A housing association is on a mission to become a dementia friendly organisation.
Cartrefi Conwy has teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to create an army of Dementia Friends.
As well as training its own staff, the organisation is running a series of workshops throughout the county for tenants.
They’re also members of groups in Llanfairfechan and Abergele that are campaigning to make them dementia-friendly towns.
The aim of the workshops is to get out the message that it’s perfectly possible to live well with the disease.
The 45-minute sessions are being delivered by Cartrefi Conwy’s three Dementia Champions who have received free training and support from the Alzheimer’s Society, as part of their Live Well with dementia programme.
Among them are Nerys Veldhuizen, Cartrefi Conwy’s older person engagement officer and tenant board Member, Colin Matthews, who conducted a training session at the library in Penmaenmawr.
According to Nerys, Cartrefi Conwy was keen to raise awareness and become a fully dementia friendly organisation with every member of staff becoming a Dementia Friend.
She said “We have two members of staff who are recognised dementia champions. We go out into the community with Colin to deliver dementia awareness sessions to as many people in the community as we can.
“The premise behind the sessions is based around five key messages that will help remove the stigma of dementia. The idea is if we can get those five messages across in each session then we are going a long way to achieving our goal and help our communities become dementia friendly.
“The aim of the dementia friends sessions is to increase the understanding of dementia, and think about the small things that individuals can do to make a difference to people affected by dementia in our communities.”
“The main points are that dementia is not a natural part of ageing, it’s caused by diseases of the brain.
“It’s not just about losing your memory. It can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks. It’s possible to live with dementia and there is more to a person than their dementia.