Dementia Action Week: Care home residents become Dementia Friends

Residents at a care home in Surbiton have been learning about the effects of dementia and how best to support people living with the syndrome.

The talk was organised by staff at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton, to enable residents there who are not living with dementia to offer more support to residents who are.

The Dementia Friends talk took place ahead of Dementia Action Week, which is running from 13-19 May.

Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. It has also launched new services reaching into the community.

Dementia Action Week is an awareness-raising campaign run by Alzheimer’s Society.

Staff came up with the idea for the talk because residents in the Home, both those who live with dementia and those who don’t, often socialise together when taking part in activities and events.

It was delivered by Dementia Friends Ambassador Sylvie, who is also a volunteer at the Home.

Staff and relatives also attended the Dementia Friends talk, in which Sylvie explained how simple actions can raise awareness and understanding.

Afterwards, residents tried on sensory perception equipment, which replicate the physical hardships people living with dementia endure.

Among those who attended and became a Dementia Friend was resident Rosemary. Her husband Bob also lives at the Home, with dementia. Rosemary said:

“I could relate to what was said because of Bob. I found it really interesting and very relevant.” And fellow resident Derek said: “I think it is important that the Home has done this so that residents, staff and relatives have a better understanding of what living with dementia is like, and what we can do to make life a little easier for them.”

Dementia Friends Ambassador Sylvie said:

“These important sessions raise awareness and help change attitudes. You can live incredibly well with dementia if people around you understand you.”

Events and activities will take place in each of Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes to mark Dementia Action Week. In Solihull, this will include memory and music sessions and sensory day trips, while in High Wycombe there will be arts and crafts activities, and a visit from the mobile zoo, Ark Farm.

Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents its Homes. For more information on this, its new services, or to work for the charity, got to

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