.

  4. There are only two DMCs in the UK so far (at Leominster and Droitwich) and there are less than half a dozen in progress.  It will take a long time to reach the Dutch numbers of over 125.  Such numbers can only be reached by local leaders and residents giving every encouragement.  In our case, to this innovative Ross DMC project. An innovation within an innovation!

  5. The Ross DMC project has begun on the authority of Dr Simon Lennane at Alton Street Surgery who is the Mental Health lead on the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.  The project could not start without the support of Reverend Deborah Cornish at Christ Church who has mustered a group of X final figure just before dispatch to go in volunteers.  

  6. The project donkey-work is being carried out by Prof Alan F Harrison.  He looks forward to project-based assistance  from local residents and project-based financial etc assistance from residents, local companies and other organisations.  He and his wife Teresa go to the Leominster DMC once a week.   Alan speaks with enthusiastic authority on the benefits of travelling for up to two hours on each trip.  However, other Ross residents will not want to travel far to benefit from and enjoy what is, essentially a right to better local dementia care provision. Alan has been informal/family carer to his wife since 2000 and they have been Ross residents since 2004. Teresa was confirmed as having dementia in 2013 since when Alan has made a study of dementia and improving care provision.

  7. Dr Lennane, Reverend Deborah Cornish, and "Ross-Prof "  Alan Harrison are members of the Ross Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Group which meets at Christ Church.  That group includes making Ross a Dementia Friendly Community in its activities.  The Ross DMC will be a great asset.

  8. Any carer making a transfer from a conventional daycare centre to a DMC might assume that DMCs deal with personal care.  It is important to emphasise that no personal care can be carried out.  This includes giving medication and use of the WC.   

  9. So far, readers have learned that within DMCs, carers participate in the dementia care provision and that carees benefit from delayed entry into residential care.  The latter benefit is achieved by person-centred care.  That's a big topic hardly capable of summary in a few words.  Essentially, it is treating the person with dignity and respect: understanding their history, lifestyle, culture and preferences: and looking at situations from the point of view of the person and not a set of symptoms.  The people in the care-triangle mentioned earlier all participate in the caree treatment on an equal level of interaction.  See the triangle here and consider including it with some of the text.

  10.  Participation in the care provision, then, is the key characteristic of the DMC.  Note that the sentence didn't start with "Carer participation".  Carees also are part and parcel of the "care-outwards" to other carees and carers and are not solely receivers of "care-inwards".  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.

  11. Participation within existing DMCs is viewed over a new horizon.  Ross DMC carers will make some of the aids and equipment and that is not determined only by what's in the piggy bank (ie, compared with the £80K it costs each of the two existing DMCs to run for a year).  The men will meet in "Shed Talk" to fix the hardware and the rest will made within "Knit and Natter" Thus, the feeling of using "our kit" enhances the use made of it, it enhances group cohesion, and it enhances the beneficial outcomes spread across all participants.  Rule Britannia!  Vive le Ross DMC!

  12. Carers having collected their carees from conventional daycare centres might ask "What did you have for lunch today?" half expecting and receiving the reply "Don't remember".  "Oh, I buttered a lot of rolls and then filled them with cheese and tomato." is more likely within the Ross DMC situation.  It's easy to see that "participation" is the key word.

  13. And that leads nicely back to the meal content.  "Have you tried the ham and cheese sandwiches which Tom made?"  "Or the broccoli quiche Janet and etc made."   . Birthdays don't pass without celebration.  Carers can bring the ingredients, candles etc and leave the rest to the group.  The one-year older caree can be occupied elsewhere or integrated.  Participation in the care activities results in greater understanding of the wider benefits to oneself as a carer, and those with dementia.

  14. Health care funding dwindles as dementia increases The Ross DMC project philosophy is don't hang around dangling from the edge of a pound sign.  We in Ross can raise enough initial finance and enthusiasm for our very own DMC to operate on a one day a week basis at first compared with three days.  The Ross DMC can then ask for Herefordshire Council etc support and continue finding independent funding. Instead of applying on the basis of "This is what we are going to do ..." Ross DMC will say that followed by the immensely more impressive "This is what we are doing and have done .. ." with evidence of the benefits to participants.

  15. Given that Christ Church is the Advisory Board which decides how Ross DMC operates, the detail has been worked out. Readers can find out more and offer to help.  An Internet address etc follows. Ross DMC hopes that the Ross Gazette which has given it the limelight will come back, say once a quarter, to report progress.

  16. Come on in Ross residents, companies and organisations.  The first level of help from residents is encouragement.  Reminiscence therapy is well-used within DMCs and participants enjoy including their photos and memorabilia in the reminiscence sessions. Making the most of long-term memory contributes to mental and overall wellbeing.  

