Dementia cafe in Wisbech helping sufferers of the disease feel less isolated

Dementia Café, a monthly get-together that takes place on the first Monday of each month at the Robert Hall Centre in St Augustine’s Road. Dementia Café, a monthly get-together that takes place on the first Monday of each month at the Robert Hall Centre in St Augustine’s Road.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
9:57 AM

A cafe for people who suffer from dementia is proving to be a big hit.

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Dementia CafeDementia Cafe

Since it was launched in March, between 20 and 40 people have been coming to sessions on the first Monday of each month at the Dementia Cafe in the Robert Hall Centre, St Augustine’s Road, Wisbech.

At the sessions, people who have recently been diagnosed with dementia and those who care for them chat to each other, sipping cups of tea and nibbling at cakes and biscuits.

Each monthly meeting includes a talk from an outside speaker on the services they offer and how to access them.

Last month, Jeff Turner from the Bobby Scheme gave advice on home security.

On Monday, Fiona Poignand from Mytime Active talked about keeping active at home, the importance of healthy eating and the free help on offer from personal health trainers.

Daniel Schaffer, dementia support manager for the Fenland office of the Alzheimer’s Society, based at Parkside Day Hospital in Wisbech, said: “We launched the cafe here in March and it’s been a great success. It’s aimed mainly at people in the early stages of dementia and their carers and the idea is to enable them to talk about the condition and its consequences.

“It’s very friendly and informal and combines practical information and education with general socialising.

“Between 20 and 40 people come along each month. There is no formal referral process - anyone who has been given a diagnosis of dementia can come along either on their own or with family, friends or carers.

“It gives them the chance to ask questions of health professionals, pick up practical tips about coping and get some emotional support from each other.”

Support worker Lisa Lowe said: “It’s a real community thing. Many people with dementia often feel very isolated and there’s a lot of stigma associated with it.

“The cafe gives people the chance to get out and about and meet others in the same or similar circumstances and share their experiences. That really helps.”

As well as the cafe, the society already runs a twice-monthly support group in both Wisbech and March.

It has just launched a monthly carers’ group in Chatteris and is hoping to start another one in Whittlesey within the next couple of months.

Information and support are also available over the phone or through home visits.

For more details, call the Fenland office of the Alzheimer’s Society on 01945 580460 or e-mail fenland.marshland@alzheimers.org.uk

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