Dementia


The Wheathampstead Dementia Wellbeing Group


Coffee Club

Owing to Covid the Coffee Club is suspended during January 2022. It will restart on Wednesday 2nd February.

We run a club most first and third Wednesdays in the month in the Mead Hall from 10:30 – 12:00, for those living with dementia and their carers. Relevant speakers are invited and occasional lunches and other outings take place.

Club members choose which outings they should like to go on.  Currently we aim to have an outing about every other month.

New members are very welcome.

Who are we?  We are here to support and help people living with dementia and their carers.

As you will know dementia is generally age related; we are living longer and consequently the incidence of dementia has been increasing. This is causing the Government concern and a national campaign has been launched to make communities ‘Dementia Aware and Friendly’ as well as offering advice and support to those living with dementia and their carers.

We are committed to helping Wheathampstead become a “Dementia Aware and Friendly Village”.

The Wheathampstead Dementia Wellbeing Group (‘WDWG’) is run by a committee of local people and chaired by John Gladwin. Funded by our Parish and District and working in association with the Wheathampstead Friends (WF), the Wheathampstead Patient Participation Group (WPPG), the Manor Pharmacy and the Village Surgery, significant progress has been achieved. Our group has the status “Working towards being a Dementia Friendly Community”

Over the past few years, we have organised several interactive dementia awareness sessions for all sectors of our community, including schools, and  have created many ‘Dementia Friends’.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

Dementia is a disease of the brain caused by a variety of conditions and is mostly age-related.  Early signs are changes in behaviour, confusion and memory loss.

IF A MEMBER OF MY FAMILY IS EXCESSIVELY FORGETFUL WHAT SHOULD  I DO?

Make an early appointment to see your GP (Village Surgery 01582 832258).  He/she will carry out a blood test  and basic memory assessment.  If there is reason for concern, referral to a Memory Clinic may be made where more detailed tests can be carried out.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

EMDASS (Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Services) will tell you about help immediately available, arrange home visits by a social worker and occupational therapist and advise on benefits.

CAN DEMENTIA BE TREATED?

With the right medical help dementia can be slowed and sometimes improved.

ARE THERE AIDS TO MAKE LIVING AT HOME  EASIER?

Yes, there are many, such as walking frames, wheel chairs, stair lifts, etc.  Available from the Woodside Centre (01707 384260), Welwyn Garden City, near the QEII Hospital. They also do driving assessments, visual and hearing tests, by appointment.

AS A CARER, WHERE COULD I FIND SUPPORT?

The ‘Wheathampstead Dementia Wellbeing Coffee Club’ at the Mead Hall every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 10.30 to 12 pm, Carers in Herts (01992 586969), Herts Help (0300 123 4044), Alzheimers Society 01707 378365.  Age UK 0800 169 8787/01707 323272

I WOULD LOVE AN HOUR OR TWO TO MYSELF

Crossroads Care Services (0208 905 1158) provide ‘sitters’.

A BREAK FOR A WEEK OR TWO (RESPITE CARE)

Can be arranged by a social worker at Willow Court Nursing Home, Harpenden, Field House, Harpenden, Tara’s Retreat or Lyndon House, Sandridge, or St Christopher’s Nursing Home, Hatfield.

WHAT IF LONGER TERM CARE WAS NEEDED?

There are good nursing homes in Sandridge, Harpenden, St Albans and Hatfield able to cope with dementia.

HOW CAN I GET TO THE VILLAGE SURGERY OR HOSPITAL FOR APPOINTMENTS, EVEN IF I HAVE A WHEELCHAIR?

Wheathampstead Community Group have a team of volunteer drivers prepared to take you to and from appointments, at a nominal cost. Phone their transport coordinator on 07958 737130.

 CAN I GET HELP AT HOME?

Care can be arranged by the NHS (means tested) via your social worker or by private organisations, such as Helping Hands and Home Instead.

WHAT SUITABLE RECREATION IS AVAILABLE WITHIN THE VILLAGE?

‘Coffee in the Chancel’ at St Helen’s Church (01582 834031,  9 to 11.30 am Monday, Tuesday and Saturday mornings during term time.  Dogs welcomed and wheelchair friendly.

Herts Musical Memories most Mondays 10:30-12:00 in the Memorial Hall. Phone 0208 950 5757 or email admin@hertsmusicalmemories.org.uk

ARE THERE MATTERS TO CONSIDER FOR THE FUTURE?

Everyone should have a Will and consider Lasting Powers of Attorney. The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will always advise. They have an office in St Albans (for booking) with sessions at the Memorial Hall on Monday mornings, 10 am to 12 pm (01727 811118 for an appointment or drop in). Their advice line is 0800 144 8848.

CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT DEMENTIA, ITS CAUSES AND CURRENT RESEARCH?

 The Alzheimer’s Society website is excellent and they have a national helpline (0333 150 3456 and website Alzheimers.org.uk).  Local Office  01707 378365

USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Isobel Poole 01582 832439

Margaret Carter 01582 832368

John Gladwin 01582 834223

Last Updated 30.11.2021

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