Dementia workshop with the Alzheimer's Society
The Year 10 Health and Social students took part in a dementia awareness workshop with Laura from the Alzheimer's Society.
Laura is a volunteer Dementia Friends Champion, encouraging others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. Through a series of activities Laura helped the students understand how they can also be a Dementia Friend and change the stigma surrounding the disease.
The session started off with a quick matching exercise that helped the students understand what it means to have dementia. There were statements like "having dementia is not just part of growing old" and "dementia is not just about memory-loss". Laura discussed each statement with the students, explaining that a lot of people have misconceptions about the disease.
Next, 6 students were chosen to take part in a 'role-play' exercise, and were given a piece of paper with a character on. Laura asked them to put themselves in that person's shoes and imagine what their life was like. She then asked them a series of questions like "I can make a cup of tea unaided" or "I can get to the shop and back safely" and asked them to step forward if they thought the statement was true.
As each question was asked the students stepped forwards and back, often having a different answer to the others. Laura then asked them why they had made their decisions, revealing that every student had the same information and ‘character’. This showed the students that it’s not only having dementia but also how others treat someone with the illness that varies significantly.
At the end of the session the students discussed how they would treat a person with dementia now they had learnt more about the disease. They thought about ways that they could be more 'dementia friendly how their awareness can have a positive influence on their community.
Thank you very much to Laura for coming in and running the session.