Health: Workshops on a mission to make Sheffield a dementia friendly city

Kathy Marwick
Kathy Marwick

At Home Instead Senior Care Sheffield we hold free dementia workshops, which are aimed at carers and families of people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

Faye Histon from Home Instead Senior Care facilitates the workshops and has cared for clients and their families for more than 10 years.

It is extremely reassuring knowing that you’re not alone in dealing with this terrible condition. I have picked up great practical advice and techniques

Faye’s knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias ensures she is empathetic and understanding – she is totally committed to helping, educating and signposting people to the best help available for them at their time of need.

The workshops are also proving hugely beneficial to members of the community who are eager to learn more about caring for people, touched by this condition.

Too often elderly people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have to leave their home earlier than is necessary, simply because families and loved ones feel unable to cope at this extremely challenging time.

While the workshops are initially designed to help and support families and loved ones, they are also available to anyone in the community who feels they need awareness and a better understanding of dementia.

Home Instead Senior Care is working closely with the Dementia Action Alliance in its mission to make Sheffield a dementia-friendly city and Barnsley a dementia- friendly town.’

The workshops touch on many delicate subjects such as: Learning about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, recognising the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias early, discovering how Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are diagnosed and treatment available, understanding more about the behaviours that can be caused by symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, activities to encourage engagement.

We find that the workshops are hugely beneficial to carers and families, who tend to open up and talk about what they are going through.

They share difficulties, experiences and feelings to ensure they do not feel alone or isolated.

We encourage group discussion and offer personal one-to-one help, advice and support.

After our last workshop, one guest said: “It is extremely reassuring and helpful knowing you that are not alone in dealing with this terrible condition.

“The session was very informative and it was really useful listening to other people’s experiences. I have picked up some great practical ideas and techniques to deal with the difficult behaviours dementia presents.”

We offer signposting to organisations – Alzheimer’s Society, the Dementia Carer website, the various Memory Cafes and also Singing for the Brain.

Home Instead Senior Care’s WOW guide (What’s on Where) gives information on events and groups which are available in Sheffield and Barnsley – the directory was created to help combat/reduce loneliness and social isolation and has been invaluable to many people in the Sheffield and Barnsley area.

As well as caring for our clients, we actively encourage them to participate in social activities wherever possible – these are not only beneficial for the people who have dementia, but also families and carers who may need a break.

By providing a high quality of care we ensure that clients feel safe at home and families trust that the service their loved one is receiving is to a high standard and meeting the needs of everyone involved.

Our next free dementia workshop is next Friday, May 19, during Dementia Awareness Week. Places are strictly limited so if you would like to attend, please contact us in advance.

The event will take place at the Virgin Money Lounge, 66 Fargate, Sheffield S1 2HE. We are very grateful to Virgin Money for hosting this workshop.

Sarah Oldham, general manager for Home Instead Senior Care Sheffield and Barnsley, said: “The workshops have been a huge success.

“They can be very emotional as they touch on some delicate and, in some instances, painful thoughts and memories.

“However, there is also fun and laughter too, as people feel a great relief in realising they are not alone and there is help out there – they just need to know where to find it.”

We are extremely proud that last year we received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of our unique quality home care.

The Queen’s Award is one of the country’s most prestigious business awards with only 249 recipients selected last year.

Home Instead’s award is in the innovation category and was awarded in recognition of our distinguishing home care service where the social wellbeing of our clients is central to our model of companionship-led care.

Our entire network was delighted to celebrate this pinnacle of achievement, the highest accolade we have been honoured to receive since the brand was launched in the UK in 2005.

If anyone would like to know more about our services, the free workshops, free dementia friends sessions, or would like a copy of the WOW for Sheffield North/South or Barnsley, please call the office on 01142 469666.