Yesterday saw me trundling to York for the monthly meeting of wonderful friends with dementia called Minds and Voices run by Emily and Damian.
I woke up to horrendous rain which continued until the taxi picked me up just after 7am and took me to Beverley, and then once on the bus, the sky looked deceptively friendly as we made our way out of Beverley.
According to my notes, I’d missed last months group, having forgotten to book my taxi in time, so missing my bus. However, I must have set an alarm on that very day for this month as a reminder went off early last Friday telling me to book my taxi🙄
The bus journey takes over an hour but is a lovely ride, especially in the sunshine. The bus drivers on EYMS buses are nearly always helpful and smiley, so brownie point to them. I even have windmills on this journey too.
But the friendly sky was turning decidedly grey and rainy and once I got to York the rain had arrived. I trundled over the bridge towards the station to meet Damian who had kindly agreed to pick me up.
We were the first to arrive and Damian immediately put the kettle on😊
Emily soon arrived with all the paraphernalia of lunch and we set everything out ready for the crowd to arrive.
Tessa Hughes, a psychologist from Oldham, was due to visit along with some of her DEEP group and they arrived in time for a cuppa. The taxis were very tardy bringing everyone in but eventually everyone that was coming had arrived and we started with my 3rd cuppa in front of me……..☕
We all introduced ourselves and Damian chaired (or tried to chair the meeting 😂😂) – never the easiest of tasks……
Oldham run a group for post diagnostic support once diagnosed.
Damian gave us an update of our local stuff before the main event with the folk from Oldham, which was to discuss post diagnostic support and what that meant.
When people get diagnosed in Oldham in the memory service they get invited to a course run by the psychologists. There are 2500 people with dementia but only 40 people have accessed the course.. 😩
It’s for supporters and people with dementia and discusses the myths, detail of dementia and coping strategies whilst acknowledging individual needs amongst other things
We heard how some doctors are not very good at giving the news and often don’t know how to tell people they have dementia in the right way, so do it all wrong.
Knowing enables you to prepare – talking enables you to listen to others about how they cope.You’re all in the same boat.
If there’s no support around you start making up your own thoughts which could be really wrong……..
The message is you can carry on as normal but with scaffolding to help you adapt.
We all understand the importance of peer support – both for supporters and people with dementia. After all, no one gives you a manual when you’re diagnosed, so if you don’t access help, how are you suppose to understand, and how are supporters to learn how to best support you?
Damian called me the tea sponge………as I helped myself to my 4th or was it 5th cuppa and took another photo…….
Oldham have about the same number of people with dementia as there are in York – we have about 2700, yet we have the same problem. Only 40 out of 2500 attend the course in Oldham and only a handful of people access Minds and Voices.
We discussed why this might be. Obviously groups are not for everyone, but the main reason appears to be fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of dementia.
That’s why we have to normalise talking about dementia – to normalise will reduce the stigma and fear.
Still so much to do………
I do love my village but I miss living in York too……