On Wednesday 23 May passengers on the 11.16 train service from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach travelled with musical accompaniment in a special takeover organised to mark Dementia Action Week (21-27 May). Staff and volunteers from Bristol’s Dementia Wellbeing Service helped to organise a special Singing for the Brain session on the Severn Beach Branch line.
The event attracted more than 40 people affected by dementia. Many people hadn’t travelled by train for years and they’d certainly never sung on the train. Songs like Do-Re Mi from the Sound of Music, and Let’s Twist Again by Chubby Checker, could soon be heard ringing through the carriages.
Usually entitled, ‘Singing for the Brain’, this special event was renamed ‘Singing on the Train’. Singing for the Brain, developed by Alzheimer’s Society for people with dementia, promotes communication through singing which can help with articulation, concentration, focus and motivation.
Allison Johnston Dementia Navigator with the Dementia Wellbeing Service said: “In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes and almost everyone knows someone whose life has been affected. Yet too many people face the condition alone without adequate support. Activities, like our singing on the train event, illustrated how taking action can help people affected by dementia to feel more included in their community and able to live the life that they want."
“Staff on the train were very welcoming, and understanding, and took time to listen and chat to everybody. There was a lovely atmosphere and there were lots of smiles all round. We’re very grateful to staff from both Great Western Railway and the Severnside Community Rail Partnership who helped make this happen.
“One family in our party commented to me that this was the first time in many years that they had travelled by train together. It goes to show that if we all take small actions, for example to listen and be patient, then we can have a big impact on the lives of people affected by dementia.”.
Two of our Dementia Support Managers, Sally & Agnes visited staff at Nuffield hospital ahead of Dementia action week to discuss dementia and how the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service can support the person with dementia and their carer. We were really impressed with the adaptations Nuffield Health are making to the hospital room for a person with dementia when they are an inpatient with them. It’s great that they are working towards making there hospital more dementia friendly. The staff we met were friendly and passionate about supporting a person with dementia so there hospital stay is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Therese Confait has been busy raising awareness about dementia and doing fundraising events for Dementia Action week by having a pledge tree, cake sale and raffle.
Join Bristol Dementia Action Alliance's Street Party to celebrate their 5th Birthday and the wonderful support they gave given and received over those
years. Please join for food, cake, music, dancing, party bags and lots of fun!
There will also be stands with information about Dementia and the latest research. Click on the header of this news item for the flyer.
Venue: The Galleries, Bristol - Middle-Ground Floor
Date: Monday 9th July
Time: 11am to 3pm
Please find attached flyer for a pop-up information and awareness stand on Tuesday 22nd and Friday 25th May at John Wesley Chapel Bristol as part of Dementia Action Week 2018
How to get involved in dementia research short film is now available for people with dementia and their carers.
Churches Together in Greater Bristol are holding a launch event for Dementia Friendly Churches on Friday 18th May
This is being held at Westbury-on-Trym Baptist Church between 10am and 2.30pm
Please see the attached flyer (click on the heading) for more information.
Staying Steady is a programme of strength and balance classes to help build strength, walk steadily and lower your risk of falling.
How the classes can help you
A Staying Steady class could help you if you’re feeling unsteady when moving around, are worried about falling or are less mobile than you’d like to be.
The classes can help you:
•stay independent and carry on doing the things you enjoy
•improve your confidence and reduce the fear of falling
•to be mobile and healthy
•keep active and have fun
What the classes involve
Classes are led by instructors who can adapt the exercises to suit you, so you can exercise safely with support from experts.
Each class lasts for an hour where you’ll be taken through exercises that can be done either seated or standing.
During the class you might be using equipment such as bands, balls and hoops, which are provided.
At the end of the class you’ll be given some information about exercises to do at home.
How to join
If you’d like more information or want to join a Staying Steady class near you, contact one of these centres:
The Greenway Centre
Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol, BS10 5FY
Phone: 0117 950 3335 (main reception); 0117 909 0027 (fitness office)
Staying Steady classes:
Tuesday 2pm to 3pm
Friday 2pm to 3pm
Monday 2pm to 3pm
To see further details of classes go to the Greenway Centre website and click on the Mead events calendar.
