Alan who has recently retired, has been visiting Bryan who has dementia for nearly a year now. Bryan lives with his wife a few streets away.
Bryan was a carpenter and he is very happy pottering around with bits and pieces.
He takes an interest in the outside world, particularly the exteriors of buildings. This is because of his career in building refurbishment. Bryan is a physically active man who likes to be on his feet. In truth, he doesn’t like to sit still! With this in mind, Alan has taken his lead and makes sure that he and Bryan go out and about on his weekly visits. This was a challenge through the cold Winter months but even then, Bryan was keen to go out. They take the dog for a walk, visit the local pub or take a bus to a café in Bromley or to the garden centre at Swanley. If the weather is really bad, they play board games at home.
Bryan benefits from some male company with someone who understands dementia and has patience and understanding and Alan benefits too:
“I enjoy my time with Bryan and I am happy to volunteer two hours of my week to take him out. It’s also good to give his family a break from their caring responsibilities.”
The Bromley Dementia Support Hub is always looking for https://www.bromleydementiasupporthub.org.uk/volunteer/Volunteer Dementia Befrienders to offer one to one companionship for people recently diagnosed with dementia, to support them with activities in the home and local community.
The need is great and we welcome both men and women and we would like to see more men coming forward.
Eleanor Beardsley, Volunteer Befriending Worker with the Bromley Dementia Support Hub,
“Our befriending service depends on volunteers giving a few hours of their time a week to spend with people with dementia. Without befriending support, many people experience loneliness and isolation, both of which have been recognised as harmful to health. The service does help people diagnosed with dementia have more social interaction, increasing their confidence, do more and live as well as possible with dementia.”