Developing a Deeper Understanding of Dementia

Speedwell Court, dementia-friendly care home, hosted a Dementia Awareness Day on Friday 17th May, welcoming those caring for, supporting and working with people living with the condition.

The day fell within Dementia Action Week, the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual campaign that brings people together to take action on dementia.

Speedwell Court’s free-to-attend event offered a wealth of insight, tips and information. Carers, family members and professionals working in the sector were helped to develop a deeper understanding of what those living with dementia go through and how to enhance their lives.

The home, located on Mansbridge Road in Southampton’s West End, invited guest speakers to deliver workshops. Dr Katie Hough, from the University of Southampton, led a session about the link between hearing loss and dementia. Val Down then provided an introduction to Dementia Friends, which recruits and trains volunteer champions to raise awareness of dementia in their local community.

Attendees were also able to have a virtual reality experience and see what life is like through the eyes of someone living with dementia.

Feedback from the day was extremely positive. One attendee commented: “The day was very informative and interesting, and I felt comfortable learning alongside like-minded people.

“It is wonderful that Speedwell Court organises days like this, and I would be keen to attend more in the future.”

The day also provided the opportunity for attendees to find out more about other services that the home offers.

In addition to one-off events, Speedwell Court facilitates free training sessions for Dementia Friends, which are led by Val on a regular basis. The home also hosts a free monthly community lunch club for people living with dementia and their carers, followed by an afternoon singing activity where they are joined by the home’s residents.

One attendee at the Dementia Awareness Day remarked, “As a carer for my husband, with no transport, it is good to know I can bring him here for more events that will be beneficial for the both of us.”

Speedwell Court’s Customer Relations Manager, Justine Owen, said, “It was wonderful to be able to invite people caring for those affected by dementia to take part in the Dementia Awareness Day, alongside local care workers. We were glad to provide the opportunity for them to learn from each other and experts in the field.

“We feel it is important for our home to be seen as a place where carers and professionals can receive support and develop their understanding of dementia, and we are pleased to have strengthened our position as a leading provider in the local community with our latest event.”

The next Dementia Friends session will take place on Thursday 20th June from 11am-12:30pm. If you are interested in this event or the community lunch club (date TBC), please book to secure your place, please call Justine on 02382 356 990 or email (both events are free but spaces are limited, so booking is advised).