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Dementia-friendly wellbeing booklet rolled out in West Berkshire

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"It's just to keep them stimulated and help their wellbeing"

Vicki Lambourne with the new leaflet.
Vicki Lambourne with the new leaflet.

Creative minds are being sought to help with projects supporting people with dementia or who are socially isolated in West Berkshire.

Care UK's Winchcombe Place in Maple Crescent launched Winchcombe Wellbeing in December to provide support for people living alone during the pandemic.

The initiative, an original idea of Vicki Lambourne at the Newbury care home, offers personalised wellbeing kits, friendly doorstep visits and regular phone chats to people who need a little extra support.

At the same time, content is being sought for dementia-friendly recordings from local groups.

The Winchcombe scheme includes a wellbeing and activity booklet which includes quizzes, word searches, colouring, poetry, practical resources for eating well in older age and gentle chair based exercises provided by Mindset-Massage.

The booklets are easy to use, enabling those with degenerating eyesight and dementia to enjoy them.

Miss Lambourne said: "At Winchcombe Place, we know just how challenging the past few months have been for older members of the community, many of whom may have been shielding and unable to spend time with family and friends.

"We play an active role in the Newbury community, and are used to welcoming local people into the home for events and activities.

"Although current circumstances mean we are unable to do this, we want to ensure local people know we are still here to support them in any way that we can."

More than 440 booklets have been distributed across West Berkshire so far, with a further 30 coming next week.

They have been helped by Newbury College students via social prescribers Age UK, community groups, churches and West Berkshire Council.

Miss Lambourne said that the booklets had been well-received and were important to help people and their carers.

Care UK has now started rolling them out countrywide.

"It's just to keep them stimulated and help their wellbeing," she said.

"A lot of the day centres and dementia caf├ęs have shut down and it's also to support the carers.

"If you are a home carer it helps to have an activity to stimulate them, and it's not just activities, its tips on eating and exercise that feed into other groups."

Another project in need of support is a talking speakers service.

Dementia-friendly speaker devices are sent to people along with a memory stick containing an hour's worth of content.

The content can be tailored to people who either have dementia or are socially isolated in the district, and organisers want content creators to come forward.

Miss Lambourne said there were around 20 devices in the community at the moment, but organisers wanted to find more people to support.

She said: "They are looking for content that can be tailored to people receiving them.

"It could be a musical piece, theatre groups, or colleges to provide content.

"It's getting it out to the right people, trying to serve the people that are really isolated.

"It's a dementia-friendly speaker.

"You turn it on, put your stick or drive in and it's done.

"They can tailor it specifically if they are able to talk to them or people who support them."

If you can help, email admin@myspeakerfriend.co.uk or call Sue Hubbard on (0118) 971 0059.

If you know someone who would benefit from the Winchcombe Wellbeing initiative, email vicki.lambourne@careuk.com or call (01635) 275400.

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