Dementia Action Success In Exeter
Dementia Action Week, which took place across the UK last week (20th May), saw communities coming together to raise awareness and take action for dementia.
The campaign was a huge success in Exeter, as Gina Awad who leads the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) explained:
“What a fabulous week collaborating with partners for Dementia Action week 2019.
“We were involved in three events; family carers were hosted by Bluebird Care Exeter & East Devon; an informal Year 6 assembly took place at Exwick Heights Primary school; and the week finished a play performed by local theatre company Substance & Shadow hosted at Cadogan Court care Home part of RMBI Care Co.
“Each event offered a different approach but all were equally heartening, encompassing the generations. What was richly rewarding was the diversity and inclusivity the events offered which is reflected in the pictures and responses of the participants.”
At Monday’s event, the Alliance were invited to be part of a relaxed forum hosted by Bluebird Care. Around a dozen carers attended, all in differing situations. Barrie and Sara, who live with dementia, enabled some stimulating conversations and encouraged others to share. We covered a number of topics from talking about the importance of planning ahead, changes that can occur with a dementia diagnosis, post diagnostic support, signposting and the importance of local resources and services available in the city.
After the session one family carer said:
“I found the session really useful and reassuring to know I am not alone and there are others in the same position. Being able to share stories and personal experiences is so important.”
Friday’s morning session was held at Exwick Heights Primary School who invited EDAA in to the Year 6 assembly as part of their action plan to make a difference for dementia in their educational setting. Penny Hackworthy, Assistant Head Teacher said:
“The children were full of questions and whilst Gina had planned to read them a story, questions and answers seemed to take precedence which felt really important for the children who were extremely engaged and keen to learn about dementia. Gina finished by reading a beautiful poem for children by Jan Millward. It was a really informative session and we are looking forward to our continued partnership with EDAA.”
Last but not least, Friday afternoon saw Cadogan Care Home kindly host a play by Substance & Shadow who have spent time creating a sensory experience for their play. Rosie and Midge Mullin, a local couple, are behind Substance & Shadow and they are looking forward to reaching out to other care homes across the county and sharing their creativity.
A lovely addition to the afternoon enabled the Krafty Cafe group in Wonford to donate a number of their crocheted blankets to Cadogan Court. They shared their story of how they came together as a group through similar experiences as well as combatting loneliness which was changed their lives.
The afternoon enabled five care homes to come together which, as one care worker said, is “a rarity but so refreshing to be able to meet other home staff”. 40 care home residents enjoyed the play.
“It’s very easy to forget what we have achieved as a social action movement in a short space of time and we all agree it’s important to recognise this and celebrate our achievements.”
2020 sees Exeter Dementia Action Alliance celebrate 5 years since the beginning of their vision of raising dementia awareness in Exeter.
To learn more or join EDAA visit their website.