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Dementia awareness

Dementia awareness sessions

We can provide free, informal Dementia Awareness sessions to individuals, community groups, schools and organisations. This training helps you to better understand the condition and how you might better communicate with those living with dementia.

The sessions are online, email foddc.daa@fdean.gov.uk telling us which of the sessions you would like to attend. Include your name, telephone number and where in Gloucestershire you live. We will send you joining instructions when you email us to book.

The sessions we have available in September 2020 are:

  • Friday 25 September 9am  to 10.30am
  • Tuesday 29 September 10.30am to 12 noon

The sessions we have available in October 2020 are:

  • Saturday 3 October 11am to 12.30pm
  • Thursday 8 October 10.30am to 12 noon
  • Wednesday 14 October 10.30am to 12 noon
  • Thursday 15 October 2pm to 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 20 October 10.30am to 12 noon
  • Monday 26 October 9.30am to 11am

The 'Let's Talk Dementia' board game was developed with other members of the Forest of Dean Dementia Action Alliance. 

Forest of Dean Dementia Action Alliance

The Forest of Dean District Council is a member of the Forest of Dean Dementia Action Alliance which is a partnership of organisations and individuals who are working to:

  • make sure that everyone in the district living with dementia is respected and can continue to enjoy living their lives in their own community as well as possible for as long as possible
  • support the wider community to understand dementia and inspire and enable people to do things which contribute to a dementia friendly community, which are generally more welcoming communities
  • develop a network of local community champions who will support each other and the wider community

Join the Forest of Dean District Dementia Action Alliance

We welcome support from across the community. If you are interested please contact us by emailing foddc.daa@fdean.gov.uk.

To support and enable dementia friendly communities across the district the Alliance is working over the following five areas:

Area Activity
Place Working proactively to make community buildings and places more accessible
People Giving people information and raising awareness of dementia. Inspiring and enabling people to 'turn their understanding into action'
People with Dementia Involve people living with dementia and their families as much as possible, in a way that is important to them
Networks Enabling people forums where people can come together to network, share best practice and be supported
Resources Create and share resources

Dementia Action Alliance Newsletters

These used to be monthly but during covid-19 we have moved to weekly to help people stay connected.  and to cascade information which people can share which might help someone through this time.   If you would like to receive this newsletter please email: foddc.daa@fdean.gov.uk

Dementia and domestic abuse

Understanding domestic abuse in the context of dementia can be complex. It is important to understand the history and personality of the person with dementia. Alzehimers UK recommend filling in a 'this is me' form.

Someone who has been a victim of domestic abuse and then develops dementia may find it much harder to come forward. Their experience of abuse and isolation may be increased. Dementia may also cause a victim to re-live trauma experienced by previous abuse.

Someone who had been abusive to their partner who then develops dementia may cause significant risk to the victim. They may try and exert their power and control over their partner or family member, and become more unpredictable. In these circumstances, please speak to adult social care and Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service.

If you would like leaflets to share with your organisation contact us by emailing foddc.daa@fdean.gov.uk.

Did domestic abuse exist in the relationship before dementia

Domestic abuse is about power and control. If the person with dementia develops perceived abusive or aggressive behaviour it is likely to be considered as a symptom of their condition. If a carer becomes abusive when there was no abuse previously, carer stress should be considered. In this circumstance speak to adult social care and specialist dementia agencies.

If the person is in immediate harm as a result of abuse call the police on 999. If the person is in immediate harm in relation to their care and support needs contact the Adult Help Desk  01452 426868 or socialcare.enq@gloucestershire.gov.uk

If someone with dementia is being abused or abusive

The signs of abuse are:

  • physical: bruising, undue redness or discolouration of the skin (perhaps
    brought about by pressure, swelling or missing hair)
  • sexual: recurring urinary tract infections, agitation during personal care,
    wearing more clothing to cover certain areas
  • psychological: crying for no obvious reason, being anxious, withdrawn
    or fearful
  • financial: lack of money, missing possessions, another person’s
    suspicious behaviour or influence concerning money
  • neglect: lack of personal hygiene, dirty clothes, failing to keep the
    house clean

Start a conversation and listen and empathise, make notes as the person is talking. They may provide you the information you need straight away. Be aware that if you are speaking to the person with dementia, your conversation will be dependent on how advanced their condition is.

These are examples of some guided questions you could ask:

  • Tell me a bit about your relationship, what was it like before diagnosis and what has it been like since?
  • Can you tell me in more detail what happens and how you have reacted to this?
  • Does it happen at particular times of day or during certain activities, for example, when going to bed or eating?
  • are you on any medication? If so, when was this introduced and have there been any changes since? (if this is the case, the GP will need to see them for a medication review)
  • Is this very new behaviour that has come on very suddenly?

You can also download the leaflet for dementia and domestic abuse.

 

Become a community dementia link

You may want to help develop dementia friendly communities if you:

  • are interested in getting to know more about dementia
  • are passionate about dementia
  • feel that you have the skills, knowledge and life experiences which you could use to support others in some way - big or small

The Forest of Dean Dementia Action Alliance provides free training, support and resources to community dementia link people. Please contact us to find out more. 

Dementia accessible places and spaces

We have been told by people living with dementia that making buildings more accessible to them would help so the Alliance has developed an interactive checklist so people can assess the accessibility of their community buildings and spaces. For more details please: 

Give someone a twiddlemuff

Twiddlemuffs are knitted handmuffs that provide stimulation while promoting increased flexibility and brain stimulation. They provide comfort and reassurance for people with dementia. If you would like to give a twiddlemuff to someone please contact us.

Contact the Community Engagement Team

You can contact us to arrange a dementia awareness session, get involved in the Forest of Dean Dementia Action Alliance, find out more about our survey or become a community dementia link person.