Dementia Friendly Todmorden

TODMORDEN, WEST YORKSHIRE

Your story

Dementia Friendly Todmorden's success has been the ability of all our volunteers to work in partnership effectively that has made our small group so successful. We work really hard to be able to offer help and support to people in Todmorden living with dementia, along with their families and their carer’s, and to raise awareness and understanding about dementia for all who live in our town.

Group introduction

Dementia Friendly Todmorden was established in 2014 where the need was identified to help people living in the Community with Dementia, their partners, family and carers. A group of volunteers with a multi-agency focus were put together Inc. Police and Fire Service to work in partnership to help those affected by Dementia and give pivotal help and support to families and carers of those caring for people with Dementia. After the initial need for the group was set up it was quickly established that the more volunteers we could recruit from varying professional's and members of the local Community with good standing would be imperative in dealing with the issues i.e. to raise awareness of the illness and reduce the stigma surrounding people living with Dementia. The need for a dedicated Dementia Friendly café was quickly established as a one stop shop style approach to giving people living with Dementia, their family and carers a friendly and safe place to visit where knowledge could be shared, vulnerability assessed, lunch, games, memory recall ancillaries, guest singers and more offered to enhance memory recall and provide support and guidance to carers and families. Since the implementation and continued success of Daisy’s Café, first opened in Todmorden Town Hall and now set up in Todmorden Health Centre the monies taken for lunches, raffles and attending local events is put back into the group funds and is spent on further equipment and Dementia related ancillaries to better the service we provide and further establish what we seek to achieve i.e. raising Dementia Awareness and reducing the stigma those living with Dementia live with. A recent key achievement of the group was Todmorden being given the status of being a ‘DEMENTIA FRIENDLY TOWN’, this solely down to the hard work and dedication of its volunteers. As we further develop and expand our project we will be able to help and support other communities who would then benefit and learn from our experience and recent success of creating a dementia friendly community in Todmorden. I have now volunteered with the knowledge I have gained to assist Hebden Bridge work towards being a Dementia Friendly Town as we have done in Todmorden. We as a group have offered a voluntary service to a set of vulnerable people in the Community, not only those living with Dementia but those that are lonely as well. I have myself since joining the group as a police partner have become a Dementia champion through the Alzheimer’s Society and to date have given training to 396 police officers, staff and partners in Dementia awareness. When the group was established we started with no monies, no base location and with limited resources to assist in setting up and running the proposed café project. We have battled through adversity as a team and by working in partnership are proud of what we have achieved and are being recognised now across other regions of the work we are undertaking to help those affected by Dementia.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

Dementia related ancillaries or dementia aids are incredibly expensive and although Dementia Friendly Todmorden now has a healthy bank balance we have now evolved and have branched into providing those living with Dementia with Dementia Aids and we would like to continue this work by securing funding for Dementia clocks. As stated these are very expensive and this is the reason we are asking for funds to assist our group in buying a stock of these items so we can donate these aids free of charge to help those people living with Dementia.
The clocks are specially designed clocks for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory loss. As dementia progresses, time-telling skills usually decline and are often lost completely. This could lead a person with dementia to become even more confused, agitated and anxious. Dementia clocks can help them keep track of the current time, date, and day of the week. They usually have a traditional, easy-to-read display on a round face, and clearly show whether it is night or day. Some also include the day, date and year. A relatively simple technology such as a Dementia or Alzheimer’s Clock, can make home life more peaceful for people and carers alike.
It is important that people living with dementia have structure, routine and predictability in their lives to offer them some comfort and security. When they lose the ability to recognise the time of day, the day of the week or even whether it is day or night, they can panic and feel anxious. These clocks can help return that sense of structure so that they can regain some of what they have lost. It also benefits carers as they no longer need to keep repeating the day or time over and over again.
Those living with Dementia often lose the ability to recognise what time it is and even whether it’s day or night which causes them a lot of confusion and anxiety. By placing large numbered Dementia Day Clocks around the house they will be able to see the time clearly, whether its morning, afternoon or evening and the day and month. This could help ease the worry of missing an appointment, meal time or even their favourite TV programme. It is also useful to have clocks that indicate day and night during times of the year when light changes earlier or later than usual.
In summary it is clear that a person living with Dementia can lose the ability to manage their time and in serious cases of the illness not manage to differentiate between night and day. By having a dementia clock this as stated above can help those living with the illness manage their time better, reduce anxiety of both that person and their carer’s and promote a peaceful home environment.
By being awarded the funding Dementia Friendly Todmorden can purchase 12 of these clocks and donate these to members of the community that really need this fantastic aid they cannot afford owing to cost.

"“Being a Dementia Champion for West Yorkshire Police and the Chair of Dementia Friendly Todmorden is personally very rewarding and with working alongside a team of dedicated volunteers allows us to share pivotal and vital information to those living in the Community with Dementia to safeguard them, bring happiness to their lives and promote memory recall”
Inspector Neil Taylor (West Yorkshire Police) & Chair of Dementia Friendly Todmorden"

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