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Dementia & Social Isolation Projects

Memory Cafés

These are informal drop in sessions where people with dementia and their carers can enjoy regular social and supportive get-togethers.  Many Rotary Clubs around the country have already been involved in setting up and supporting a Memory Café in their community.  We have created an easy to follow 'Set Up Guide' for creating a Community Memory Café.

Community Memory Café - A 10 step get you started guide.

Community Memory Café - A more complete 25 page guide.

Dementia Friendly Communities

A Dementia Friendly Community is created by forming a Dementia Action Alliance, a process co-ordinated by the Alzheimer's Society.  A DAA brings together community groups, businesses, public service workers, faith groups, police, fire and ambulance staff, bus drivers, school pupils, charities and community leaders - people who are committed to working together to help those living with dementia to remain part of their community.  Rotary Clubs can either initiate the setting up of a DAA or join an existing Alliance to help make their village, town or city 'Dementia Friendly'.  We can advise Clubs on how to go about this process.

Community Sensory Gardens

Sensory Gardens are designed to stimulate all five senses via fragrant plants, edible fruits, soothing landscapes and special architectural features such as fountains and ponds.  By creating a Community Sensory Gardens you can provide a rich and therapeutic experience for all members of the community to enjoy, but with a special appeal for people living with dementia and their carers.

ARUK (Alzheimer's Research UK)

Although fundraising in general is not part of REPoD's ethos we do have our 'Red Box' scheme to allow clubs, etc., to raise money for the charity, as finding a cure for dementia is everyone's priority.  Alzheimer's Research UK is a charity dedicated to doing just that.  They are the largest charitable funder of dementia research in the UK, supporting over 2,000 scientists in their pioneering research across the UK and globally.

Social Isolation

Social Isolation and Loneliness are reaching epidemic proportions in the UK.  And if you think this is a problem for older people - think again.  A recent Rotary Great Britain and Ireland survey found that 14% in the 20-34 age group felt lonely all the time against just 3% in the over 55s.

It also found that social media and technology is more of a problem than a solution.  More than a fifth (22%) claimed it has made them uncomfortable meeting others in real life.

Many people devised tactics to try and avoid feeling lonely such as putting on the television, talking to a pet and fabricating reasons to have face-to-face contact with another person, such as going to the doctor, talking to the postman, etc.

What can you, your club or organization do to help combat this growing problem?

You can read more of this report and download a full copy on the Rotary website.

See also these web sites:

    Men's Sheds

    The Siver Line

Fidget Quilts/Twiddlemuffs

Because people with dementia experience an ongoing decrease in their brain functions, simple, repetitive movements and sensory experiences become extremely important.  Fidget lap quilts and knitted twiddlemuffs, made in a variety of textures and with extra accessories, can provide comfort and activity to people in the later stages of dementia.  You can download these 'How to Make' guides.

Fidget Quilts

Twiddlemuffs

See also a related project started by Sharon Holdstock - Handmade for Dementia. Her voluntary organization knits cannular sleeves for dementia patients in hospital.  Her group can also be found on Facebook.

Community Support Partnerships

This is an informally constructed alliance that can be formed either as an offshoot of a DAA or as a standalone group made up of the same interested parties.  Its purpose is to look at larger projects supporting disadvantaged and socially isolated people within the wider community whether or not they are living with dementia.  This support could be provided through either joint fundraising opportunities or practical initiatives.  Contact us for more information on setting up.