Sabrina Lynch Interview

Winter 2014

My name is Sabrina Lynch. I work on a Project called DEED which stands for Derry Engaging and Empowering Dementia. We are based in the Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre, Derry. DEED is an 18-month, awareness-raising project funded by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. We are a city-wide project promoting dementia-friendly communities. A dementia-friendly community is one that recognises and embraces the challenges that  life presents to people with dementia and their carers. It provides support, helps them to maintain their confidence and boosts their ability to manage day-to-day activities, enabling them to live life to its full potential.

IRENE: How did you come to be working in the field of dementia care?

SABRINA: I starting working as a volunteer on Health for Life Project, where I supported people with dementia in their activity groups. I really enjoyed this and wanted to learn more about dementia so that I could give the right support.

IRENE: How are you raising awareness of dementia?

SABRINA: I currently work on a project called DEED which stands for Derry Engaging and Empowering Dementia. This is an awareness raising project, targeted at businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals who want to learn more about dementia and make their communities dementia-friendly.

IRENE: What is the most important reason for raising children’s awareness of dementia?

SABRINA: I think we sometimes assume that children don’t know what is going on, when they are actually a lot cleverer than we think. More and more children are now being cared for by grandparents, so if there is an issue with dementia it is important that children are reassured.

IRENE: What are your preferred resources for raising children’s awareness of dementia?

SABRINA: Books!!! The best way to explain to children.

IRENE: Have you read my book The Forgetful Elephant? Do you plan to incorporate it in your work?

SABRINA: Yes I have read The Forgetful Elephant. We have already taken this story to a few schools in our area and would love to be able to take it to all schools in the Derry City Council Area.

IRENE: How would you say we can educate young children about dementia?

SABRINA: By talking to them about it and being open, trying to stamp out fears. Using books and maybe programmes. Being able to relate to real life.

IRENE: If you had a magic wand (and unlimited funds), how would you raise awareness of dementia in the community?

SABRINA: Flagship events! Television coverage! Media! Drop-in centres offering advice.

IRENE: What sources of information and research about dementia do you follow?

SABRINA: Alzheimer’s Northern Ireland, DSDC Dementia Services Northern Ireland and University of Stirling.

IRENE: Which person or organisation do you consider to be a world leader in dementia care?

SABRINA: University of Stirling

IRENE: How can we work together to raise children’s awareness of dementia?

SABRINA: By promoting each other, working closely with schools, scouts, girl guides, and child-based programmes.

IRENE. Thank you for sharing your answers and your resources Sabrina. Good luck, and I look forward to us working together.



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