Three dementia café sessions a month in Diss
The commitment of Diss to becoming a ‘dementia friendly’ town continues with the launch of another new dementia cafe.
Starting on Wednesday, the Dove Dementia Cafe will run from The United Reformed Church, opposite Aldi in Mere Street, from 10am-1pm.
The cafe will then run on the first Wednesday of each month from that venue, at that time.
It is part of plan to have a dementia cafe every week in the month in Diss.
Dementia cafes run at the Denny Centre and Weavers Court. The Dove cafe will mean three out of four weeks in the month are covered.
Gabrielle Pagan is helping to co-ordinate the project. She said: “We have been planning it since the autumn.
“I put out a request for volunteers and I got 17, which is a good number.
“This is about supporting and encouraging those with dementia and their carers.
“It is a 24-hour responsibility and it takes its toll.”
Mrs Pagan said she was amazed that 17 people had agreed to be volunteers, and each have their own skills.
There is a retired older person’s exercise specialist, a former art teacher and even a masseur.
Mrs Pagan added: “We have been trying to advertise this as much as we can and I should think we will get five to six people minimum for the first one.”
Those with dementia will be treated to activities including crafts and games, while carers will get some time away to talk with others and receive encouragement and support.
It is open to people from all around the Diss area and the focus is showing how people can live well with dementia, and recognise the support of carers.
The United Reformed Church has organised the cafe, with a steering group of five, as well as a band of volunteers.
They have all been trained through Age UK Norfolk on how to deal with people with dementia.
Norfolk’s other dementia-friendly communities are Wymondham, Swaffham and Aylsham.
According to Age UK Norfolk, research has shown that south Norfolk is particularly affected by the condition, with parishes like Diss and Roydon identified as having an older population than the county average and consequently having a higher proportion of people who are affected by dementia. For more, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/norfolk.