A shared adventure
Sing, chat, be actively involved in the community, while living with dementia
TO LIVE with dementia is a challenge that most people would not wish for themselves or their loved ones. Yet it is a reality for an increasing number of people within the Jewish community. How can anyone cope with this diagnosis and is it an unbearable sentence?
Jewish Care’s experience is that people living with dementia and their family members wish to remain active and involved in the community. Far from giving up on life, they embrace opportunities to live life to the full and where dementia presents challenges, they seek solutions.
The Sam Beckman Centre in Hendon, The Leonard Sainer Centre in Edgware and The Dennis Centre in Redbridge welcome up to 25 members a day. These centres offer a lively social environment, where people can come together to enjoy their shared cultural heritage and general interests.
The staff and volunteers work in ways that support members to retain choice and control in every aspect of their lives; they place great emphasis on a person’s abilities and develop strategies to help cope with dementia. Their family caregivers also benefit from the temporary break.
Over the past year, Jewish Care has established activity groups designed for family carers and people living with dementia to enjoy together. In partnership with The Alzheimer’s Society, Jewish Care runs the Singing for the Brain group, which meets weekly. Around 15 couples come along, have fun, enjoy singing and receive support from one another and from professionals.
Another popular group has been the Memory Way Café, held at Otto Schiff in Golders Green. This provides an ideal forum for people to meet and share experi- ences, issues and views within an informal, relaxed setting. The success of this café has inspired the Dennis Centre to set up its own memory café.
Jewish Care’s staff and volunteers often feel inspired by the joie de vivre of people living with dementia and they are committed to ensuring they have opportunities for fulfilment in their lives.
An example of this is the recently forged link with the social enterprise company, Dementia Adventure. The primary purpose is to explore ways of providing opportunities for people living with dementia to have access to a variety of outdoor pursuits and to maintain a sense of adventure in their lives.
With Jewish Care support, older people can retain their joie de vivre