Tessa* and Vince* had always been a sociable couple, but after Tessa was diagnosed with dementia she felt that many of her friends were dismissive of her struggles; they didn’t quite understand what she was going through.
After a home visit with their local Hertswise dementia worker, the couple decided to come along to a Hertswise Hub, excited for the opportunity to meet other people who could empathise with their experiences. By the end of that first afternoon with the group, Tessa and Vince approached the Hub leader with delight – they had gotten so much more from that session than they ever imagined, they explained. They had found people they really could talk to, and activities they could enjoy as a couple.
The following week, the Hub ran a seated exercise session using rubber resistance bands. Vince, whose mobility is limited by diabetes and other conditions, was pleased to find that this was a physical exercise he could take part in. “I can do this,” he said. “Why has nobody told me about this before? Not my doctor nor my diabetes nurse. This is something I will do at home!”
Having found not only a community, but activities they could both enjoy, Tessa and Vince were glad to have discovered their local hub. They have been readily welcomed back every week.
Jenny* lived nearby her mother Sandra*, and did a lot to help her during the day as Sandra had begun to show signs of memory loss. It wasn’t long before Jenny noticed that Sandra was neglecting herself in her daughter’s absence; she struggled with basic self-care, forgetting when she had last eaten and skipping meals.
Because her mother hadn’t been formally diagnosed with dementia, Jenny struggled to find the support she needed until she came across Hertswise.
Jenny reached out to our team to explain her difficult situation and was relieved to hear that her local dementia support worker could help. She and her mother were referred to a variety of local services who could help with some of the gaps in care, such as Meals on Wheels. Sandra was also invited to try 1:1 support, and both she and Jenny are looking forward to joining their local Dementia Hub and Carer’s Group, where they can become part of a community who can understand their journey.
As his dementia progressed, Archie* started to become withdrawn and reluctant to speak much, especially with new people. Concerned, his wife Margaret and daughter Jen got in touch with Hertswise for more information about their local Dementia Hubs. Hertswise Dementia Hubs offer a sense of community among local people affected by dementia, as well as access to information, support and a variety activities based on the needs and interests of attendees.
Archie came to his first Hub session accompanied by Margaret and Jen to hear about the activities planned for the day. Archie joined in with the chair-based exercise session, which he decided he “enjoyed a lot” – so much so that he agreed he would return the following week.
Although nervous, Archie turned up to the next session by himself, with both Margaret and Jen rather anxious to see how he would cope at the Hub alone. When Archie arrived, a Hertswise team member waited at the door to greet him and tell him all about the singer they had visiting that day. Excited for an afternoon of live music, Archie overcame his nerves and was ready to dive into the session.
At the end of the afternoon, Margaret and Jen came to meet Archie and were thrilled to find him with a huge smile on his face. “I enjoyed that session,” he told them.
Archie has been attending his local Hub ever since.
We are looking for a volunteer to support our staff in marketing the services they provide to local people affected by dementia. Ideally, you will have a full driving licence and access to a car as it will be necessary to visit our local hubs and support groups to keep engaged with the service.
This is an interesting and varied role, with opportunities to work on social media, website management, press releases and more. You will be well supported by our staff and appropriate guidance will be provided.
We’re looking for someone outgoing and creative, with excellent communication skills and an interest in both traditional and digital marketing practices. If this sounds like you, please get in touch!
Debbie*, 41, is both wife and carer to 66 year old Mike*, who has been living with young-onset dementia. While preparing to return to work part-time after an extended leave, Debbie became concerned about finding someone she trusted to support and care for her husband while she was away.
Debbie got in touch with Hertswise, who were able to refer her to several services that could help. Through these referrals, Home Instead found Mike a companion who could provide one-to-one support while his wife was working. The people at Crossroads assisted Debbie with an application for a ‘Helping You Care’ grant that would help them financially as she could no longer work full time.
Meanwhile, the team at Hertswise put Debbie in touch with our Young Onset Dementia Worker, who runs groups and activities for local people affected by young-onset dementia. Debbie and Mike started attending one of these local groups early this year, and have been looking forward to it every week since.