Dementia Centres

There’s a Dementia Centre in Droitwich! Opened last month.

And it’s brilliant.

Dementia Centres have come over from Holland. I first heard of these at the UK Dementia Congress in Telford, from a professor who has developed them, Dr Droes.

Have a look at this presentation from last year’s dementia action alliance conference by Prof Dawn Brooker.

Click to access Dawn.pdf

Dementia Centres are places where people affected by dementia go for social activity, mutual support, fun, food, confidence, company…Carers and family included.

At Droitwich the visitors are “members”; it is their centre. They decide what they want to do. They choose and buy the food. They prepare it (mostly). They eat when they want to.

There is no clinically based system or format for the place. Members are not fitted into a set of clothes that someone else bought. Not quite fitting, tight here, loose there…buttons won’t do up…

It’s open three days a week, with the other two days for externally organised activities, like an Alzheimer’s Society drop in cafe, or cognitive stimulation therapy courses…

The members love it. The manager said there is a wonderful trusting, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Another Meeting Centre is being planned at Leominster, to open early next year. I went to a meeting of their ‘Initiative Group” the other week. They’ve got so many organisations involved and working to make it happen. Again, the atmosphere was productive, excited, expectant.

Apparently Hereford Council heard about the Droitwich Centre and decided they wanted one too! That’s how ideas spread. Networks. Copying great practice. Excitement.

I’m hoping we might be able to get one in Shropshire in the next couple of years. And another, and another.

Around our huge county.

These Meeting Centres could be the big development for Britain. There are 125+ in Holland, from 25 last year! Really successful, with research evidence that they work.

To improve wellbeing and life for people affected by Dementia.

You can join a workshop in the Spring to learn more, free.

Let’s get this movement moving here in the UK.

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