Young people from Harrow have gained a better understanding of dementia during Dementia Awareness Week, with the help of a Sanctuary Care home.
Students from St Teresa’s Catholic First Primary School in Long Elmes have gained a powerful insight into what life is like living and caring for a loved one with dementia at Rowanweald Residential and Nursing Home in Weald Lane.
Dementia Friends sessions
Year five students, their senior teaching assistant Carmel Cronin and year five teaching assistant Janet Wakerell have all become Dementia Friends – an initiative from the Alzheimer’s Society, thanks to training delivered by the care home’s team.
The Dementia Friends sessions showed the nine to 10-year-olds the small things they can do within their community or their future jobs, that can make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia.
Student Jessica Sabapathy said “I’ve learnt that there are lots of ways we can help. Although we might not be able to stop dementia, there are lots of things we can do to make people happy.”
Squashing the taboo
The Sanctuary Care home’s senior customer relations manager Sarah Webber, who is a Dementia Champion and led the session, said: “So many people live with dementia and for some reason there is sometimes a real stigma around the subject and everyone at Sanctuary Care want to quash this.
“Dementia should be talked about and understanding should be shared and I’m proud we are doing this.”
Following the session, students were keen to share the actions they plan to take now they are fully fledged Dementia Friends, including hosting an assembly at their school on dementia.
Dementia Awareness Week
Dementia Awareness Week, an awareness drive from the Alzheimer’s Society, is a week where people all over the country are encouraged to unite with their communities to raise awareness of dementia.