St Clare Hospice recognised for its work to become Dementia Friendly

Charity / Thu 1st Feb 2024 at 07:24am

ST Clare Hospice has been recognised by the Alzheimer’s Society for its commitment to improving the experience of people living with dementia, their families and carers.

The Hastingwood-based charity has been awarded ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly’ accreditation for its work to better meet the needs of those affected by the progressive neurological disease.

This has included developing an action plan to ensure it continues to build upon the good work it is already doing to support people with dementia to live the best and fullest lives possible and contribute to community life. According to statistics, there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with that figure set to rise to 1.6million by 2040.

St Clare already runs a successful Namaste Care programme that supports people with advanced dementia to engage in meaningful activities to promote an improved quality of life as well as Introduction to Namaste Care workshops for paid and unpaid carers.

It also runs regular Dementia Friends sessions for its staff and volunteers to increase their understanding of how dementia affects a person and the small everyday things they can do to help, and plans to roll out dementia training for its retail staff working in its shops across the St Clare catchment area.

In addition, the Hospice is launching a new dementia-friendly gardening club in February that will take place alongside its established Dementia Carers’ Café on Thursday mornings.

Other objectives include continuing to develop the Hospice’s sensory garden and reviewing signage in and around the Hospice building to ensure it is easier to navigate.

St Clare’s Namaste Care project co-ordinator Joanne Morrison said: “As an organisation, we acknowledge that for people with dementia to feel confident and supported in accessing the services that St Clare offers, we have a duty to continually improve our knowledge and appreciation of the condition.

“This accreditation from the Alzheimer’s Society demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of people affected by dementia by ensuring the Hospice is not only a place where they feel welcome, understood and respected by our staff and volunteers, but where they are valued and supported to lead the lives they want to for as long as possible.”

At the beginning of January, the Hospice welcomed Caroline Ashton, Admiral Nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust and chair of the Harlow Dementia Friendly Community, and Kelly Tarling, from Harlow’s Rainbow Services and vice chair of Harlow Dementia Friendly Community, to present staff with their certificate. A Dementia Friendly Community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.

Kelly Tarling said: “Harlow Dementia Friendly Communities are delighted to have worked with St Clare Hospice to gain their Dementia Friendly Status and we hope that more organisations and businesses will follow suit.”

If you are caring for someone with dementia and would like to find out more about how St Clare Hospice can support you, visit stclarehospice.org.uk. Alternatively, email [email protected] or call 07534 031702.

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