Dementia Awareness Week at Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Recently, I contacted my local hospital – Forth Valley Royal Hospital – to ask if it would be possible for me to set up my display in their foyer to help raise children’s awareness of dementia. I was delighted to be invited along on Friday 5 June to team up with their Dementia Worker, Audrey Melrose, as part of their Dementia Awareness Week. I arrived at 12 o’clock, and began to set up my table. I was immediately approached by two ladies who were very interested in my work. They both have experience of working with people with dementia, and subsequently decided to set up their own company called “Angelcare”. They provide a wonderful service, helping people to stay in their own home for as long as possible. From then on for the next three and a half hours, the afternoon passed like a fair. I was joined by two of the nurses, Gillian and Natalie, from the Accident and Emergency Unit, who volunteered to help hand out leaflets in the cause of dementia awareness. I was amazed by the number of people who were coming to the hospital to visit a family member who has dementia. I also spoke with many people who had lost a loved one to this condition. It was great to talk to them all and share our experiences of what it is like to cope with dementia in the family.
Kevin from the Fractures Unit was one of many people who bought a copy of my book The Forgetful Elephant for his little girl, 9 year-old Molly. Like everyone else who spoke to me, Kevin agrees 100% that children should be made aware of dementia from an early age, to help them understand and cope with it and remove the stigma which is sometimes associated with the condition. He is also going to display leaflets and one of my posters in the unit where he works, which is wonderful. The more places in the hospital I can display, the better. After such a worthwhile experience, I shall now try contacting other hospitals to ask if they will allow me to do the same.