Dementia

More than a badge by Arfan Hanif

Colleagues may have noticed in our offices signage stating ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’. Something seen across a number of organisations and businesses including on emergency service vehicles.  So what does it mean? Does it mean that staff in all organisations/employers who say they are ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ are competent to sensitively deal…

My real life insight into dementia (part 2) by Abigail Henry

Hi. I’m back with (I’m sure) the highly anticipated part B of my musings about dementia. As promised below is a transcript of my interview with a person living with a parent with dementia. I hope you enjoy the read and even better if it changes the way you might view those with and those…

My real life insight into dementia (part 1) by Abigail Henry

I’m a cognitive behavioural therapist who joined the IAPT team at Touchstone this month and this is my first ever blog. I’ve chosen dementia as my first topic, quite simply because I was asked! 🙂 Dementia is a term I understand but is not something which I’ve ever fully considered. I guess the way life…

Arts, Music and Dementia by Sarbjit Kaur

On the 13/14th April, Sikhs all around the world celebrate Vaisakhi and a procession called ‘Nagar Kirtan’ led by five Khalsa proceeds through public spaces. Vaisakhi marks the inauguration of the Khalsa, the body of committed Sikhs who have decided to dedicate their lives to the values of the Sikh Gurus. The Khalsa meaning “pure sovereign”…

The Nickel Silver Cutlery set with the Numbers on by Ralph Berry

There’s a set of cutlery from 1950, with the embossed numbers hammered in. It represents my fathers RAF National Service, over 2 years spent as a 20 year old young man straight from College, like his tools he made at English Electric in Thornbury after National Service that as an Apprentice, or the Morris Dancing…

A Vision for Dementia at Touchstone by Alison Lowe

Touchstone is proud of the contribution we make to the city-wide Leeds Dementia Strategy. There are an estimated 8,500 people living with dementia in Leeds, of whom just over 6,400 have a diagnosis.  Since 2013, the number of people with a dementia diagnosis in the city has increased by 40%. Touchstone, along with other charities,…

My experience working with Hamari Yaadain Dementia Cafe

As my time working for Touchstone comes to an end, I have been reflecting on my experience here and the things I have learnt. When I first started here last year, I had just finished university and this was my first paid experience working in a charity organisation. I remember being nervous and excited about…

Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café Health and Wellbeing Workshops with Phoenix

In April this year Touchstone BME Dementia Service partnered with Phoenix Health and Wellbeing to provide a year of massage therapy sessions for our Dementia Café members. Once a month, we have two therapists from Phoenix join us for an hour at the Café, and they provide a variety of different workshops for our group….

Interwoven Histories – Animation and poetry workshops with Leeds Irish CHIME Group

As part of our Celebrating Age ‘Interwoven Histories’ project, Pavilion and Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service partnered with Leeds Irish Health and Homes’ CHIME Art Group to deliver a three part workshop focusing on the groups ‘first impressions’ of Leeds when many of them migrated to England from Ireland. Prior to the workshops, Teresa who runs…

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside!

Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café visited Hornsea for a day of relaxation, delicious food and time to enjoy the beach. We arrived just before lunchtime and stopped at a little café, where we shared food prepared by some of our group members. A feast of samosas, chapattis, curry and an array of homemade chutneys! Members of…

Dementia or Jinns?

My friend’s uncle has been displaying a lot of unusual behaviours which are totally out of character. He believes his daughter is his wife who passed away a few years ago. He does not recognise his family members’ true identity at all – he refers to his son as though it is his brother and…

Cromwell Mount Becoming Dementia Friendly

Dementia is something we all need to be aware of at Touchstone as it can affect all of our lives.  Although most of the service users who access Cromwell Mount do not have a Dementia diagnosis we recognise that not everyone displays the symptoms or disclose if they do. To ensure that we are in…

What is Dementia and How Can We Support People with Dementia?

You may be aware that in Touchstone we have Dementia Champions linked to our main sites. I am the Dementia Champion for Haslewood Drive offices and the Touchstone IAPT team where we offer treatment for people experiencing common mental health services, with a focus on patients from BAME and marginalised communities. We think about dementia…

Becoming a Dementia Friendly Organisation

Since 2015 Touchstone has been working hard to be a Dementia Friendly organisation. Through the leadership of the Dementia Champions group awareness around Dementia including some practical actions as enabled Touchstone to become more of a dementia friendly organisation. One of the key aims of the Dementia Champions is to ensure there is a consistent…

Caring for a loved one with Dementia

I started working with adults with memory issues in 2016 and it was around that time I noticed changes in my Great Nan Rose. She had always been forgetful and other family members didn’t notice the subtle changes but I did. It started with little things like getting people’s names wrong. This wasn’t uncommon as…

