Members of one of Trent Dementia's support groups

Notts Charity Changes Lockdown Life for Those Living with Dementia

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Notts Charity Changes Lockdown Life for Those Living with Dementia

Members of one of Trent Dementia's support groups
Members of one of Trent Dementia’s support groups

Charity Trent Dementia has been helping those living with dementia engage with new technology to ensure vital community groups continue – from week one of lockdown.

  • Trent Dementia has supported three groups (up to 48 individuals) each week of lockdown – including coffee chats, crafts, fact finding, and filmmaking.
  • Covid-19 has produced specific challenges for those living with dementia, who aren’t classified as high risk. The quick establishment of virtual groups mean no sessions have been lost during lockdown.
  • The pioneering new project shows that many living with dementia have an appetite for new technology.

It’s never been more important to reduce isolation and maintain support networks for those living with dementia. Trent Dementia, which previously facilitated face-to-face groups in the Nottingham area, has helped communities transition to virtual meetings. Groups are led by their members, and many include chats about the challenges of lockdown life, as well as fun tasks and challenges to be completed between meetings.

“The meetings have given me a focus during these lonely weeks of lockdown. We learn something new every week and have a laugh too. It makes such a difference to my husband, Karl, to see friendly faces, especially as he hasn’t been out for months,” says Janette Francois, who cares for husband Karl.

Dr Jane Rowley, Project Manager at Trent Dementia, says: “People often underestimate those living with dementia, and suggest they can’t do certain things, but we’re always arguing – ‘why not?’ From week one of lockdown we decided to give virtual groups a go. You can really see the difference in people who attend – for some, it’s a reason to get dressed in the morning. ”

What started as a solution to a problem has led to unique benefits: “There’s a real level of intimacy and a deeper sense of understanding of each other’s worlds when we’re able to see each other’s houses. Also an added sense of security for many service users, who might not be keen to travel to a meeting in person,” says Dr Rowley.

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