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Preface content

The Benefits of Dementia Friends

The Benefits of Dementia Friends

During Dementia Action Week, we speak to activities leader Ann-Marie Greenhalgh about what inspired her to become a Dementia Friends Champion.

Having worked at Don Thomson House Residential Care Home, a Sanctuary Care home in Harwich for two years, Ann-Marie is passionate about enriching her residents’ lives through dementia care.

Having done her Dementia Friends training, Ann-Marie is now a Dementia Friends champion, supporting people in her community by hosting information and support sessions at Don Thomson House. Loved ones of her residents and people from the community are supported with understanding dementia.

“It’s all about helping people to understand that you can live well with dementia and that there is more to someone than their dementia.” Ann-Marie Greenhalgh

She continued: “It is really important to help people to understand that dementia is experienced differently for each individual person.”

Helping with understanding dementia

Ann-Marie said one of the other benefits of Dementia Friends sessions that she delivers is that she can help people to understand the reasons behind a loved one’s actions.

“Someone may ask ‘why does my mum walk about so much’ – it’s about me helping them to understand that someone is walking with purpose, but perhaps are unable to articulate that purpose. It is about refocusing someone’s energy into something really positive.”

Ann-Marie said another of the many benefits of Dementia Friends is that when people take time to understand what it is like to live with dementia, it genuinely makes a difference to their lives.

She adds: “People often don’t understand how dementia feels for their loved one or why their characteristics may have changed. They may ask ‘why has my previously very reserved father got fewer inhibitions now’ or ‘why does my mother become extremely active in the afternoon’.

“In our home we are able to help loved ones to understand how their relative feels, but in the community people often don’t know who to ask. Our community Dementia Friends sessions are here to help.”

To find out more about Dementia Friends sessions in Harwich taking place at Don Thomson House please feel free to call the home direct on 01255 240978.


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