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Dementia UK unwraps list

of gifts for a happy Christmas Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline has put forward its list of gift suggestions for families with the condition to enjoy this Christmas, and all year round.

The Helpline, the only nurse-led helpline for people facing dementia in the UK, regularly takes calls from families who find the Christmas period challenging. This can be the result of families not knowing how best to include or engage a relative with dementia and who are perhaps looking for gift suggestions to help with this. Suggestions of gifts is one example of the many practical solutions which Admiral Nurses offer to help families face dementia.

Dementia UK’s list of Christmas gift suggestions is focussed around items which have music, interactivity, aromatherapy and identity at their heart: Twiddlemuffs

These are usually made from wool and are attached with various items, such as bobbles, which people can play with. If a person with dementia becomes agitated or is sat there doing things with their fingers, twiddlemuffs can be a great way to ease stress and give the person something to focus on. They are easy to make and you can also knit things inside the fabric for added interactivity. ‘Reminescents’ box

Reminiscence is all about evoking memory and emotion and the use of scents and aromas can be a way to make this happen. These boxes can be homemade and filled with scents which are really individual for the person with dementia; lavender if they like gardening or cocoa if they like cooking and chocolate for example. You can fill it or change it as time goes on to make it more interesting. Either way, they can be a great way to start conversations and help individuals connect with one another. Young people can get involved too and help to guess the scents with their relative. Music

Everyone has different types of music which they enjoy and this does not change when someone develops dementia. Some music can evoke some really positive memories so it can always help to gift someone a song, an album of an artist or soundtrack which they have enjoyed previously. You can also look out for simple instruments like a shaker, bells or a tambourine to create some of your own music. ID jewellery

This type of jewellery is personalised, helping to maintain a person with dementia’s identity and wellbeing. There are many types of this jewellery available on the market, with a number of styles to suit various tastes, such as Pandora style bracelets or even jewellery with a charm on it. It can also include a person’s name, details of their condition for medical professionals as well as contact details for a family member or close friend in case of an emergency. Paulette Winchester-Joseph Deputy Lead for the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline said: “The Christmas period may be quite an isolating time for people with dementia so any gifts which show love and support for the person will go a long way. “As a diagnosis of dementia is as individual as the person who receives it, the above gifts should be seen as suggestions. You may well have to make other considerations before buying gifts for a relative or close friend with the condition, particularly as you know the person best. These can include likes and dislikes of the person diagnosed as well as what stage of the condition they’re at and what might allow them to be supported in their day-to-day life.” For any additional advice on suitable gifts to buy for someone with dementia or for general advice around Christmas time, please contact the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or email

The Helpline is open 9am-9pm weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends. However it is closed on bank holidays, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

16 - Friday 20th December 2019 - Cardiff & South Wales Advertiser

Regency House Care Home in Ely, Cardiff, recently celebrated 20 years since it first opened its doors, with a party for residents, relatives and members of the local community. Te industry-leading residential, dementia and nursing home, which welcomed its first residents in 1999, recognised individuals who have contributed to its success at the event with champagne, canapes and professional entertainment from a local harpist. Te milestone event, which also unveiled

its recent £650,000 refurbishment to guests, was concluded by speeches from the home’s General Manager Kay Mitchell and the care homes’ owners, Ram and Avnish Goyal. Also, in attendance at the special event was the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Jacqueline Parry, who congratulated the home on the day and took a tour of the newly refurbished cafe area, bedrooms, dining room and cinema room. For further information please visit www.

Not all superheroes wear capes, some wear trainers

A running club helping tackle social issues, such as loneliness, has sprinted to a national award. Te life-changing GoodGym, that is proving to be a lifeline for older people in Cardiff, caught the judges eye to win Getting Wales Active at this year’s Wales Sport Awards. Cardiff pensioner Spiro Galae said: “Sometimes I don’t see anybody. Now I’ve got somebody to talk to, something to look forward to. I’m grateful that they sacrifice their time to help me.” GoodGym is a social running group with a difference, with members completing ‘good deeds’ during their runs, combing getting fit with helping their local community. Since the club launched back in 2017, they have completed 5000 good deeds in Cardiff including over 100 missions to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people. Te Cardiff and Vale based club has over 300 members. Te club is open to runners of all abilities, having expanded with walk-run sessions


January of this year. Club members report other side effects including improved mental health or helping to meet new people, especially when people move to the area. Examples of

the tasks

completed include helping at community gardens, litter picking and charity work. Te Award will be presented to Goodgym members at the Wales Sport Awards, organised by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales.

Cardiff care home celebrates 20 years!

A Caring Christmas A Caring Christmas

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