Today is the final instalment of our 12 Days of Christmas – information and advice for those living as positively as they can with Dementia. We hope you have enjoyed these useful hints and tips.
This series of information bites is part of a new feature about to launch on our website during January 2022 with lots of supportive information and advice to enable greater awareness for those living with Dementia and greater understanding for the public in general to understand how to better support a family member or a friend who’s memory is becoming impaired. More to follow shortly…
For the full resource booklet of which extracts were used for the 12 days of Christmas download here:
Day 12 – Keeping Active – (Part 2)
There’s lots you can do to make the most of every day. Socialising stops you from becoming isolated. If you have hobbies, keep them going. Or you could try something new, like cooking, gardening, puzzles, volunteering or exercise groups.
Keeping engaged and active can help you feel more positive and remind you, and others, that you can live well with dementia. Here are some ideas:
Socialising – Keep in touch with friends so you don’t become isolated. Your local Age UK may run social groups, which can be a great way to meet people in your area.
Exercise – Physical activity is good for your health and can also improve your mood. Walking, swimming, chair exercises, dancing and gentle exercise classes are all good options. Our guide Healthy living has more suggestions. As your dementia progresses, you may find it easier and safer to take part in group activities rather than exercising alone.
Cooking – If it’s hard to follow the recipes you used to use, try to adapt them to suit you. For instance, if you find it hard to concentrate on a recipe with lots of different steps, look for a shorter one. You can also get adapted kitchen tools, and use a talking timer to remind you to check on what’s in the oven.
Gardening – Simply getting outside can raise your spirits. If you’re finding gardening harder than you used to, contact:
Thrive – Helps people with disabilities enjoy gardening. There are three regional centres in Reading, London and Birmingham, and a database of over 600 garden projects. Staff can put you in touch with one nearest to you.
Tel: 0118 988 5688
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thrive.org.uk
for advice on practical solutions, such as choosing specially adapted tools. You can also attend Thrive gardening projects.
Reading and word puzzles – If it’s hard to focus on or follow books, try reading short stories, or newspaper and magazine articles. Keep doing crosswords and Sudoku puzzles if you enjoy them, and don’t worry if it takes you longer to complete them or you need to switch to an easier version.
Television and radio – Some people with dementia find it hard to concentrate on the television. They may find programmes with complicated plots or lots of characters difficult to follow. Some find listening to the radio or talking book easier as the brain only has to concentrate on sound, rather than sound and pictures. Music often brings back memories, which can be very reassuring and enjoyable.
Voluntary work – Think about the kinds of things you like doing, what you’re good at, and what kind of organisation you want to help. You could ask at your place of worship or faith group, your favourite charity, or at a charity shop.It’s important to be open about your diagnosis so you can find the best role for you.
Day 11 – Keeping Active – (Holidays)
You can still enjoy going on holiday. Think about the type of holiday that will suit you. There are specialist companies that offer package holidays for people with dementia. You should tell your travel insurer you have dementia.
People with dementia can enjoy new and exciting places with some planning and support. But if you find new environments confusing and overwhelming, you may prefer to go somewhere familiar. Think about what suits you.
When you go abroad, make sure you say you have dementia when getting your travel insurance. If you don’t, you could find you’re not covered. Policies for people with pre-existing medical conditions can have higher premiums. Price comparison websites can help you compare a range of policies.
As your dementia progresses, you may find that you’d prefer a specialist holiday for people who need extra help and support. Most train companies and airports offer assisted travel.
Day 10 – Am I still able to drive my car?
You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and your insurance company about your diagnosis. You may not have to stop driving straight away – the DVLA takes each case individually.
If you drive, you must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and your insurance company about your diagnosis.
A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to stop driving straight away. The DVLA takes each case individually.
If the DVLA decide you can continue to drive, you’ll be given a driving licence that is valid for a limited period – usually one year – after which your condition will be reviewed again.
Day 9 – Keep Communicating
“My daughter has stuck up labels around the kitchen to remind me where things go.
They’ve really helped.”
Interacting with others
Carry on doing the things you enjoy with the people you enjoy doing them with.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to say that you don’t understand or have forgotten what was said.
Put important telephone numbers by the phone.
