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DFC at The Alzheimer’s Show

Last weekend two members of DFC staff, Wendy and Kathryn, travelled to London to The Alzheimer’s Show. Read Wendy’s report on their time at the event...
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We’re hiring!

There are just two days left to apply for one of our job vacancies! Support Workers We are looking for Support Workers to be part of our team, supporting older people to keep active and be creative. To fulfil this role you need to be outgoing, compassionate and enjoy working with older people, as well as possessing good communication skills, versatility and the ability to “think of your feet”. An understanding of dementia and/or experience in the voluntary sector is an advantage but not essential as training will be given. £10.50 per hour, hours negotiable.   Receptionist/Clerical Assistant We need a Receptionist/Clerical Assistant to ensure smooth and effective day-to-day running of the DFC office based in Helmsdale Community Centre. You must be computer literate, proficient with the standard Microsoft package (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). Good people and communication skills are a must, as are adaptability and initiative. Minimum of 15 hours per week. Salary dependent upon hours.   For more details of either of these vacancies contact Steve Henderson by phone 01431 821655 or email steve@dementia-friendly.com...
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Thoughts about rural housing

Everyone who lives in the Highlands will be aware of the realities of owning or renting a home in our rural area. Unlike Scotland’s big cities or ever-growing towns, we are not inundated with new housing estates emerging, one after the other, and most of us would agree that we prefer it that way. However, as we age and have a greater need for support at home, our focus shifts. While we previously relished the quiet life away from the hustle and bustle, we now find ourselves thinking more and more about how steep the stairs are, how narrow the hallway is, or indeed whether or not we or a family member can easily get into or out of our home. At the same time, many old houses in the Highlands are not easy to adapt for those with growing care at home needs. This can lead to people needing to move away from their community to find a property that is more accessible. The cost of owning or renting a property in the Highlands is often too much for residents to manage. As we know, fuel poverty is an increasing problem in our area, particularly with the large numbers of older properties with...
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DFC in Hungary

Last week, we attended the 31st Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, held in Budapest, Hungary. Our Operations Director Patrick Gray joined around 850 participants covering all regions of the world at the event. During the conference, Patrick presented findings of our trial using GPS tracking devices carried out with local people with dementia who wished to continue living an active life in their community. The presentation received strong praise, particularly from people with dementia from around the world, for its emphasis on human rights to freedom. Patrick also presented posters showcasing the work we are doing to improve local housing and our Windows of the World project, which is showing local people at the Helmsdale Well-being Hub how big screen technology can provide opportunities for remote activities and communication around support and well-being. At the conference, Patrick met with a range of individuals and organisations from around the world who were interested in finding out more about the work of DFC in East Sutherland. He said: “I was delighted to get the opportunity to showcase the work we’re doing in Sutherland on a global stage, as well as learning from others. There has been a lot of interest, in particular from representatives with their...
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What makes a community?

In March 2015, we received a funding boost courtesy of Life Changes Trust, as part of their commitment to funding activities that support people with dementia and their carers in Scotland. At the end of February, we attended a meeting run by Life Changes Trust alongside representatives from all of the other dementia friendly community initiatives they support. The meeting provided an opportunity for us to share our work and learn how others around Scotland are becoming more dementia friendly. Some of the figures presented at the meeting were impressive: over 2,900 people with dementia have been actively involved in dementia friendly activities; nearly 1,500 members of the public have attended dementia friendly events; and 64 new partnerships have been developed. These programmes are proving to be very effective with some heart-warming stories and anecdotes highlighting the positive responses from people with dementia and their carers. In our rural areas, we often have a strong sense of community. That is, ‘community’ in the conventional sense of the word. What is not often realised, but became clear at the Life Changes Trust meeting, is that communities come in many different forms. We heard about the work of groups set up for people with dementia who...
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Patrick is @HI Voices

This week our Operations Manager, Patrick, is curating the @HI_Voices rotational Twitter account. @HI_Voices provides the opportunity for those living in the Highlands or Islands of Scotland to share their lives and experiences. While Patrick will be tweeting all week, here are just a couple of the pictures he has already shared. To read more visit the @HI_Voices twitter feed.    ...
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What's on at the Helmsdale Hub?
Our vision
For our communities in the Highlands to recognise and embrace the challenges a life with dementia presents to the families affected, enabling them to live life to its full potential.
What we do
1. We work with local services and businesses – starting here in East Sutherland – to help our local communities become friendly and fulfilling places to live for people with dementia and their families.
2. We increase local opportunities for people with dementia so that they can take part in their chosen activities of life for as long as they wish to.
3. We increase empathy and support for dementia carers by developing a shared understanding of the practical and emotional challenges they face.
4. We challenge the myths and stigma associated with dementia which acts as barriers to change.
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