Daisy Daisy and Dementia Friends

When I was training to be a Social Worker I was sent on a placement for 8 weeks to a day centre for people living with dementia. I was scared, uncomfortable and anxious about this.

What on earth would it be like?

It was actually one of the most fun (yes fun!) uplifting and positive placements I had. I was in charge of entertainment. We had old time dances, bingo and singing as well as gentle exercising. The service users short term memories were not great but those long ago memories were often sound and our centre rang out with the sounds of Daisy Daisy and Pack up your Troubles. We talked about long ago romances and war time memories and it was a rather lovely job actually.

music hall songs

For the service users who had fun, felt part of a community and tuned into happy times, this day centre made a really positive impact. For their carers too it provided respite.

I became an expert bingo caller, we had fun prizes and lots of giggles. For a brief spell twice a week, in a supportive community the impact of dementia was lessened and a good time was had by all.

I will never forget that job. Such a  positive service, particularly for those in the early stages of dementia who were feeling isolated and for their friends and family.

I am a Dementia friend and I would so love for you to become one too. Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society launched the Dementia Friends campaign last year. The idea is to help everyone come together to help people with dementia live well.

dementia friend

Pretty much everyone knows someone who has experience with dementia, it affects many people in all sorts of ways, friends carer, relatives those living with the condition.

To become a Dementia friend, simply visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk watch a short online film  which explains what dementia is, how it affects people and what you can do to help. A few useful tips and a bit of understanding from all of us can make life so much easier for those who experience dementia

By connecting with who they were when they were young I really began to see and appreciate the people I worked with.

It is often believed dementia has a greater impact on the lives of family and friends that the person with the condition itself. Do you talk to your kids about illnesses such as dementia?  Sharing understanding can really reduce their fears and can make such a difference.It’s a good topic for schools to address too. Resources for schools are available at www.alzheimers.org.uk/youngpeople if this is something you would like to encourage your child’s school to support.

Disclaimer: I’m working with BritMums and Public Health England alongside the #BritMumsDementiaFriends campaign. I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit the Dementia Friends site http://bit.ly/1wglQD4 for more information and resources about coping with dementia among family and friends.

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. March 10, 2015 / 21:15

    You really painted a picture in this post and I enjoyed reading it. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.
    Kate Holmes recently posted…Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015My Profile

  2. Mammasaurus
    March 11, 2015 / 11:58

    Such an important issue, Dementia and it always shocks me how many are affected x
    Mammasaurus recently posted…One day in Normandy with kidsMy Profile

  3. March 11, 2015 / 12:23

    This takes me back to working in a nursing home and some of the wonderful people I met there. A lovely post.
    Andrea recently posted…Memories of MumMy Profile

  4. March 11, 2015 / 12:30

    It is so true that people often fear Dementia which is really sad, it is amazing that you had such a positive experience and that you are doing something amazing to help raise awareness
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…Dorset Days #snaptripMy Profile

  5. March 11, 2015 / 22:08

    Such a positive memory of such a devastating disease – I did work experience at school in a similar place and like you was daunted but found it positive and rewarding, despite the associated sadness.
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…I Should Be PackingMy Profile

  6. March 12, 2015 / 06:31

    I wondered whether this would be a depressing post but I was so mistaken, You have painted a wonderful warm and caring picture. I too am a dementia friend and it is a wonderful campaign
    Cherie recently posted…Making an InroMy Profile

  7. Grenglish
    March 12, 2015 / 06:54

    Dementia is a hot topic in our family at the moment, as my grandmother has just been diagnosed. What a wonderful campaign, I will visit the website for more info.

  8. Polka Dot Family
    March 12, 2015 / 11:03

    We get many patients with dementia who stay on the community ward that I work on. Each one of them is different and should be treated so, hopefully this campaign will make more people aware of dementia and how they can help too.
    Polka Dot Family recently posted…An audience with Sophy HennMy Profile

  9. March 12, 2015 / 22:50

    Gosh what a positive post about dementia and the services/ rspite that is out there for suffers and their carers. Thanks Becky, so good to hear often people with dementia keep their long term memory and can enjoy those days. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…It has to be said – #PovertyisSexistMy Profile

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