Stay in touch with friends and family so you don’t become isolated. If you find conversations between large groups hard to follow, perhaps try to meet just one or two friends at a time.
Carry a helpcard, which can be used to let people know you have dementia and includes the contact details of someone who can help. This can be useful if you need assistance. These are available from Alzheimer’s Society (see page 40).
Make sure others don’t take over – they may think they’re being helpful by doing as much for you as possible, but do what you can for as long as you can.
Day 8 – Managing Diagnosis – (Part 2)
“Talking about my dementia with people who know what it’s like can really help.”
‘I still get down days but I know that talking about my dementia with people who know what it’s like can really help. I’ve learned lots of tips, like writing things down and labelling cupboards, and I carry a card saying “I have problems with my memory. Please be patient”, which I can show people who don’t know me.
‘My life is positive. It wasn’t when I first got diagnosed, but it is now. I have to look at it as another adventure in life rather than saying, “That’s it, I’m finished.” Life is unpredictable. Life doesn’t end because you’ve got dementia. You just need to learn to deal with what the future holds.’
Day 7 – Managing Diagnosis – (Part 1)
Jenny, 72, went to her GP when she started worrying about her forgetfulness and confusion.
‘When I was diagnosed with dementia, I went into a daze. I sat around and did nothing because I couldn’t take it in. When you’re told you’ve got something like this, you can feel you’re the only person in the world who has it.
‘I got into such a state that I went back to see my doctor and he told me about a local group for people with dementia. I went along and I said to them, “I need motivation.” And they got me back on my feet. It’s a social group and we’ll try anything on our days out. We often go for walks in the countryside, and I know that when I get home from them, I’ll feel on top of the world.
‘I’ve lived here for 30 years and I’ve been to places that I’ve never seen before.
Day 6 – Living well with Dementia – Making Life Easier…
Different strategies – such as writing down reminders, following a routine, and staying in touch with friends and family – can help you deal with the challenges of dementia. You can also make your home safer with something as simple as good lighting.
Here are some ideas to make life with dementia a bit easier. Around the house
Follow a routine. Doing things at the same time each day or week can reassure you and help stimulate your memory.
Pin notes up in prominent places to remind you of things you need to do regularly, such as locking the doors at night or putting out the recycling.
Carry a notebook to write down your daily tasks or reminders.
Put important things like your keys or glasses in the same place every time you finish using them, so you know where to find them.
Try some simple gadgets, such a clock that shows the date and day of the week, or a pill box with compartments for different days and times to remind you to take your medication.
Day 5 – Talking about Dementia? – Part 2
Talking to friends and family
Many people don’t fully understand dementia and you might wonder what to tell people about your diagnosis – or even whether to tell anyone at all. You may worry they’ll be overprotective, or change how they behave towards you.
But when you’re ready, you should talk to your friends and family about how dementia is affecting you, what you can manage and would like to continue doing, and what they can do to help. The more specific you are about the challenges you face, the more likely they are to be able to help and support you.
Talking to children and young people
Dementia can be difficult to explain to children and young people and you may worry about upsetting them. Keep your explanation simple, ask other adults (such as their parents) to help, and answer any questions as honestly as you can. It’s OK if you get upset. This can let them know it’s OK for them to show their emotions, too.
Day 4 – Talking about Dementia?
It can feel difficult to talk to people you know about your diagnosis. But most people find that if they can be honest with their friends and family, they are more likely to get the support they need. If you’d prefer, talking to a counsellor can be a real help.
Talking about your diagnosis can be difficult, especially the first time you have a conversation about it. You might get emotional, which is perfectly normal. You might prefer to approach the topic differently with different people, and find it easier to talk about it with certain people.
The way you approach these conversations is up to you. What’s important is that you do it at your own pace and that you’re honest about how you’re feeling.
As your circumstances change, let your friends and family know what kind of help you need, such as assistance with managing your finances. This is particularly important if you live on your own. But do remind them of what you can still do and retain as much independence as you feel you can.
Friends and family can read our guide Caring for someone with dementia to find out about the help and support available.
Everyone experiences dementia differently. You can live independently, and live well, for many years with dementia. Planning for your future can reassure you that your finances are in order and you will be cared for and supported.
