We always look forward to Dementia Tuesdays are as they are usually fun, different each week and informative. This Tuesday we welcomed four new people to the group, two carers and two people living with dementia. We took the opportunity to talk about something called the Herbert Protocol. This is where carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person, or the person themselves, can fill in a Herbert Protocol form in advance, containing information to help the police if the person goes missing. We then moved on to talking about the kinds of information that we hold relating to clients and their rights regarding this. As an organisation we are reviewing our GDPR policies and procedures to ensure that we can keep data safe and secure. This was the first group meeting for many in over a year. People shared their experiences of getting a diagnosis of dementia, what they understood about having dementia and making the most of life. The Dementia Tuesdays are clearly of value to some. See quote below from a carer who accompanied her mum to our dementia café for the first time. It clearly demonstrates the challenges of being a carer, of seeing a loved one begin to lose their memories, their impendence and their joy for life. It also demonstrates the need for more dementia cafes and community centres where people can be supported to manage, to overcome unnecessary challenges e.g. barriers to receiving quality health and social care at the right time and right place, respite for carers etc. These problems do not have to be a reality.
‘Just thought I would let you know that my mother and I really enjoyed the day at Ashford Place yesterday. It was really refreshing to meet others in the same situation as at times it can be very isolating for both mum and I. My mother seemed really positive when she came home. It is somewhere that will benefit us both where we can learn from others so thank you very much.’
When a staff member spoke to her on the phone the next day she let her know that her mother has been very depressed, very unsettled and until the meeting wouldn't tolerate people using the word dementia and the night after the meeting she slept very well for the first time in ages. Thanks to our staff, our volunteers, our clients and carers and those that support our dementia cafes.