Victoria Port, Locality Worker for North Hertfordshire, spoke to some clients within her dementia group about their experiences living with dementia.

Q: What would you say to your past self on the day you got your diagnosis?

A – Colvin: You did the right thing, you will feel so much reassurance from a diagnosis and knowing what it is that is wrong with you. Well done for getting help. Make the most of your time and do what you can.

Q: What do you think people most misunderstand about dementia?

A – Colvin: People don’t always believe I have it. Sometimes I make a mistake or find it hard to find the right words, it’s not always just about remembering things. People aren’t aware that people live well with Dementia and can still do the things they love.

A – Jan: People don’t acknowledge I have it. They pretend that nothing is wrong or expect me to remember everything that they have said. Sometimes they don’t think I behave like someone who has dementia, or they forget so they aren’t quite as patient.

If you or your loved one are living with dementia and would benefit from extra support, why not try our dementia support hubs across Hertfordshire.

“I have come to rely on for support and comfort in these unprecedented times.”

Daughter Debbie, speaks to our team member, Anne-Marie, about how without her Hertswise group, she may not have known how she would have seen lockdown through.

“Since joining the memory group a few months before lockdown, our Zoom meeting with Anne-Marie has been so much fun and such a unexpected experience that my mother and I have come to rely on for support and comfort in these unprecedented times.”

“We have built such a warm friendship group which, without Anne-Marie’s commitment each week, would not have evolved. I can’t wait to see each other face-to-face and continue to have laughs and look back at the year 2020.”

Mother Maggie and daughter Debbie.

Meet our new Equality and Diversity Champion!

Akelia – Equality & Diversity Champion

My name is Akelia, and I am the Equality and Diversity Champion which is a new role within the Hertswise service! I have been in the role for just over 2 months now and so far, I am very excited to be apart of such an amazing service!

I have spent my first few months learning as much as I can about dementia and the services provided by all the organisations involved in the Hertswise service. Having learnt as much I can over my induction period, I am more than prepared to begin developing the new project which is around promoting equality and diversity within the Hertswise service.

My role as an Equality and Diversity champion is a very exciting and important part of the Hertswise service. I will be providing a specialised service for those within BAME and LGBTQ+ communities across Hertfordshire.

This service includes raising awareness of dementia and the dementia care services that exist through Hertswise. I will also be providing 1-2-1 and group support to seldom heard communities and developed training to help other services provide inclusive support to those living with dementia, their carers and their families.