The Heart of England Retirement Organisation helped Dementia Friends promote and host a local awareness raising session held during October 2014.
An informal meeting about Dementia Friends was hosted by St Peter’s Church, Balsall Common and HERO (Heart of England Retirement Organisation) during October. There are a lot of myths around dementia and the success of Dementia Friends relies on people learning a little bit more about what it is like to live with dementia and then turning that understanding into action. This can be just a small thing such as wearing a Dementia Friend badge. Dementia is most common in older people but those under 65 years can get it too. It is estimated that 1 in 25 of those over 70 years will be affected by dementia. So it is not something we can shrug away.
The evening was led by James Brocklebank, a Dementia Champion, who brilliantly illustrated how to talk to people with dementia and also how to live with it. As one of those present said, ‘I feel really positive about dementia after attending this evening. It was very well presented by an enthusiastic young man. The images which he planted in my mind about ‘fairy lights’ and ‘book cases’ were very powerful and will undoubtedly encourage me to remember that there is more to a person than their dementia. I am so glad that I went to this meeting.’
Another of those attending said, ‘I felt that the dementia talk was brilliantly enlightening, and delivered in a refreshingly light-hearted way. James was able to converse easily with all the age ranges present, and was sympathetic to each individual’s reasons for attending. He involved everyone in the discussion, and gently yet poignantly guided our thought processes towards a more patient and understanding approach to the subject matter’.
I am sure I speak for many there when I say the key messages (see below) were very reassuring and will stay with me.
HERO was delighted to be able to facilitate the evening on such a very important subject.