Singing, painting and reading together are part of the inclusive range of activities taking place over the phone with Croydon residents who are living with dementia at home since the Covid-19 lockdown.
As Croydon Council’s day centres are currently closed due to the pandemic, council officers from Marsh Willow and Langley Oaks centres carry out welfare checks on people with the condition at home who would regularly attend their events. Their time together on the phone offers stimulating activities for their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
For people with dementia who are not living in a care home, short respite breaks and personal assistance at home are provided by the council and local agencies to those who are most vulnerable and more in need of help. People can also contact the council directly if they need support for someone with dementia on 020 8726 6500.
Karren Savory, a day services officer at Croydon’s Langley Oaks Day Centre said: “The clients who would normally attend the day centre tell me how much they are missing us. It is important for people living with dementia to keep up a regularly routine as much as possible. When I call them, some are familiar with my voice and we often sing or reminisce together or just spend the time talking. We also speak to their family or friends who are their carers to signpost them to support services and help them with the different types of activities like simple exercises, painting and crafts they can do with the person with dementia as they are now looking after them at home all day.”
Prior to the lockdown, Croydon Council had been working with the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance, a partnership of more than 20 local organisations making the borough a dementia friendly town and raising awareness of the condition.
Their inclusive projects have included Dementia Friends awareness sessions – also with children and young people, and organising special film screenings at Croydon’s David Lean Cinema to make the cinema more accessible for people with the condition. They have also set up dementia cafes in the borough and have hosted a number of tea dances.
Their work is highly commended by Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity and it will continue when we can safely resume our shared community activities.
“Croydon Council has been supporting our most vulnerable residents and ensuring they still receive dedicated care during the Covid-19 lockdown. Many residents are living with dementia at various levels and can be at high risk of isolation and distress, especially during this time. We are committed to making sure people with the condition, and their carers, can access services and get around their communities more easily.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
The Croydon Dementia Action Alliance includes Croydon Council, the local NHS, Age UK Croydon, emergency services, voluntary sector and care homes.
Anyone affected by dementia can also contact the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line for help or advice on 0333 150 3456 (open every day).