The WI has always been a place to make new friendships, and this month’s meeting made all the members present into special friends – we are now ‘dementia friends’. Our speaker was Amy Northern, a lively young Dementia Friend Champion, who became interested in the topic when her grandmother was affected.
Amy encouraged us to think differently as we played dementia bingo, which tested our knowledge and perceptions of dementia, and ensured we now know the five key facts about it – it isn’t a natural part of ageing, it can affect thinking, communicating and the ability to do everyday tasks as well as memory, it’s possible to live well with dementia, and there’s more to a person than their dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Society, which has developed the idea of dementia friends to change the way people think, talk and act about dementia, is hoping to increase the numbers from just over a million at present to four million by 2020, to create dementia-friendly communities by turning understanding of dementia into positive action. You will be able to identify us as dementia friends by the neat little badges Amy gave us.
Our President, Karen Janas, told us about her trip to Buckingham Palace for the WI centenary garden party, and we also heard a report on the national WI AGM from Karen Brooks, our Secretary. The various interest groups reported on their activities, ranging through reading books and writing stories to lunch and supper clubs. Other activities include a day in Haldon Forest in August, an outing to Proms in Wellington Park, and an evening of bingo in September.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 20 August, 7.30 at the Beambridge Inn. Our speaker will talk about driftwood art, do come and join us.
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