  17. Sharing memories is a major part of that. Gazette readers are asked to share (by donating) those long-since seen items in the loft. That mincer or washboard dating from 1940 etc, A Woodbines packet, empty OXO cube boxes, that string of pearls, original versions of Snakes & Ladders, Ludo, Happy Families.  Jig saws of the era.  Those vinyl records and long-since used CDs of old songs and music can be handed in at the  to be confirmed. Add working Meccano models etc, and miniature Minis. You get the idea, don't you. Please don't give clothes in need of carbon dating. However, more-recent fancy dress will be enjoyed again. Musical instruments of any age will be appreciated.  Nothing mouth-blown thanks - Health & Safety.  Ross DMC participants can buy recorders for £2, when the time comes.  Learning something new is mentally beneficial.

  18. Mention of music reminds us to include that Ross DMC is looking for local people to visit and perform.  If they can include the old-time songs and music for the participants and the volunteers.even better.  In fact, the search is wider.  Anyone with something to offer in the therapeutic context will be made very welcome.  Do we add that the Ross DMC needs volunteers to help , and its Advisory Board will benefit from new members joining?
  20. Mention of anyone with something to offer leads us to that most tangible and useful offering.  Please be generous, even if on the basis of dementia can affect you or your family in the future.  There will be one million people with dementia in the UK by 2025.  The Ross DMC on 1 March will be one third of the new type of local dementia care provision.  Its new-ground-breaking methodology trumps the other two thirds in what is just the start of reducing that dreadful 2025 prediction.  Conventional daycare centres must be confined to the past and their resources rechanneled. In the meantime, Ross public-spirited residents are invited to empty their lofts and cheque their bank accounts.  consider putting Christ Church pay-in info here 

  21. Christ Church in Eddie Cross Street and the Ross DMC within, welcome the carees and carers who have agreed to start on Wednesday 1 March at 1100. The day ends at 1500 with a reminder to come each week on Wednesdays.  You are able to find out more via   phoning/texting YYY , or emailing ZZZ. 

pagetop             A Dementia Meeting Centre for Ross - Press Release  here
                            Intro - First Press Release   here

                            A DMC for Ross Home page here


I have tried to source each one.   Plenty of choice!

Christ Church

Eddie Cross Street, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7BZ

Host to the Ross Dementia Meeting Centre

source     Photo of Deborah?  Simon Lennane?

                             1       Knit and natter 

                                          but see 17 and 18

                 2 Two of the three Leominster Dementia                                  Meeting Centre  staff.

                           It is open three days a week.


        3  Lone carer taking five minutes break in his                     shed.

  Ross Dementia Meeting Centre  "Shed Talk" might            plan a session together.


                    4     Singing with rhythm 

                  Recycled songs Home page here



          5  Droitwich Dementia Meeting Centre                                   percussion session

       6     Teresa and Prof. Alan F Harrison

                          Leominster tea dance 


Beat It Percussion works with a range of groups in the community.  Always good sessions at the Leominster Dementia Meeting Centre 


                   A volunteer and focused caree

                                     from a NHS website

       10  A volunteer and focused caree

            from an Alzheimer's Society webpage


       11   A volunteer and happy caree

                           from a NHS website


     12      Volunteer with carer and caree

             from an Alzheimer's Care & Cure mag

    13    We all wear our name badges at the                                    Leominster  Dementia Meeting Centre    . . . . 


      14    . . . . and carefully put them in the right                              compartment before we go home. 




 "The cheese" as it's called at the Leominster Dementia Meeting Centre   is 4ft  on each side.  Members of two teams throw five bought cloth mice at a time.  

An expensive Leominster Dementia Meeting Centre item prone to puncture.  Shed Talk  will come up with plastic tubs screwed to a piece of wood.  

Continued at 17



16     Recording the results of a team competition                    at Droitwich DMC.   


      17     Nothing matterers

                    when you're knitters-and-natterers!

                    Five knitted mice on the way!



Line dancing  knitting and nattering will be seen and heard at the Ross Dementia Meeting Centre 


                 19  The game of Jenga


       20     Plenty of positive tension! 

                       Sets can cost £15.  Shed talk will
                         need a budget of about £5 and                                                possibly £0 as men habitually                                                  accumulate wood.

                        Similar and even cheaper - playing-card                             towers!  Wider participation at the same                             time.  Teams. Prizes made during                                            lunch prep.


pagetop             A Dementia Meeting Centre for Ross - Press Release  here
                            Intro - First Press Release   here

                            A DMC for Ross Home page here