To coincide with Dementia Awareness Week, which is taking place this week, the Alzheimer’s Society is running an advertising campaign to make people more aware of their work and how everyone can support people affected by dementia.
Those suffering with dementia can become disconnected from their community, their family and friends. The society says, with the right support and advice, it doesn’t have to be this way.
With this in mind, Mistley Manor Care Home for the elderly and sufferers of dementia, in Mistley near Manningtree, is continually striving to create a positive environment for those in their care with Dementia.
As part of this endeavour, a large percentage of its staff recently participated in the Virtual Dementia Tour. Developed in the United States, this interactive training experience is described as “a true sensitivity programme that allows one to feel and understand what the person with dementia is feeling.” Caregivers will be able to identify with and better understand the behaviours and needs of those in their care.
Jacqui Volf, owner of Mistley Manor says: “One of the difficulties we, as caregivers face is, how can people be empathic when they have never experienced first hand the physical and mental challenges facing those with dementia? At Mistley we want to improve understanding and care provision for people with dementia. The Virtual Dementia Tour puts a healthy brain in the challenging situation of a dementia brain, through the use of new technology and special sensory equipment including headphones and ‘hinder’ gloves.”
Mistley Manor manager, Joe Volf says: “It was an eye opening experience for all who took part and it certainly helped our caregivers to gain a better understanding of how people with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease see the world.
“We want to enable dementia sufferers to hold onto their lives and the things they love for longer. We also believe it’s possible to do new things and have new experiences too, hence our popular Dementia Club.”
Mistley Manor runs the Dementia Activities Club every Wednesday, The sessions run from 11:00am-4:00pm and has been specifically organised to ensure participants enjoy a great, social day out filled with innovative and exciting activities. A midday meal and teas and coffees throughout the day are included in the cost of the club.
The Dementia Club, run by fully trained carers, is focused on providing activities specifically designed to aid those with Dementia and their loved ones. These include cognitive, reminiscence and mobility games; encouraging social interaction as well as maintaining and improving memory and independence.