We are following a strong lead from the Church of England, the NHS, the Council, the Bath Dementia Action Alliance and Alzheimers Society in trying to make our churches ‘Dementia Friendly’. In the first instance this is simply being more aware of the signs and, more importantly, knowing how to interact with someone living with dementia. Our workshop on Saturday 17th February, at 3pm at St Stephens, will involve one main exercise to be done in pairs and then discussed collectively. Then there is an opportunity to see a video showing how life looks for someone with dementia.

The event will last ninety minutes and there will be tea and cakes available during and after the event.

Having participated in similar sessions I came away much more confident that I could be a help rather than a hindrance in future, and I found it very rewarding to open up a subject which generally we’d rather not confront. Here’s a further bit of background:

  1. Dementia can be lived with and need not stop people having fulfilling lives.
  2. 1 in 14 people in the UK over 65 is living with dementia. We have older contingents in our congregations so it is highly likely to be an issue, whether we know about it or not.
  3. It can keep people away from church, at a time in life when the regularity and purpose that church provides is probably most needed. This again can be a hidden effect, affecting both the ‘cared for’ person or their carer.
  4. The new housing development above Lansdown and Charlcombe will include some accommodation for older people.
  5. The first steps we can take are small but can be highly effective. So lots of gain for very little effort.

To help us with numbers please register using this form. Jeremy, Joint Church Warden, St Mary’s Charlcombe.