Tuesday 27 February 2018 saw a well-attended Dementia Friends Conference take place at Dover Town Hall – despite bad weather and some key speakers unable to attend there were over 100 people present.  There was the opportunity to hear what a Dementia Friends Community is like and what is needed to be recognised as a Dementia Friendly Business.

Pam Brivio, co-organiser of event said;

“We heard what it is like to live with Dementia and the experience of being a carer.  Stall holders spoke about the work they do, running drop ins for advice, activities etc. There was a recognition that it is important that people know what is happening in their area”

There was the opportunity to visit the information stands provided by groups and organisations working in the field of Dementia and to become a Dementia Friend by taking part in a Dementia Friends training session.    There was an overall feeling that the event had been very successful with a lot of positive feedback including the following;

We attended the conference in the Town Hall and just wanted to say how much we enjoyed it. We learnt heaps and came away feeling very optimistic about the local care available in the area both for those individuals living with dementia and their carers. Also we now feel a little less nervous about what the future holds”.

Penny Reeson, a Dementia Friends Champion and said;

“This shows that the event achieved its objectives.  The District of Dover is on its way to becoming a Dementia Friendly Community”. 

The event ended with a short Question and Answer session and time for people to share their experiences and give their ideas about how those living with dementia in Dover and their carers could be helped.

The Conference was organised under the banner of Dover District Dementia Alliance with additional support from Dover Town Council and Ward Councillors.

Our photograph shows Dawn Maddison of the SmArt Project who provide colourful zimmer frames!

There are 5 Key Messages about dementia that everybody took away from the Conference and we all need to know

  • Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
  • Dementia is caused by a disease of the brain
  • Dementia is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
  • It’s possible to live well with dementia
  • There’s more to a person than just the dementia