NCS young people learn about living with Dementia

Over 46 million people worldwide are living with dementia – Our NCS young people learnt more about the disease

“If you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person with dementia”

This was the overriding message as National Citizen Service (NCS) WM1 young people took part in one special Social Action Project as part of their NCS journey. Learn by Design facilitated the new collaboration with Barchester’s The Spires Care Home in Lichfield, designed to provide high-quality, residential care to older people including those LIVING with dementia. As part of the dementia campaign led by Dementia Friends, a key point is being highlighted that individuals do not “suffer” with dementia, but are “living” with the disease.

Our NCS cohort raised expectations as they came together and provided their time, demonstrated mindful listening skills and thoughtful creative ideas to both engage and stimulate the residents within the care home. One resident touched their hearts as she was new to the home and had a real love for her garden at home.

This sparked the social action project of creating a planted area for the residents to both enjoy and tend to in their time. The young people planted shrubs, plants and flowers, creating a real haven within the grounds of the care home. A vegetable patch was also planted in the aim a food crop would be part of an on-going activity for the residents to enjoy.

Meet the team from The Spires Care Home here.

As part of the work at The Spires Care Home, Carrie Jhan; Home Services Adviser delivered a Dementia Awareness session, which provided an insightful and engaging look into the life, feelings and care given to a person living with dementia. A role play activity demonstrated the differing personal perceptions one may have of a person having been diagnosed with a dementia disease. What was incredibly interesting was the huge differing understanding of how and what functions would possibly be lost in a person with dementia.

1: Dementia is not a natural part of ageing 2: Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain 3: Dementia is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks. 4: It’s possible to live well with dementia 5: There’s more to a person than the dementia

10 things not to say to someone with dementia:

We would like to say special thanks to Carrie for taking the time to deliver the session which provided a sensitive and caring overview of the disease and demonstrated the mindfulness that must be considered when supporting a person with dementia. The young people all left with recognition for completing the training and were congratulated for all becoming “Dementia Friends” as part of the Alzheimer’s Society Initiative.

Two Police officers also attended the session, keen to understand more and further support the care home and the Lichfield community. This was very much appreciated and both the residents and the young people took time to listen to their experiences of how the police deal effectively with individuals living with dementia in the local area. These opportunities both connect and embed community awareness, which is a main aim of the NCS programme; to engage young people in the issues that affect their local community.

We are extremely proud of the NCS team who took part in this social action project whom all acted with dignity, professionalism and maturity.

Fran Sharp – General Manager said:

“The young people are more than welcome to visit us again. Their behaviour has been impeccable and the work they have completed in the gardens is much appreciated by the residents and the staff.”

NCS young person presenting Fran Sharp with flowers

View all images from the day here.

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