Community

Dementia Friendly Charlbury


Dementia Friendly Charlbury is a local group of volunteers who want Charlbury to be a friendly and welcoming place for everyone to live, especially people with memory and thinking and/or communication problems. Our vision is for residents, businesses and organisations in Charlbury who are supportive to people with memory and thinking and/or communication problems, so that people, families and carers who are affected are able to live well in our town.

We aim to be a local contact point for anyone who is worried about their memory and thinking skills, or who is worried about someone they know, and who wants to know how to get support.

How to contact us

If you have any comments or concerns to pass on to DFC or if you would like to join us, you can contact us via Sue Smith on 01608 811007 or Meryl Smith on 01608 810192 or email us at charlburydf@gmail.com .

What is dementia?

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. It is more common in people over 65, but dementia can also affect younger people. Most people associate dementia with loss of memory, but symptoms can also include confusion and difficulties with thinking things through, problem-solving and language.

In dementia, these symptoms may cause problems with learning new skills, such as using a new phone, or they may cause loss of familiar skills, such as cooking a meal, driving, managing medication or paying household bills. This can cause people to become anxious or lose confidence.

Sometimes people also experience changes in mood or behave in ways that are out of character, such as becoming withdrawn or irritable.

This can happen as we get older but dementia is not an in-built part of growing old. Dementia usually occurs in people over 65 but young-onset dementia can affect people under this age. The most common disease is Alzheimer's disease and there are also 2 or 3 others that feature more often.

Dementia Awareness: are you aware?

Dementia Friendly Charlbury is keen to offer dementia-awareness sessions to local "customer-facing" businesses and community activity groups. Awareness sessions are run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions, who are trained and supported by the Alzheimer's Society. The sessions are run free of charge at a venue of your choice (although if your chosen venue charges for use, you will need to cover that cost). Each Information Session lasts around one hour. You will learn more about dementia and how you can help to create dementia friendly communities.

If your business or group would be interested, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Useful sources of information about dementia and support services available

Dementia Oxfordshire

Dementia Oxfordshire is a service offering information, advice and support to people diagnosed and living with dementia and their families/carers.

Their team of Dementia Advisers meet people within the community including home visits, support people in memory clinics, set up community groups and generally help people with dementia and their carers feel valued, informed and supported. The Dementia Adviser covering patients of the Charlbury Medical Centre is Andrew Dyer.

Dementia Oxfordshire operates a helpline for people to ring for advice and support on a wide range of issues. Staffed by their Dementia Advisers, the helpline is in operation from 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday on 01865 410210.

Further information about the service is available on the Dementia Oxfordshire website www.dementiaoxfordshire.org.uk

The website also contains useful information about support available for people living with dementia and their carers. Go to the Information page and find the West Oxon Dementia Information prescription under "Our Directory of Oxfordshire Services". There are also 6 boxes focussing on different kinds of information which give access to a Search facility.

Alzheimers Society

Visit their website: www.alzheimers.org.uk for a range of useful information about different types of dementia and how to live as well as possible if you are someone living with dementia or a carer.

Dementia Friends

Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends initiative aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia. Becoming a Dementia Friend simply means finding out more about how dementia affects a person and then, armed with this understanding, doing small everyday things that help. For example, being patient in a shop queue, or spending time with someone you know who's living with dementia.

For more information visit the Dementia Friends website: www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Are you worried about your memory?

It happens to all of us from time to time. You can't put a name to a face. You go upstairs and then forget what you went up for. You sometimes take a bit longer to find the right word.

Most of the time such slips are a nuisance, rather than a sign of something more serious. And, of course, some of us are more forgetful than others. But if you are worried that your memory is getting noticeably worse, or if memory loss is beginning to affect your everyday life, it is important to seek early advice because it could be an early sign of dementia.

You might also be concerned about someone close to you.

Memory problems are common. Many of us notice that our memory becomes less reliable as we get older. It's important to know that there are many reasons for memory loss apart from dementia. These can include depression, infections and vitamin and thyroid deficiencies. The earlier you seek help the better, as there may be support or treatment available that can help you. For more information, go to this website: www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryworry.

But sometimes memory loss can be an early sign of a medical condition such as dementia, so it's important to seek early advice.

If you are worried about your memory, visit your GP. They will talk to you (and anyone with you) about your concerns and possibly arrange for further investigation. You may be referred to a local memory clinic or hospital specialist where further assessment will be performed and a more certain diagnosis can be made.

If you are concerned about the memory of someone close to you, encourage them to visit their GP. Support the person to make the appointment and offer to go with them if necessary.

If a diagnosis of dementia is confirmed, there is help available. You can phone Dementia Oxfordshire, our local support service, on 01865 410210. Their website is: www.dementiaoxfordshire.org.uk.

(This article has been sourced from the Alzheimer's Society)

Last updated: Mon 20 Nov

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