Teignbridge Dementia Action Alliance
Creating a more dementia friendly Teignbridge!
Teignbridge is a district in South Devon, located between Exeter and Torbay and the South East area of Dartmoor. It’s varied geography includes coastal resorts; busy market towns; rural countryside and wild moorland. Newton Abbot; Chudleigh; Buckfastleigh; Teignmouth; Dawlish and Bovey Tracey are all part of Teignbridge. Teignbridge Dementia Action Alliance (TDAA) is working towards a dementia friendly community.
A steering group was formed in late 2016. 4 Dementia Carers is one of several founder members. We value the time and energy given by individuals and organisations which has helped us get started.
However, all journeys of this type have their ups and downs. Some initial committee members have unfortunately had to step down. Teignbridge Dementia Action Alliance is now making progress again. This is good news because people impacted by dementia need our support.
4 Dementia Carers
4 Dementia Carers facilitates a local Dementia Carer Network. St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newton Abbot provides the church hall at no cost. Having someone to serve refreshments and home made cake is very welcoming. In return, 4 Dementia Carers provides its services pro bono.
Freedom from worry about securing funding for the venue ensures the future of this group, so it is an important precedent. We really appreciate their continued commitment. When the Hall was unavailable we were given a room in the local Town Hall without charge.
Because many other carers do not get the support they need, we are opening our 1st November meeting to all carers. Exploring shared issues and needs.
Easy to become a member
It is easy to become a member of your local Dementia Action Alliance. Membership is free! Advice from other Dementia Action Alliances is to keep actions simple and achievable. We are focusing on this.
- Helping people live better with dementia
- Helping dementia carers find a better work/care/life balance
Whether living or working in our area, or just visiting, the experience of these people is important to us. Everyone must feel welcome, included, valued and understood.
Dementia Friends sessions raise awareness and understanding of dementia.
- Learning the 5 things everyone should know about dementia
- Challenging our subconscious attitudes and preconceptions.
- Even small actions can help people live better with the disease.
First session at Newton Abbot Library on 30thNovember 2017 creates 22 Dementia Friends.
Other sessions include GP surgery staff and Teignbridge District Council staff.
Dementia Friends sessions are under way for
- Local Town Councils: – Kingsteignton, Teignmouth, Buckfastleigh. ..more to follow.
- Teignmouth Police Sergeants
Dementia Friends Champions
Dementia Friends Champion training has been booked for 30thNovember in Newton Abbot.
Teignbridge District Council is hosting this free training day. We need more Champions locally. If you live near enough to come to this session please do register for it at the link above.
If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friends’ Champion, but live further away or cannot make this date, you can register here:
Teignbridge District Council
Teignbridge District Council (TDC) has provided valuable support and engagement from the start.
- Commissioning 4 Dementia Carers to facilitate 9 months of Dementia Carer Network meetings supported their staff from January to September 2017.
- Donating funding and rooms for meetings.
- Dementia Friendly Walk Throughs. This aids mental health and wellbeing because local leisure centres feel more accessible.
- 135 refuse collectors and cleansing staff are now Dementia Friends as a result of sessions in July 2018. A better awareness and understanding of dementia is vital for customer facing staff.
Local GP surgeries are having dementia walk throughs. This highlights issues a person living with dementia might face whilst accessing their service. A group of people living with dementia give their feedback. From this an advisory report is created. Changes are making a positive difference for all patients. Devon Square Surgery was one example.
KingsCare league of Friends
KingsCare League of Friends is primarily a patient support group. Their work in our community is invaluable. Through the Teignbridge Dementia Action Alliance they share knowledge about what they are doing. Support from KingsCare league of Friends is very positive, whilst their enthusiasm and experience is much appreciated. Helping people living with dementia is very much a part of their work, especially because of the numbers impacted in our community.
The Ness Centre
It is now a year since the Ness Centre started up in Teignmouth.
- Stimulus for people living with dementia
- Activities and outings
- Respite for dementia carers
Feedback from all who have used the service is very positive. The care is very professional and helps people to stay at home longer. Jonathan Hanbury, founder of the Ness Centre, is now the Chair of TDAA.
Iceland staff becoming Dementia Friends on a national scale. They are ‘Committed to helping our friends living with dementia’ whilst asking customers to be patient. Consequently you will see Tony Husband’s cartoon sitting proudly over each till. Tony Husband is a Private Eye cartoonist. Iceland’s message is both clear and positive.
Their commitment comes because founder’s wife has dementia. Dementia Research has been chosen as Iceland’s current national charity. As a result, all his staff who are impacted by dementia also feel supported and involved. He is removing the stigma and taboos by opening up conversations at work.
Iceland is a very good role model for Teignbridge. We will be inviting Iceland to join our Alliance. So refreshing to be knocking on an open door!
Richard Hopkins Weatherspoon in Newton Abbot is requesting a walk through. We are discussing this and other ways they can engage in our programme. The very positive response from Head Office means the impact can be felt much wider than Teignbridge. Watch out for evidence of progress at your local branch in the near future!
Our journey is ongoing..
Teignbridge Dementia Action Alliance still has a long road ahead, but we are finally out of first gear! Creating a Dementia Action Alliance is all about working towards becoming a dementia friendly community. You never arrive! Whilst progress is being made and targets may change, the journey is always ongoing.
If you are interested in forming or helping a local Dementia Action Alliance, visit their website.
Meanwhile, here are some of our ‘Jobs for the weekend’, as Monty Don of Gardeners’ World would say:
- Agree a logo
- Set up a local web page on the Dementia Action Alliance website.
- Prepare guidance for new members
- Find more delegates for the Dementia Friends Champion training on 30th November.
Is ‘weekend ‘ being a little optimistic?
Watch this space!