Dementia Action at Touchstone

Touchstone is committed to becoming Dementia friendly, and in recent months we have been focusing on what changes we can make to make our sites easy for people with dementia to feel relaxed in. This has involved fitting new carpets and brightly coloured toilet seats, which can be helpful for people with dementia, as it…

‘The Meaning of Food’ – Poem by Cha Da Cup & Ian Duhig

Touchstone, Pavilion and Ian Duhig are pleased to share their new poem ‘The Meaning of Food’. This poem was co-written by Ian Duhig and Touchstone’s Cha DaCup group, who have now ‘crossed the threshold’ to become published authors, as their poem has been featured in the recently released in ‘The Cookbook Project Sewerby Hall and…

Interwoven Histories – Touchstone’s Service Users Share Their Life Stories at Leeds Industrial Museum

Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service has been working closely with art organisation Pavilion and sound artist Ryoko Akama to gather oral history recordings of the life stories and experiences of older people who were first generation migrant workers in textile factories in Leeds. These recordings are currently being showcased as part of Ryoko Akama’s Loiner Or exhibition…

Interwoven Histories – Cha Da Cup group to publish poem with poet Ian Duhig

As part of part of Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service’s on-going partnership with Pavilion, poet Ian Duhig hosted two workshops with the Cha Da Cup group who regularly attend Touchstone on Mondays to exercise, share food, meet with friends and get involved in lots of different activities. The workshops have been a fantastic celebration of food, culture and…

BME Dementia Service features in Dementia Friendly Newsletter

Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service has featured in Leeds Older People’s Forum’s Dementia Friendly Newsletter. The newsletter features two of the projects the BME Dementia Service are working on at present; the Interwoven Histories project in partnership with Pavilion, and our West Yorkshire Playhouse partnership in which we are writing a play about the lives and…

Interwoven Histories – Cha Da Cup group create silhouette portraits with Simon Warner and his antique chair

As part of part of Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service’s on-going partnership with Pavilion, artist Simon Warner delivered a workshop with the Cha Da Cup group who regularly attend Touchstone on Mondays to exercise,  share food, meet with friends and get involved in lots of different activities. Simon’s workshop was centred on creating silhouettes, an age-old…

Hamari Yaadain

Hamari Yaadain – Touchstone’s monthly dementia cafe for people from the South Asian community – was recently featured on the Alzheimer’s Society website and in their Living With Dementia magazine. The articles author quotes Ripaljeet Kaur (Touchstone’s lead worker on dementia): “Groups like this one are really important for people from black, Asian and minority…

Interwoven Histories – Artist film workshop with Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café

As part of the Interwoven Histories Art workshops, Pavilion held a film workshop with members of Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service’s Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café. Will from Pavilion brought along a projector to the group and showed Nathaniel Dorsky’s 16mm silent film Autumn (2016).  Towards the end of 2015, Dorsky captured footage of the seasonal changes…

Interwoven Histories – Hamari Yaadain group design flags for their roots, culture & identity

We are pleased to share that Carol Sorhaindo ran another fantastic community workshop with Touchstone’s Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café members. This time, Carol used the resilient buddleja plant as inspiration to think about our roots, migration and what gives us strength in difficult or uncertain times. The buddleja plant, which is common in Britain and Asia is known for…

Interwoven Histories – A new creative project for older BME people in Leeds!

This year, Touchstone has partnered with visual arts organisation, Pavilion to deliver “Interwoven Histories” – a  project which aims to engage older people from BME communities in creative arts workshops. Wednesday 18th October marked the first workshop of our exciting new programme, when Carol Sorhaindo introduced the Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café members to the use…

Celebration event for the International Day of Older People at Leeds City Museum

To celebrate the International Day of Older People on Sunday the 1st of October, Leeds City Museum curated a wonderful display of thousands of forget-me-not flowers which had been created by community groups around Leeds. As a symbol of memory and love, the forget-me-not flower was chosen to raise awareness of Dementia, and as you…

Being a Dementia Champion – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Geraldine, from Touchstone’s IAPT team, talks about the role of a Dementia Champion. My name is Geraldine and I am one of the Dementia Champions with Touchstone. I work in the Touchstone IAPT service where we meet people with common problems with mood and mental health such as anxiety and depression and offer a range…

Dementia journey with my mother – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Stephanie Lewis from Touchstone’s Community Development Service talks about how her mother’s dementia impacted on the whole family. I first became aware of Dementia when I studied for counselling back in 2000-2008 however, my first personal experience of this was when my mother was diagnosed in 2005. My father passed away in 1998 and they…

Afternoon tea – supporting a neighbour #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Juana Kwok from Touchstone Support Centre talks about being there for a neighbour who’s husband is developing dementia. “I’ve seen you around the garden trimming your beautiful flowers.” “I tried not to disturb you.” “Ooh, please do.” “How are you?” “Yes, I am fine, thank you.” “How’s Joe…” “He’s not so good, he’s getting worse,…