An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

A DIY Dementia Meeting Centre for Ross       email sbl  21 Sept 2016

The MeetingDem process is far too long and involved for DMCs to grow at a reasonable pace.  Accepting that they all need proper constitution, there is another way of going about new DMCs.

The DIY approach places much more emphasis on community involvement.  Ross is not a Dementia Friendly Town and the MH Group may deal with that. The new DMC will be a major part of the process which means it should be given every chance. The MH Group is wide in scope and cannot devote sufficient time to explore fully the detail. Phil Shackell is too remote to advise in the Ross context.  While the Ross DMC would benefit from any input from a Community Liaison Worker, that process will take a long time.

You know the data.  As far as I can  see, dementia prevalence in the county among those aged 65+ years is 0.79%.  Alton Street and Pendeen show 0.78% and may have 83 and 63 patients respectively.   Add younger patients.  Publicity for Ross DMC does not need to call for others to come forward.  You have enough to keep the project in house.  Ten patients and ten carers are all that is needed.

Deborah Cornish is to visit the Leominster DMC next week.  I hope her Church will become the Advisory Board after the six-week pilot stage from Nov 2.  If not then, after a second stage in the New Year. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If the Church agrees to the pilot running, it is on a no cost basis.  I have told you that I am financing it.  You only have to tell Deborah that you will not support it and it grinds to a halt. 

There is a Memory Walk in Gloucester on Sunday.  Teresa and I hope to attend and I will distribute leaflets on this way of creating a DMC.  It could grow – out of county. I cannot proceed knowing that my own project (which won’t be mentioned) has fallen at the first hurdle.  

Ross community will, I am sure, play its part.  The Press Release (PR) will call for support and that includes reminiscence items.  It will call for volunteers.  Of course, it will call for financial support and you will see an interesting aspect of that. 

The PR will begin thus:

The Gazette, on 7 September, published this page-headline: "Help yourself to help others when caring for a loved one with Dementia.".   It included the facts about the demands family carers face and ways in which they can find support.  Local support groups are important.   We are pleased to announce the creation of a new form of support for carers and their carees wherein carers are the major part of the care and dementia therapy provided for carees. 

We continued the page with: "It’s important - as carers, medical professionals and as a society - to be aware of carers’ needs, and know that support is just as vital as diagnosis.".  We call on Ross society, severally and together, to reflect on ways in which the new form of support for carers and their dementia-carees can best materialise. 

End of PR extract.

The DIY aspects are wide-ranging.  Existing DMCs have the benefit of buying the equipment they need.   This costs £35. It's a 4 ft inflatable cheese and you throw cloth mice into it.  Ross DMC will DIY it. Knit and natter sessions will deal with the mice and Shed Talk will work out when to make a wooden version. That solves the problem of £35 down the drain due to punctures.

Knowing that they have made a lot of what they are using brings untold benefits to wellbeing and group cohesion.  Compare that with the take-it-or-leave-it attitude that state-provision is expected.  Normal DMC members are not aware of charity support but it amounts to the same thing.

The PR includes:

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 overall wellbeing.  Sharing memories is a major part of that. ((Examples given.))

I hope we can discuss this on Thursday.  In the meantime –

Best wishes 

      pagetop     A DIY Dementia Meeting Centre for Ross email sbl  21 Sept 2016  

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