DFS News

DFS News

Sandbach Dementia Friendly Christmas Celebration

There was a definite musical theme to Dementia Friendly Sandbach’s latest event for those living with dementia. Despite a number of late cancellations because of the escalating covid cases, about 30 intrepid souls people came to Sandbach Cricket Club on 16th December to celebrate all things musical about Christmas. Sandbach School provided a wind ensemble, led by music teacher Grace Barber. The musical entertainment was top and tailed by the Care4CE disco with DJ Phil Mason. The audience joined in many of the songs and appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Rachael and John Horrocks said ‘We really enjoyed it. The music was lovely, the food was lovely, and the company was lovely. Everybody was very friendly, although we were socially distanced’. Rachael and John generously donated a hamper for the raffle which raised just over £70. Rachael also came up with the winning name, chosen by Santa, for Santa’s animated puppy - Rudog!

Another partygoer Pat Skeels added ‘I enjoyed myself very much thanks. The musicians were very enjoyable too.’

Steven D Morris Optician Sandbach Recognised as Dementia Friendly

Steven D Morris Optician on Welles Street, Sandbach has been formally recognised for their work to make Sandbach dementia friendly. They are the first opticians in Sandbach to be recognised in this way during the current initiative sponsored by Dementia Friendly Sandbach. To celebrate this, the ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly 2020-2021’ logo was handed over to staff Jo Pointon and Jacqui Green on Friday 19th November. Jo and Jacqui attended a Dementia Friends Information session in the opticians and became Dementia Friends, joining over 1,100 existing Dementia Friends in the CW11 post code. They also agreed to consider changing their welcome mat to a more dementia friendly one.

Dave Whitworth, Chair of Dementia Friendly Sandbach, said ‘It’s great to welcome Morris’ opticians to the growing list of shops and businesses in Sandbach being recognised as dementia friendly. We hope to recognise more local shops in the coming weeks.’

Dave added: ‘We’re continuing to run face to face dementia friendly coffee mornings monthly at Sandbach Rugby Club and the Market Tavern for those living with dementia, carers, family and friends. We’re also running a Christmas party at Sandbach Cricket Club on Thursday 16th December starting at 2pm, including musical entertainment from Sandbach School.’

Jo and Jacqui said ‘We really enjoyed the Dementia Friends session and valued the information. We look forward to continuing to welcome everybody, especially those affected by dementia.’ ’.

If anybody is interested in supporting future dementia friendly initiatives in Sandbach, please make contact via our website www.dementiafriendlysandbach.org or our Facebook page @DementiaFriendlySandbach or by phone on 07593 533260.

Photo caption:

Jacqui Green (left) and Jo Pointon (right) just after receiving their Dementia Friends badges in Morris’ opticians.

Dave Whitworth

On behalf of Dementia Friendly Sandbach

Contact tel: 07593 533260; e-mail: dpd.whitworth@btinternet.com


Face to face dementia-friendly coffee mornings restart in Sandbach

The first face-to-face meeting for those living with dementia in Sandbach for nearly six months took place last Thursday (15th April) at Sandbach Rugby Club on Bradwall Road.

Dave Whitworth, Chair of Dementia Friendly Sandbach, explains: ‘Sandbach Rugby Club have kindly offered us their outdoor marquee to use for our coffee mornings when normally it is not required for anything else. Andy from Symphony catering is providing the refreshments. At the moment, we are limited by the rule of 6 so are limited to those who are previously known to us, for example from events we ran before the first lockdown, or who have since been referred to us. Once the Government eases restrictions further, hopefully on May 17th, we can open up more towards a normal dementia cafe with provision for people to drop in, for support, information, and good company! Coincidentally May 17th is the start of Dementia Awareness Week which runs from May 17th to the 23rd.’

Dave added: ’At the moment, we’re focussing on inviting people who have not been able to take advantage of the sessions we’ve been running online. These include a Zoom coffee morning every Wednesday morning at 11am as well as sessions being run by Kath Reader in Alsager. We’ll continue to run these weekly sessions until there is no further demand for them. Last week, for example, Sally Wilson of AgeUK Cheshire East gave an enlightening talk on scams awareness – if it looks too good to be true it probably is! Sally explained sadly just how inventive and sophisticated scammers are getting, such that anybody can be taken in.

If anybody wants to come to any of these events, online or ‘live’, please get in touch with us.’ Dementia Friendly Sandbach can be contacted via their website www.dementiafriendlysandbach.org which went live earlier this month, or via Facebook @DementiaFriendlySandbach or by phone 07593 533260.

Photo caption: From left to right Wendy Whitworth, Graham and Margaret Anderson and Rachael and John Horrocks enjoying the chance to meet and chat, appropriately socially distanced of course!


DFS News Item – Wristbands

The simplest ideas are sometimes the best! Dementia Friendly Sandbach has purchased a number of wristbands with the statement ‘Please be patient with me I have Dementia’ printed on them.

This was suggested in feedback surveys we carried out at our events in 2019, as well as the popularity of a few created for the Crewe DEEP (Dementia Enablement and Empowerment Project) Thinkers Group. They are not everyone’s choice, but for those who do like them, they are simple and robust. We ordered 300 initially from a supplier who makes bulk orders normally for entry to pop concerts and the like, and we give them out at our events or on request free of charge. We are also looking to promote their use to local businesses and shops in Sandbach, to help them to support their customers living with dementia.

We were informed just before the first lockdown that one of these wristbands traveled to New Zealand as a local resident was visiting their family there. They had problems on the plane navigating their way back from the toilet to their seat, but apparently the stewardesses, having spotted the wristband, could not have been more helpful.

Result! As one of our steering group members who was a keen promoter of them said!

DFS Website – News Item – Campaigning for those living with dementia during coronavirus

It is a sad fact that during the pandemic the additional challenges faced by those living with dementia have not been at the forefront of the Government’s mind. While much of the campaigning has been by national bodies such as the Alzheimer’s Society, including a parliamentary debate in November on coronavirus and dementia, to which we have contributed, we have also raised concerns locally where more day to day problems have arisen:

· Periods of lockdown for those living at home with dementia have been particularly challenging, either for those living alone, or where their primary carer has been left with little or no help. Respite breaks in a local care home can help, but placements were limited, and involved the person with dementia having to isolate on their own in unfamiliar surroundings for 10 to 14 days. Following dialogue on this with Cheshire East, they were able to arrange an additional placement where, because of the layout, such strict isolation was not required as long as the visitor had a negative coronavirus test.

· Those living at home with their partner/carer often rely on the wider family for support, including overnight stays. The original ‘bubble’ definition did not allow for this support to continue, to the detriment of the person with dementia and their partner. This concern was raised locally, and we contributed to the national campaign via local MP Fiona Bruce. In December, the bubble definition was widened so that a couple living together, one disabled (including dementia) and the other their full-time carer, could legally bubble with another household.

· We have also raised the issue of those living with dementia and their partner/carer being invited for vaccination together, even if the carer would normally be in a lower priority category. This was initially raised at one of our zoom coffee mornings. We raised this first via Fiona Bruce for consideration at a national level, without success. We have since raised this locally for the SMASH group of surgeries, and we’re pleased to see this is happening more and more, although not yet universally.

Photos from the Sandbach Garden Trail 2019 fundraiser.

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