Every year, in Dementia Action Week, the Alzheimer’s Society puts out a challenge to everyone across the country with a big question – what can you do to help people living with dementia?
Margaret Tatham is a Dementia Friends Champion and runs information sessions for the Alzheimer’s Society has some ideas
“You can ask the society to send someone like me to talk to your congregation for a start!
“Across the Diocese of Bath and Wells there are 24 Dementia Action Alliances (DAAs) – with more in the pipeline – all trying to make their communities Dementia Friendly places where people living with dementia can take part in local activities and stay linked into local life. Churches, clubs, businesses, schools, and councils are all taking part. All of the DAAs will be running events in this year’s Action Week. (Insert link here to list of DAAs)
“So what about your Church? Are you a dementia friendly church? If someone develops dementia in your community, do they stop coming to church? Sadly that does happen in some places. Can you enable them to continue as part of God’s family in your place of worship? ‘Growing Dementia Friendly Churches – a practical guide’ by the Revd Dr Margaret Goodall & the Revd Gaynor Hammond is a really useful place to start – available to download or purchase from the Methodist Housing Association : www.mha.org.uk). Both MHA and Christians on Aging (ccoa.org.uk) have lots of useful resources.
“At least two deaneries have made becoming Dementia Friendly part of their latest deanery plan.
“Over the last year the diocese has run courses about dementia and many churches have responded – now is your turn to take action.
“What you can do:
- Contact the Alzheimer’s society to find out what is happening in your area (www.alzheimers.org.uk)
- Become a Dementia Friend on line (www.dementiafriends.org.uk/register-digital-friend)
- Attend a Dementia Friends information session (www.dementiafriends.org.uk/WEBSession#,WqWB4eanyhA)
- Organise a session for your church or other local groups
- Most importantly – become a Dementia Friendly church by joining your local Dementia Action Alliance and working out with them what are the best things you can do (www.dementiaaction.org.uk/south_west)
If there isn’t a local DAA you could also form one – it’s quite an undertaking but not difficult.
Do feel free to contact me to find out more.