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.”
With ongoing support and training, find out more about joining our team of Volunteer Dementia Befrienders. Contact Eleanor Beardsley on 020 8315 1871 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Befrienders support people to stay active, interact with others and live as well as possible with dementia. People with dementia benefit from social interaction, mental and physical activity and increased confidence to live in their own homes and their local communities.
The Bromley Dementia Support Hub is recruiting volunteers to its team of Volunteer Befrienders to support some of the 4,000 people in Bromley borough diagnosed with dementia. Dementia Hub volunteers provide people with companionship, support to continue with hobbies and personal interests, help with day-to-day activities such as a walk in the local park, a shopping trip or a visit to a local group.
Gill’s Experience of Being a Volunteer Dementia Befriender
Gill wanted to do something worthwhile with her retirement. The role as a dementia befriender appealed to her due to close family experience of dementia. Gill joined the Bromley Dementia Support Hub as the first Volunteer Dementia Befriender. In March 2017, she has matched as a befriender to Ruth, who 94 years old and lives with dementia (Gill and Ruth both pictured above).
Gill often takes Ruth out of the house in the community to the local pub for lunch or the local Dementia Café in Chislehurst, where Ruth enjoys meeting other people living with dementia. At Ruth’s home, Gill and Ruth read through newspapers together and talk about current affairs.
Ruth, who is very pleased to be doing more and getting out and about, said,
“The discussions about news with Gill help me with my memory. Gill and I get on like a house on fire – I wish I’d met her years ago.”
Gill enjoys her role as Volunteer Dementia Befriender so much, she has convinced her husband to become a volunteer too.
Eleanor Beardsley from the Bromley Dementia Support Hub said,
“Our befriending service depends on volunteers like Gill, giving a few hours of their time a week to spend with people with dementia. Without befriending support, many people with dementia experience loneliness and isolation, both of which have been recognised as harmful to health. Cases like Gill and Ruth’s show that 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.”
How to become a Volunteer Dementia Befriender in Bromley
Volunteers don’t need to have had experience of dementia or dementia care to help. Volunteers need time to volunteer on a regular basis, be patient and good listeners.
Training and ongoing support are provided.
Find out more, including contact details, here.
Become a Volunteer Dementia Befriender, and help some of over 4,000 people living with dementia in Bromley borough.
Volunteer befrienders support people living with dementia to live well, providing companionship and support with activities in the home and local community.
The Bromley Dementia Support Hub is currently recruiting volunteers as dementia befrienders. There will be ongoing training and support in your role a befriender.
You can find out more about becoming a Volunteer Dementia Befriender here.