Rotary Clubs - What you can do
In the West country, REPoD Rotarians have already started the ball rolling. Here are some of the things we have achieved so far - we can help you do the same in your area.
The REPoD information web site
As you can see the website signposts all the best sites for dementia information. It also offers a dedicated legal advice page and a downloadable Carers' Pathways booklet, which can be used in conjunction with a searchable database for local support information. However we can't populate the database without your help. For a handy guide take a look at the guide to helping with data collection.
We have been working with clubs around Devon and Cornwall, to set up and run or offer support to Memory Cafés from as far afield as the Isles of Scilly to Sidmouth. These cafés provide regular and informal sessions for people with dementia and their carers. Health and social care professionals are on hand to answer questions and offer advice, with volunteers providing entertainment and activities. Take a look at our Guide to Setting up a Memory Café. This autumn we will also be launching the first of a series of one day training sessions on how to run a Memory Café. Contact us for more details.
The Fifth Emergency Service
Rotary volunteers offer their expertise to local families caring for someone with dementia. This can be anything from assisting with very simple household chores such as installing new battery in smoke alarms, tuning DVD players, nailing down a stair carpet and the like, to delivering shopping and even helping fill in official forms. It is often simple problems like this that can be the final straw for elderly and overburdened carers.
REPoD member Rtn Geoff Oakshott has produced music CDs for sing-along sessions either in Memory Cafés, Care Homes or at home. Music is a useful tool because it can find pathways to memories that may have been buried for many years. The REMIND CDs are available for Rotary Clubs to buy via the website.
We are building a library of Memory Boxes containing items of everyday memorabilia from the 30s up to the 70s. These will be available for loan to local families, care homes and Memory Cafes. Objects from the past can act as triggers to memory and release reminiscences, providing a wonderfully effective therapeutic tool for people with dementia.
REPoD operates on a shoestring, but we do need monies to keep the website running and to cover the cost of printing and postage. All our funds come from Rotary Club donations and fundraising events.
We are looking for Rotarians across the UK who would like to become REPoD reps in their areas. We need people to forge links with other local voluntary groups and the statutory services as well as giving talks on the work of REPoD.
Over to you!
If you are already involved in a project helping families with dementia in your area then we would love to hear about it. If you have an idea you would like to look at developing, then we may be able to help you make it a reality.
Dementia Friendly Communities
Various bodies, both government and others are promoting the setting up of dementia friendly communities. To see what's involved and how you can be part of it, go to our dementia friendly communities page. You can also read this PDF document (1.5MB)
Service Above Self
It is with much pleasure that we announce that the Chair of REPoD, Dr. Geri Parlby, has been awarded the 'Rotary International Service above Self Award' for her outstanding contributions to the REPoD effort over the 6 years since its inception. We feel that all who know her will feel that this award was well deserved.
Hands across the water
The REPoD message is spreading and not just within the UK. Read this email extract from a couple in Washington DC.
Funding dementia research
The government has announced an increase into funding dementia research. Dementia research funding set to rise to £66m by 2015. - BBC News web site
Looking for a break / holiday for someone you care for or yourself - then take a look at this web site.
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