White Plants

Let’s talk about dementia and take action

We encourage and support organisations, services and individuals to take positive actions to build Dementia Inclusive Environments (social, built, physical, cultural).
We do this by providing platforms for all to engage in dialogue.
Dementia Dialogue's work is delivered in partnership with
people living with dementia and carers.

 
Roof Garden

Angelika Welzel-Connolly
Founder and Director

"The wellbeing of a person with dementia and their carer is at the core of our work. We believe positive dialogue and taking action, is the key to living well with dementia"

Crossrail Place Roof Garden
Angelika is currently a Doctoral Research student in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling. She has obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling and an MA in Social-Sciences with the Open University.

She has attended various short courses on dementia including ‘Reminiscence in Dementia Care’ and has worked with people with dementia and dual diagnosis over eight years as a project manager and Dementia Advocate.

She has worked with people with learning disabilities for over ten years in various settings and roles, such as a self-advocacy supporter, leading and co-ordinating self-advocacy groups and managing a small day service project for people with enduring mental health conditions.

 

Due to COVID all courses and consultations can be delivered virtually.

Dementia Awareness – an Introduction

This course is aimed at care workers, activity co-ordinators and scheme managers. It is part of a professional development programme.

The aim of the course is to expand your understanding of the emotional and physical needs of a person with dementia. Participants will learn how to engage with, include and involve a person with dementia, staff and the wider community.

In our experience just small changes, such as communication, activities, signage in the home of a person with dementia and/or their family members, can help them to live well with dementia.

Dementia Dialogue is currently working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich on developing and co-ordinating the Dementia Inclusive Greenwich initiative.

Through individual and group consultations we can discuss strategies, stimulation ideas and dementia inclusive environments.

Consultations

This course is aimed at people with learning disabilities who would like to find out more about dementia and how it can affect people.

The course is half day and will be taught in an accessible way using easy read and pictures. Participants will be provided with easy read hand outs. This course can be tailored to the group’s needs and wishes.

Dementia Awareness Made Accessible

This course will show you how to use reminiscence and at the same time encourage people with dementia to voice their wishes and needs.

This is a one day course, delivered at your place of work. You will be provided with hand outs and have produced a small reminiscence session outline tailored to your work.

Independent Dementia
Advocacy and Reminiscence

We can also deliver training and give presentations related to our research visit to Japan into dementia care, which was part funded by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. 

 

The purpose of the visit was to produce a practical toolkit for carers of people with dementia. The toolkit, A Practical Toolkit for Carers, based on this research can be downloaded here and on the toolkit image.
Angelika's doctoral research is an extension of the findings from her visit to Japan.

Dementia Dialogue Toolkit
Toolkit_edited.png
Click the image to open the toolkit
 
 
 

Knitting for Well-being 

Dementia Dialogue runs weekly Knitting for Well-being group, beginners are welcome, and it is a drop-in session.
Usually, we meet at artFix artfix.org.uk but during COVID-19 we have been meeting online on Zoom.
Sessions are Mondays, except bank holidays, 2pm - 3pm. 
 

We can offer to run Knitting for Well-being sessions in various community and festival settings. We have run sessions at the UK National Dementia Congress, Wellcome Collection, the Normal? Festival of The Brain, and local libraries.   

Knitting is one of those crafts which have positive health benefits for our brain health, physical health and mental wellbeing. From the beginning to the end, the sense of achievement is uplifting.  

Reading a pattern and learning a new stitch, exercises our brain muscles. Learning new skills, neuroscientists explain, is excellent for the neuroplasticity of our brains.

‘The adult brain is not only capable of changing but does so continuously throughout life, in response to everything we do and every experience we have’  

Moheb Costandi, (2016 p.3) Neuroplasticity.

 

Creating a piece of knitting has many steps, which are both enjoyable and challenging at times, in a good positive way.  

Not only does knitting give the brain some exercise but also our fingers and hands. The colours of the different yarns and textures can bring joy.  

People with arthritis have reported knitting has helped them and using bamboo knitting needles instead of the traditional steel ones, have made this possible. 

Other health benefits validated by various research including ‘Knit for Peace’ knitforpeace.org.uk and
personal experiences from the knitters' who are part of our Knitting for Well-being group:
 

  • Reduces depression and anxiety

  • Increases sense of wellbeing

  • Slows the onset of dementia 

  • Distracts from chronic pain

  • Provides an opportunity for creativity (at a time of reducing capacity) 

  • Lowers blood pressure – according to online DIY community diys.com, 18.75% is the amount by which knitting can lower the resting heart rate. 

  • Reduces loneliness and isolation – for example joining a knitting group and/or signing to an online knitting community such as Ravelry ravelry.com

  • Groups provide an opportunity to making new friends, having a laugh, share experiences and skills. 

  • Increases sense of usefulness and inclusion in society - for example, during COVID-19 lockdown, the knitting group knitted hearts for care home residents to cheer them up.

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Finding Joy in Small Things

Joy is relative, what brings me joy might be different to you.

 

I might find joy at looking at sun rays reflecting on a stone, smelling the sweet sense of a flower or walking by the river Thames.

What brings you joy?

Yours sincerely, Angelika

Tony Busby reads his poem, Home, in remembrance of his mother who had Alzheimer’s disease

HOME by Tony Busby

Drifting, drifting, drifting... Skipping down the road

Satchel floating on my back Lightness of load

First in the classroom

Lessons soon begun

Hopscotch in the playground

Back home at a run

After school

Bolt down tea

Homework done

Brother and me

Climbing trees

Hide and seek

Count to fifty

Mustn't peek

Cowboys on bombsite

Swings in the park

Out every night

Til it's dark

Washed and cocoa

Story in bed

Another day over

Prayers said

"Wake up Mary

It's your favourite show."

They never ask me

So how do they know?

Here to the end

Death by tv

Drifting, drifting, drifting...

My own reality

 
 

Contact Angelika Welzel-Connolly for more information about services and to book a training or consultation session. 

E-mail: info@dementiadialogue.co.uk
Mobile: +44 (0) 771 672 0964

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