I volunteered with ACNW for their Speak Up campaign late last year. Our aim is to visit care homes and work with residents who have dementia, to encourage their confidence and self esteem.
I had never known anyone with dementia before and at first the task seemed a bit daunting. How do I talk to someone who can’t remember things? Will they join in with our activities? Will they like me? Will I like them?
We spend 2 hours a week, for ten weeks at each home. We play music, have quiz’s, do craft work and generally chat about the residents lives. And with the training and continued support of ACNW, I now enjoy it immensely.
We have been welcomed into their home, thanked for our work and I have had a ball! It has been wonderful to laugh, sing and hear their stories. I have learnt that although dementia is a cruel illness, it doesn’t take away their character. To sit and listen to their history, what they did when they were children, how they coped in hard time, how they loved and lost, is humbling to say the least. They are an inspiration to us all and a pleasure to be with.