The Dementia Friendly Churches Group was set up to reflect the fact that as dementia was becoming such a widespread condition (it affects about 850,000 people in the UK) then it was highly likely that at some point it would affect someone attending church or attached to church; it was therefore important to know how we can make people and carers feel comfortable when they attend church.
At present Marton’s premises seem to be adequate and non-threatening. There is, for example, a foyer with seating and the hall. If someone were to feel overwhelmed in church and wanted some time away from other people then that would be a place they could go to.
We have a Notice board in the hall which is clearly set out and gives details of what activities, coffee times and meeting opportunities are available in the local area. It also details the singing sessions (Music for the Mind) which are held monthly at the Cathedral in Coulby Newham. These sessions are a wonderful way of engaging with those living with dementia and their carers and are such joyful occasions as is the Dementia Friendly Carol Service which seeks to involve them.
There will soon be a memory box at Church which people often find helpful and an aide-memoire and that will contain such things as a palm cross, Bible, photo of Church members,
Twiddle muffs etc. I’m hoping that can be left accessible probably in the Foyer.
Dementia affects people in different ways so there is an ongoing requirement for the provision we make to be updated and tweaked where necessary in the light of those needs.