One of the things that contributes to the Wednesday Group’s undoubted success is that it’s not just a group for people with dementia.
It started that way and early members all had dementia. Some were accompanied by carers, usually their wives or husbands. It often seemed that the carers enjoyed coming as much, if not more, than those they brought with them.
Some years on, and the group has several members who used to bring their partners but now, following a bereavement, come alone. Quite apart from the fact that they come because they enjoy the company and have made friends within the group, they are an enormous asset. They have long since accepted that someone with dementia is just that: a person with a problem, not some weird alien from outer space who thinks they must keep repeating things so the earthlings can understand them!
They’re good at offering unobtrusive help too – a nod to tell someone it’s their turn at cards, a friendly greeting that tells them they are recognised and welcomed. Many subtle movements, all carried out to the accompaniment of friendly chatter, help the person with dementia to feel accepted and valued as well as being better orientated to their environment.
Experienced members are invaluable. They transform what could seem like a ‘service’ for people with memory problems into a social club that anyone can enjoy. They’re brilliant!
If you care for someone with dementia or you yourself have a diagnosis and you think the Wednesday Group might be helpful, do get in touch. For more information, contact Jan on 01777 709774 or 07969 180067, or email Janwilliamson133@gmail.com for the latest on the group and current availability. There is sometimes a waiting list but not always.