Welcome to October 2020.

Hello and welcome to autumn! The picture shown above is of Abington Park and it conjures up a time when some of us look forward to cosy nights in, hot chocolate and crisp walks in the outdoors. In the current situation with Covid 19, however, this is nothing too different from what we have already been experiencing other than a change in temperature.

So what is new with Northamptonshire Carers Dementia Service? Well we are continuing to grow our online/Zoom groups. These include our dementia friendly choir along with our sit and keep fit class. You don’t have to be a singer or athlete to join these as they are for all abilities so please feel free to come along and have fun. All of our groups are dementia friendly. We also run a support group for those of you who are caring for someone with Dementia – this is your time to offload and get answers to questions that might worry you. We have recently posted some factsheets on our website which you may find helpful and will shortly be offering these in various languages. One of the factsheets talks about Sundowning. Many of you would have heard of this and experienced what it is. It is referred to as a ‘state of confusion’ and often occurs in the late afternoon, into the evening. It can cause a variety of behaviours such as heightened confusion, anxiety and aggression. Someone struggling with sundowning may also start to pace or walk about. There is often a link to tiredness or hunger/thirst or pain. This is particularly the case for people with Dementia. If you want more information on this, we have produced a factsheet that we hope is useful.

October is also Black History Month. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive charity who embraces diversity. We appreciate that there may be more that we can be doing and welcome suggestions. We want to be thinking about minority groups at all times, not just because October has this dedicated month and put together some thoughts around how dementia can affect people from various backgrounds.

We recently started our Poems and Rhymes Sessions and welcome anyone who wishes to join. There is a lot of research into music therapy for people with dementia but we also know that language is one thing we have in common and one thing that we often still have, even with dementia. Poems and Rhyme will engage the brain as well as provide fun!

We have been very busy making plans for events for you to enjoy. With thanks to funding from Carer Trust and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, we have been able to put together some fantastic support that we hope you will find helpful. These include things such as reminiscence workshops and gardening/floral sessions. They may be virtual but we’re sure they’ll be popular! We will be posting more information soon but please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in any of the groups mentioned in this newsletter. Our telephone number is 01933 677837.