Meeting Centres for dementia are popping up all over the country and are funded through various means. Fundamentally they all have some concepts which are the same, and the rest is decided by those who attend but all are built around the five pillars of wellbeing which include: Connecting with others, being active, learning new skills, giving to others/sharing and mindfulness (paying attention to the present moment)
- It is a community, non-medical, non-faith based location which operates for at least 3 days per week. They are not usually attached to care homes/provision either. Our ultimate goal is for a 7 day provision – we know how tough weekends can be.
- It is not a day care facility for individuals, provides no personal care and does not deliver medication
- It is a safe space for people living with mild to moderate dementia to attend with a family member/friend/carer and will operate (after covid) on a drop in basis depending on numbers.
- There does not need to be a formal diagnosis in place – symptoms will be enough for us.
- It will help both attendees adjust to the life changes that take place by offering professional help and support from the Admiral nurse team and from peer support and learning from activity coordinators.
- The centre will deliver fun activities which cover cognitive stimulation, hobbies, crafts, gardening, baking, films, music, etc and maintaining life skills by being involved and responsible for tasks e.g. tea making etc, or elements of tasks, depending on capability, and thereby maintaining a sense of self-worth.
We know that the rise in domestic abuse in households affected by dementia is directly linked to the pandemic. The Admiral Nurses tell us that Carers have no resilience left. We fully intend for this meeting centre to be self-sustaining once it has become established – as others are. But, we see the need now, and do not want to wait for everyone to be vaccinated before we make this happen – for many that will be too late. We have found an ideal location in a small village called Hooton, by the train station, with parking and on a good bus route.
We want to start asap, with limited numbers attending to keep people safe. These limited numbers will not cover the costs of the operation. We need as much help from as many sources as we can manage.
There is so much more to say but in essence what people who live with dementia have told us is that they want a “one stop shop” the minute they are diagnosed and a specific person to help them navigate the ongoing changes to their lives. The Meeting Centre, Welcome Me, along with the Admiral Nurse support can be that solution. Through the centre and the Admiral Nurses, we can provide help, support, advice and care right the way through and even after they no longer fit the criteria to attend. WWW.dementiaresourcecommunity.co.uk The possibilities of what we can do are endless and the model has a proven track record as researched by Worcester University.