Everyone experiences dementia differently and the progression of symptoms varies from one person to another.
Many people with dementia stay independent long after their diagnosis and continue to do many of the things they enjoyed before.
But over time, dementia can reduce your ability to remember people and places, look after yourself, and make decisions for yourself.
Planning for your future can reassure you that you have arrangements in place if there comes a time when you can no longer make or communicate your decisions. It also lets you think about how you would like to be supported and cared for. See pages 31-32 for more advice about planning for the future.
“I was diagnosed six years ago, but me and my wife are still going on holidays together.”
There’s no right or wrong way to react to a diagnosis of dementia. Your health specialist should discuss the cause of your dementia and possible medication. You can ask for a point of contact to support you.
The memory clinic or health specialist in charge of your care should discuss the cause of your dementia with you, and whether there is any appropriate medication or therapy-based treatment available, such as Cognitive Stimulation Therapy.
Ask for a point of contact. They can help you understand what’s going on and explain how to get any help you need.
It may all seem overwhelming at first. You may feel shock or disbelief, or be worried about the impact the diagnosis will have on you and those close to you. On the other hand, you may feel relieved you can put a name to what’s going on and better understand what’s happening.
However you feel, take time to process what the diagnosis means for you.
Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and ask some questions. They will check if anything else could be the problem. You may be referred to a memory clinic for further assessment.
When you see your doctor they should:
discuss your symptoms and how they affect your daily life – they may also ask someone close to you about any changes they’ve noticed, if you consent to them being involved
ask questions to test your thinking and memory
carry out some health checks, such as blood tests, to look for other conditions that might be causing your symptoms.
The doctor may refer you to a specialist or a memory clinic so a more detailed assessment can be carried out. This may include physical examinations, memory tests and possibly a brain scan.
Ask your doctor about a referral if you think it would be useful.
Dementia Friendly East Riding teamed up with NHS YourHealth aspart of the Rossmoor Park Family Wellbeing Event hosted by Jacqui Gunn from Talking about Loss, and was funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council through grant funding #DoitforEastYorkshire
The Memory Project
Produced by one of our very own Trustees: Elizabeth Godber
On Sunday 19th September, Dementia Friendly East Riding Trustee Elizabeth Godber officially launched to a by invite only audience, The Memory Project first official screening to a buy invite only audience, hosted and supported by The Parkway Cinema Flemingate, Beverley.
4th July 2020
Forget Me Not Flower Competition
Thank you for your patience and all your support over the last 5 years for the forget me not flower competition.
I made the decision to postpone the competition in March due to the Covid outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Unfortunately we didn’t appreciate at that time the extent of the virus and the ongoing situation.
We now find ourselves in the very difficult position where I have had to make a decision to cancel the competition for this year.
It is not practical or advisable to receive your flowers through the post and it is no longer possible to exhibit them around the East Riding.
However to recognise all your hard work I would like to invite you to send me any close up pictures of your flowers that you would like to share with others via the website and Facebook page. Happy to put your name , organisation and a message on the post as appropriate.
My email address for the flowers is:
15th June 2020
Dfer would like to thank Smashing Mirrors for their support.
Smashing Mirrors Theatre is an East Yorkshire theatre company that is committed to raising dementia-awareness through the arts. They have previously worked with DFER to tour their dementia-awareness play ‘The Memory Project’ into Hull and East Riding schools last November. They have also previously toured nationally our musical ,Three Emos, which features a dementia storyline.
Their recent fundraising effort for DFER was online, and brought together all of their Smashing Mirrors Theatre friends and alumni to sing one of the songs from ‘Three Emos’, with lyrics changed to reflect current lockdown experiences. The different verses were edited together to create a video that was distributed over Facebook and raised £75.
NEWS FLASH THURSDAY 16th April
In these challenging times, Dementia Friendly East Riding plans to support local East Riding care homes by the provision of plants, seeds and flowers to allow residents and staff to get the benefits from some gardening and outdoor activity in the warmer weather.
TIME TO GET CREATIVE
Enter our Dementia Friendly Flower
We are pleased to announce we will be running our Dementia Friendly Flower Competition again this year and we are confident this will be a biggest uptake yet.
