Go back to normal view
It is fitting that we launch our new charity in World Alzheimer’s Month. And Alzheimer’s is just the most common of a group of conditions coming under the broad heading of “dementia”.
Dementia has affected many of us at Dialstone Lane over the years and will continue to do so. For both Susan and myself, it was the development of the condition in our mothers (and in my case my grandmother too) which has made us personally aware of the need for supportive services for both the person with dementia and their caring families and friends. For this reason, we suggested that our Church charity this year should be to raise money for local projects providing all sorts of help – information and advice, respite, enjoyable activities with added health benefits (e.g. singing, dancing, walks), social meeting points - and a bit of fun. We would also like to use this year of focussing on dementia as an opportunity to learn more as a church as to how best to help people with the condition.
We continue to learn more about what is available locally and our knowledge will develop over the year; new services are continually appearing. For example, I recently visited a new (since April) Dementia Café which has opened close to the main foyer at Stepping Hill Hospital. It is accessible at all times through a key code which the folk on the reception desk can tell you, but volunteers are there from Age UK on Wednesdays and from Alzheimer’s UK on Fridays. Besides the equipment for brewing up, there are plenty of leaflets about activities which may help someone with dementia, local organisations and services and I understand it can be used as a quiet space for a visitor to take someone with dementia if they are an inpatient. Sadly, in these times of reduced funding for services, some other schemes will disappear – a special walking group I was aware of at Etherow has gone.