Dementia Active

Dementia Active

At a glance

Causes

  • Older people / later life

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

The objects of the charity taken from the charity commission website

To relieve the needs of people diagnosed with dementia and related conditions living in Banbury and surrounding areas, in particular but not exclusively by:

A. Providing support, practical advice and a safe environment in which they engage in recreational activities designed to stimulate memory and help maintain cognitive functioning, along with opportunities to socialise and form friendships.

B. Providing transport to activity sessions and day trips.

C. Offering support and respite to carers of people living with dementia and related conditions.

D. Working in association and liaison with other charities and organisations in order to promote projects and activities which benefit people with dementia and their carers.

Activities

We currently run activity groups in our own dedicated dementia centre in Banbury and are planning new services starting in January 2023 to support carers.

The 3 hour activity sessions:

  • Provide activities designed to encourage cognitive and physical responses, the objective being to try to slow down the progress of the disease and create pockets of pleasurable experiences. People who have dementia increasingly forget the details of what they have done, however their memories of the feelings engendered by their experiences often remain intact.
  • Make use of Cognitive Stimulation Techniques (a methodology validated by NICE - National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence). Carers and families frequently report that their relatives are more active and alert following sessions. 
  • Groups have a maximum of 10 members and are ‘closed’ in the sense that once a group is full the attendees remain the same, creating a sense of familiarity and enabling friendships to develop. 
  • Have a high staffing ratio to provide maximum support.
  • Are a place where no-one needs to feel embarrassed about not being able to do those things which used to come easily.

Carers: A diagnosis of dementia exacerbates social isolation and impacts particularly upon the mental health of those in the caring role. The groups give carers respite time, thereby supporting them in their caring role and helping to stave off the point at which residential care becomes the only alternative. 

The aims of the charity are to:

Challenge the invisibility of dementia: A dementia centre in the middle of Banbury providing a range of services will help to put dementia on a par with a physical illness such as cancer and the support it attracts e.g. the beautiful Maggie’s Centre in Oxford. The absence of services for people with dementia and the hidden nature of those which do exist, result in families having to resort to internet searches. This adds to the sense of stigma and shame which people often feel on receiving a diagnosis.

Help alleviate social isolation: Older people often find their social circles contracting as their health and that of close friends declines. A diagnosis of dementia exacerbates social isolation. 

Support carers’ mental health: In addition to carers having respite time during the groups, we are developing new services - Music for Wellbeing; Sunday afternoon cafe; supper club/film night events. The aim is to enable carers to meet up socially and give each other mutual support. There are no such forums in Banbury at present.

Early intervention to help delay care home admissions: Families really struggle with this decision and often postpone it until their care arrangements  become untenable. Many people struggle too with asking for support from Adult Social Care. Attending groups is an alternative which helps prolong the ability of a family to continue to care for their relative.

Benefits for people living with dementia SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) says ‘Supporting a person with dementia to remain active is not just about ‘a bit of fun’ or an added extra – it is essential to their health and wellbeing’.  Our sessions provide a range of enjoyable activities (both mental and physical) which are designed to stimulate cognitive functioning; auditory and visual perception; motor coordination; hand/eye coordination; reality orientation (topical discussions) and reminiscence. 

Provide a new service for people with advanced dementia: In January 2023 we will be running 2 hour sessions specifically for people in the advanced stages of the illness for whom there has never been any provision in North Oxfordshire. These will consist of a combination of musical activities provided by a dementia music specialist and multi-sensory experiences using a magic light table.

Provide a new service for people with young onset dementia (below age 65). This group have very different needs to those of the older age group we typically work with and there are no services in the area to meet their needs. In January we will be establishing interest groups e.g. gardening/carpentry/pottery and art.

Provide volunteering opportunities: Sometimes those who have previously benefited from respite time when caring for one of our members are drawn to becoming volunteers once their caring role has come to an end.

Our charitable objective is to collaborate with other local services: we are currently linked up with - Age UK; Dementia UK; Dementia Oxfordshire (social prescribing); Cornhill Centre Royal Voluntary Service; the Elms dementia unit; Adult social care; and the charity is a member of Age Friendly Banbury network

No current opportunities

Search for volunteer opportunities with other organisations.