A local Dementia Cafe, which currently receives no funding and is run entirely by volunteers and carers, has just celebrated its first birthday.
Situated in a Cope centre in the North West of Glasgow, the cafe runs on the third Thursday of every month. It allows for people living with dementia and their family members or careers to meet for a few hours, have a cup of tea and a chat. It provides a necessary outlet for those affected by the disease. They also have subsequently started another cafe at the Annexe Healthy Living Centre in the West End.
The year anniversary comes after Jane Miller, who is a full time carer for her mother Jean who lives with dementia, was approached by a health association and was asked what her community needed. “When they asked, I told them we were crying out for a Dementia Cafe. Most of us don’t have cars, so we can’t make it out to the other cafes in Charing Cross and at the People’s Palace.”
The cafes that are further out are run by Alzheimer’s Scotland.
Margo Sweeney is a Dementia Advisor working for Alzheimer’s Scotland and is the initial point of contact for those in the North East and West area of Glasgow. Sweeney explained if she is contacted by someone looking for support in their local area, she is able to make them aware of the local initiatives that exist, such as the Dementia Cafes.
“When Jane’s mum was first diagnosed, that was an example of someone who linked into the idea of local cafes. Over time, as Jane’s confidence was boosted as a carer, and she was linked up to more support, she was keen to do something local in her area which is fantastic.”
A June 2015 survey conducted by Life Changes Trust indicated that 66% of those surveyed chose dementia as the highest or second highest priority for more government spending on care and support. This was a higher figure than for any of the other conditions listed such as cancer, depression, stroke, heart disease and obesity.
Despite an ongoing National Dementia Strategy 2013 – 2016 currently being implemented by Scottish Government to help those living with dementia, community based initiatives in Glasgow such as the carer run Dementia Cafes still receive no government funding.