Brunel Fitness Centre
Speedwell Road, Bristol, BS15 1NU
Phone: 0117 377 0098
Staying Steady classes:
Thursday 1.30pm to 2.30pm from April 2018
Easton Leisure Centre
Thrissell Street, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0SW
Phone: 0117 955 8840 or 07825 033 741
Staying Steady classes:
Wednesday 11am to 12noon from April 2018
Hengrove Park Leisure Centre
Hengrove Promenade, Hengrove Park, Bristol, BS14 0DE
Tel: 0117 937 0200
Staying steady classes:
Tuesday 12.30pm to 1.30pm from April 2018
The Park Centre
Daventry Road, Knowle, Bristol, BS4 1DQ
Phone: 0117 903 9770
Staying steady classes:
Monday 3pm to 4pm from April 2018
Cost: £3.50 per session
For further information please visit the Bristol City Council website
Challenge Dementia is a national search for products, technologies and services that could transform the way people live with dementia, enabling them to remain connected to the people and places around them.
The prize is open to entries until 13th April 2018 and they are looking for entries from individuals, groups, organisations and partnerships. They could come from those close to the problem and its impact, or those who seek to bring a completely new and different perspective to the challenge. They are looking for a great idea with potential, rather than a fully developed business case.
Ten finalists will each receive £5000 and access to a range of experts convened from across the community, voluntary, public and private sector including PA Consulting and Tech UK. The winner will get £100,000 to invest in their idea.
If you have any queries about the prize or would just like to find out more, please contact email@example.com
Good Brain Gang is a new service for Bristol, based on thorough research into wellbeing and international projects proven to enhance quality of life. In particular, their service is based on projects which support people living with a dementia to remain at home, with a better quality of life for them and all their family. An individual living with a dementia attending a service based on these proven principles is able to remain at home living well, on average twice as long as if they use only standard day services, as well as a boost in quality of life.
The Activity Centre Specialises in:
Learning, arts & wellbeing for people with memory loss
Yoga, drawing, singing, cooking, gardening, painting, mindfulness & lots more
Call 0117 230 5555 to pop in for a taster session
Costs are from £40 a day
They are now running free workshops which are designed to support family, friends & caregivers to people living with a dementia. To find out more, call them on 0117 230 5555 or visit the website
In the Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service we are keen to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be involved in research.
Research studies can take a number of forms and may investigate different aspects of dementia from clinical trials of new medicines to finding out which care treatments work best. Research can be beneficial in a number of ways, including the potential to improve one's own condition, wellbeing or quality of life, the ability to access treatments which may not be widely available and the possibility of helping other people with dementia in the future.
Examples of being involved in research can include talking to researchers about a particular subject, completing a questionnaire or attending a health centre for tests. Even if you sign-up to be involved in research, you are under no obligation to be part of any specific study, and you are always given full information about how you will be involved and what will happen - you can always change your mind at any time.
If you are interested in taking part in research, please get in touch with Shaun Popel, our Assistant Research Practitioner on 0117 904 5150 who will be happy to talk to you.
My Life Films make free life story films for people living with dementia. Celebrating their favourite memories, bringing the focus back to the individual rather than their illness to improve person-centred care, and improving their quality of life. The South West London and St George's NHS Trust recently ran a pilot study to see how the films help people living with dementia in care homes, the following short video explains the positive impacts: https://vimeo.com/203289973
For further information about the charity please visit their website. Their criteria can be viewed here. You can download a flier about their service here.
We have now launched an innovative series of short films in six different languages giving information about dementia and relevant support services in the city. We commissioned the six short films - in Urdu, Punjabi, Cantonese, Somali, Polish and English-language - to address the stigma, misunderstanding and lack of accurate information currently available for the culturally diverse communities across the city.
