As a result of a £2,000 donation from the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital, the local Age UK was able to purchase a wide range of items for use in eight different groups across the Island.
Dementia services manager Lois Prior explained at Age UK’s Newport High Street head office that the charity took over responsibility for running these groups from St Mary’s Hospital:
“The transfer occurred in the summer 2013 and now Age UK Isle of Wight runs eight differently situated groups, involving a total of around 110 clients.
“Those attending are encouraged by our staff and volunteers to participate in carefully selected games and other activities, all designed to work on the brain in different ways. The items also include specially formulated DVDs, with laptop, aimed at jogging memories.
“Stimulation provided in such groups has proved to be just as effective as medication. And as a third of our clients live on their own, group attendance once a week provides an essential social outlet.
“The sessions are also intended to keep people out of care longer, staving off a crisis situation where people living alone cannot cope any longer. Furthermore, a day away from home provides some absolutely essential respite for those loved ones who look after them.
“Although the groups work really well, there is always a struggle to find funds to buy enough suitable material. That is why help from the Friends is so welcome.”