Memory Wellbeing Cafés

Nigel Swift, retail and marketing director at McKesson UK, outlines the work that a LloydsPharmacy colleague has been doing to provide further support to dementia patients.

Since we began our partnership with Alzheimer’s Society in April 2015, our colleagues have gone to extraordinary lengths to support and fundraise for people living with dementia. Some of us have used the opportunity to provide extra support to those affected by dementia through different volunteering sessions.

Over the last three months, Gillian Hinsley, supervisor at LloydsPharmacy in Heywood, has been attending local Memory Wellbeing Cafés. These cafes, provided by Alzheimer’s Society, give those living with dementia and their carers the chance to meet other people undergoing similar experiences, hear information about dementia and be signposted to other available support services.

Gillian regularly speaks at these events which are also an opportunity to mention the advice and guidance that patients and carers can receive at a LloydsPharmacy should they need it, in an environment that is familiar and they are comfortable in.

Gillian highlighted the free services that we offer in LloydsPharmacy, such as diabetes screening, blood pressure and hearing tests. For patients with dementia, it’s important that these are checked regularly as the overall health of the patient can be impacted significantly by the condition.

Gillian also emphasises the importance of medication check-ups. Quite often dementia patients can get confused with their anti-anxiety medicines or forget to take them, so Gillian talks about what they can use to help them. Gillian also displays some Betterlife products; ones that she believes can help people in their homes, such as a shower stools and door openers.

After seeing the work that Gillian has done, it’s unsurprising to hear that those who attend have such a good time. On her first visit they had music playing and Gillian was singing and dancing with patients and said that ‘music brings such joy to everyone’. There was also a quiz and some colouring activities for everyone to take part in.

It is incredible to see our colleagues providing extra support like this and I wanted to end on something that Gillian said to me after her first Memory Wellbeing Café.

‘I have had a wonderful time attending today. I feel that cafes like this would be so beneficial for all dementia patients, I truly loved it and look forward to going to my next one.’

I’m so proud of our colleagues who go the extra mile to support people in their communities who need it. Massive congratulations to Gillian, who after three months had her final Café at the start of February, the support that she has given is invaluable.