Reflections in Andover started in September 2017 as an opportunity for people with memory problems and their carers to get together and socialise. It runs on the 2nd Thursday of each month 10-12 and is planned around other local groups in order to make it as accessible as possible.
Those that attended the initial couple of meetings were very clear that they welcomed the chance to chat with others informally. They were not looking for “activities” as such, just a social time to enjoy the company of others. Cake seems to be important in all dementia groups so we made sure to include tea, coffee and cake for all!
The group welcomes everyone; we have some who come regularly, some only on occasion. Some of our younger clients have taken the chance to meet together and some of our carers whose loved ones have passed away take the opportunity to come along and chat with others.
We have had visits from a beautiful dog who is the “hearing companion”, for one of our members and from Barney who has lost his mistress and cannot bear to be parted from his master. We have enjoyed samples of food from the Wiltshire Farm Foods range and have helped in a local research project looking at ways of managing medicines. We were featured on a local online news channel and have enjoyed planting bulbs so that our student social worker could prove her skills to the university!
We are lucky to be able to run the group from the Andover Mind Community space, where the Dementia Advice Service is based. This means we have easy access to information for the group, and to a quiet space where carers can ask questions while their loved ones are busy chatting. Social activity, information sharing and mutual support, all in one morning a month!
For more information on Reflections or any other groups provided by the Dementia Advice Service at Andover Mind please do get in touch on 01264 353363 or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.