There are an estimated 25,000 BME people with dementia in the UK. While the number of white, British people with dementia is expected to double by 2051, the numbers of people from BME communities is expected to increase sevenfold within the same timeframe.
Mrs Kwan, who is originally from China, has lived in Bristol with her husband for 45 years and raised their family here. She is now carer to her husband who has dementia. She explains: “Life changes significantly for someone with dementia, and for their carer and family too. It’s really important to get help. In our community, a lot of people don’t know what dementia is, we don’t even have a word for it. This means that lots of people with the disease run the risk of being forgotten.”
Within each of the films, medical experts, people affected by dementia and members of the relevant communities explain what dementia is, outline how people can gain a diagnosis and access the free support available from the Dementia Wellbeing Service.
This issue is echoed across many communities, as well as within white-British communities, and one which the films address head on.
Khadra Abdi, who cares for her mother with dementia and is active in the Somali community in Bristol says: “Many older people within our community have limited English language, and when they don’t understand what dementia is it can be very scary. These films explain about the disease and the help available in a simple, clear way, and most importantly in their native language, making it far easier for them to gain a genuine understanding of dementia, get a diagnosis from their GP and to get support from the Dementia Wellbeing Service”.
You can now view the films from our homepage or via our YouTube channel and hardcopies are available from 0117 904 5151
The Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service took part as partner organisation in the research project “The Dementia Experiences of people from Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian communities in Bristol” overseen by University of West of England (UWE) which has just been published. UWE spoke to older people and their families from African-Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian communities in Bristol in order to find out about the experiences of people with dementia.
The service is currently considering the report’s recommendations and will continue to work in partnership with community groups across Bristol to ensure the service is responsive to the needs and challenges for people with dementia across different communities.
A copy of the report can be viewed here and the suplimentary information here.
You can also hear about the experiences of dementia of people from BME communities in this film.
Alzheimer's Society have updated their guides for both LGBT people living with dementia and for those supporting LGBT people with dementia.
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and have dementia, these guides talk about the things you can do to remain independent, get the emotional and practical support that’s right for you, and plan for your future.
You may feel that lots of the information and advice you are given, or lots of the support available, isn’t right for you. You may have, or feel you have, different circumstances to heterosexual or cisgender people (someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth). This could be because of your experiences, your living arrangements, the support you receive and who you have around you.
Dementia is challenging for everyone, and everyone’s situation will affect what living with dementia is like for them. However, being LGBT and having dementia can present extra difficulties. It can also mean that living well with dementia means something different to you – something that you don’t hear talked about as much.
It’s important to know that you aren’t alone. Support and advice is available, there are services and care settings designed to support you, and the law protects your rights to equal treatment and privacy. By knowing your rights, finding the right support, and planning for your future, it is possible to live well with dementia.
We have now launched an innovative series of short films in six different languages giving information about dementia and relevant support services in the city. We commissioned the six short films - in Urdu, Punjabi, Cantonese, Somali, Polish and English-language - to address the stigma, misunderstanding and lack of accurate information currently available for the culturally diverse communities across the city. You can now view the films from our homepage or via our YouTube channel and hardcopies are available from 0117 904 5151
Some of the great feedback we have already received:
Participants/community leaders: “The films are fantastic as they are so respectful of culture and language. Beautifully done, with great thought. I can see the care and attention that have been put into them”
“Great work well done to you and the rest of the Team”.
Bristol BME Voice: “Fantastic short films on Dementia from @BristolDWS available in 6 languages!”
Local Councillor: “Thank you so much - what a great resource"
Local MPs: "This information is very valuable" / "Thank you once again for bringing these valuable educational resources to my attention"
Marvin Rees, Bristol Mayor: “Thank you for sharing these films with me. They will be a really useful tool for engaging with those communities who may otherwise find it difficult to access information on dementia.”
Posted at 09:16 on 01/08/2017
BREAKING NEWS! Our new short films talking about dementia and how you get can support in Bristol are now live!
Please click on the links under 'Dementia - Your questions answered' above
Posted at 16:11 on 31/07/2017
If you need information about the service contact us today