To download your information pack and flower template please
CLICK on the pdf link below to download all the competition details including your flower template. We look forward to judging your entries. Deadline date for all entries to be received is Friday 3rd April, 2020
PDF Download Link:
forget me not competition 2020 pdf
Dementia Friendly Film Screenings at Beverley Parkway
Screenings are now suspended, there will be NO film on Thursday 26th March, since Parkway Cinema and Theatre is now closed. This suspension will apply until September 2020 and then be reviewed. More information will be given to all our regular attendees including residential care homes and families in the local community in early September. Please watch this space. Thank you for your continued support. Simon Foster
Dementia Friendly East Riding is very grateful for a generous donation from the Soroptimists International of Beverley & District.
The women`s Soroptimists group work hard to support local good causes and community projects and have chosen our charity specifically after a fundraising afternoon tea event at Tickton village Hall.
Just over £1900 has been donated to support the many community based activities and projects the DFER charity delivers across the East Riding area.
Simon Foster the charity`s ambassador and a volunteer said “This is a marvellous gesture by the Beverley Soroptimists and will help us to secure our medium term future in terms of the activities we are able to deliver to people living with dementia, their families and carers. I would like to thank the group sincerely and wish them well with their own amazing fundraising efforts”
This donation follows one made by The Beverley Lord Mayors charity fund earlier in the month for over £1000.
DFER relies heavily for its fundraising upon the generosity of local voluntary groups and organisations. Thank you all for your kindness.
GREGGS FOUNDATION grant fund awarded
We are pleased to announce that our application for a Greggs Foundation Grant has been awarded. The £1000 will go towards upcoming projects we deliver across the East Riding of Yorkshire. Thank you so much from all the Trustees.
Dementia Friendly Flower Competition 2019 Winners announced…
Congratulations to everyone that entered this years competition. The standards this year were extremely high. You are all winners in our eyes. And we look forward to receiving entries for next years competition.
Dementia Friendly East Riding mentioned at Chelsea Flower Show, 2019.
The Royal Horticultural Society represented at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019 acknowledged that Demential Friendly East Riding got a mention and plaudits when a health professional group, expressed an interest in Dementia Awareness and spoke about our Sewerby Memory Walk (that they were aware of near Bridlington), during there visit to The National Chrysanthemum Society`s display, which featured Bill and Ben and Little Weed! We are proud and privileged to be talked about for our efforts in Yorkshire.
The Chelsea Flower show is set to open on Tuesday – with glorious rainbow gardens, bonsai trees and even Bill and Ben figurines in flower pots. Colourful Chrysanthamuns are displayed like a rainbow by this gardener, while statues of Bill and Ben are added to flower pots
Thank you so much for the Donation…
Simon Foster, our Charity Ambassador receives a donation of £1025 from the Worshipful Ladies Lodge No. 329 Driffield
We would like to thank all the ladies from the Worshipful Ladies Lodge No. 329 Driffield who attended our Dementia Friendly Screening of Mary Poppins this week specifically to donate us with a huge cheque for £1025. Our charity could not survive if we did not receive such generocity from the public. Thank you so much and we hope you all enjoyed the screening.
This is what the local Beverley Life and Bridlington Free Press had to say about the launch of the Dementia Friendly Memory Walk Garden that opened on Thursday 25th April 2019…
New Dementia Friendly Garden opened
Situated near Ward 8 at Castle Hill Hospital our Dementia Friendly Garden space has been designed with a Wizard of Oz theme. Developed with the assistance of many people to give sensory prompts to people who might visit. Enhanced by the presence of an Amy moth, purchased and donated by John Hillaby, it is a striking example of how a largely unused space can be enhanced and given purpose. If you would like us to help you develop a garden then use our contact page to get in touch!
Cutting the ribbon
John Hillaby with Kerry Wheeldon and the Amy Moth
CURRENT VACANCIES …
We are currently looking to appoint the following as Trustees to Dementia Friendly East Riding.
General Administrator (Minute taker)
Policies and Governance expert
People affected by dementia (Current charity trustees feel this is very important to have this experience within the group)
Volunteers (to support the delivery of projects across the East Riding).
For further information on both vacancies please contact us on email: email@example.com