For this year’s #AlzheimersAwarenessMonth, we're highlighting dementia cafés in Sheffield.
Alzheimer’s Month is all about raising awareness, signposting and offering support to people affected by dementia. At Home Instead, we’d like to share some of our favourite dementia cafés in the area that prove to be a ‘safe haven’ for those living with dementia, and their carers.
The Parson Cross Community Development Forum is a local community hub that works to improve conditions and lead the regeneration of the Parson Cross community. The forum runs several community groups, activities and events in their mission help the community, one of which being their Memory Cafés for people living with memory loss or dementia.
These Memory Cafés currently run three times a week on Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 09:30 – 10:30am where people can come by, free of charge, to socialise, have some breakfast and then take part in an activity. Over the 8 years that the café has been running, the activities have varied from arts and crafts, singing, wreath making and even having dementia dogs coming to visit!
Essentially, the memory café aims to offer peer support and refer information for people who may have lived with dementia a long time, or even if they have been recently diagnosed. The café also welcomes carers and ex-carers to come along too, to learn more as well as offer their own expertise and advice.
“What’s so great to see is that people often come along to these cafés and make real friendships with the people they meet. This enables them to get out and about outside of the café, too. It’s also about sharing a meal with other people and reducing any loneliness people may be experiencing, especially if they live with dementia or memory loss.”
– Louise Ashmore, Centre Manager at Parson Cross Forum
Heeley Trust is a charity that mainly works in the Healey and Gleadless area of Sheffield. As a part of the People Keeping Well Partnership in Sheffield, their work is centred around improving the wellbeing of the local community.
Amongst their wide range of projects, they are committed to encouraging people to ‘live well with dementia’. To do this, they organise and host activities, groups and clubs for people living with Dementia and their carers.
“We are committed to making our spaces and events dementia friendly. We also offer signposting advice and additional support services”
A shining star in their dementia project work is their regular Activity Cafés. Each Café is themed around a different activity for everyone to get involved in, promoting stimulation as well as consistency for those who come along. Along with the activity, people can enjoy a refreshment in the company of others who are also in a similar situation to themselves. This provides a real sense of community and support for those who may be struggling to socialise with their dementia.
Anyone caring for a friend or family member with any illness or disability is welcome to join them, whether you care for people currently or have recently been a carer and that role has now come to an end, everyone is welcome.
Since the group started to meet eighteen months ago, they’ve grown steadily into a friendly and relaxed group and are joined by new carers all the time. This year, they’ve had speakers from Trading Standards on avoiding scams, legal advice on wills and Power of Attorney and a wonderful morning with a dementia advisor. There’s always time to chat and talk about our concerns and quite often the group can help each other, too.
The group usually meets on the fourth Friday of the month at Stephen Hill Methodist Church, please do come and join them and if you know someone, a friend or neighbour, who is a carer or former carer, feel free to bring them along too!