Back in November, we launched ‘Good Company’ – a place of love, support and friendship for those who are living with dementia or memory loss and those caring for them. It came out of a passion to care for and to support the many people in our local community for whom memory loss is a daily reality.
‘Good Company’ runs on the second Thursday of each month at The Oakwood Coffee Shop, where our staff and volunteers have undergone training from Stockton Dementia care, so that they can be equipped to be giving support that is led by understanding. It runs from 1.30pm till 3pm and everybody is welcome! Sometimes carers are able to bring their loved ones along and other times they simply come to be amongst those who understand.
We caught up with volunteer Carolyn to ask what a typical ‘Good Company’ afternoon looks like.
“There have been roughly 12 of us at the moment. We haven’t yet advertised outside of TVC Church as we just wanted to find our feet. We start with Coffee and cake and then we do ‘Whats in the Box?’ I have a few items to pass round to see if it helps people to think of songs and then we introduce our musical theme – last month it was the sound of music!”
Studies have shown that music has very powerful links to memory. It can elicit emotions and memories and help provide a link to a person’s past and promote a connection with caregivers and others with dementia. Recent findings suggest that that musical training can actually delay cognitive decline, it is therefore a great tool. At Good Company we use shakers and jingle bells so everyone can join in – last time some even got up to dance!
We asked Carolyn, what would you want everyone to know about ‘Good Company’ and we loved her response…
“We would like the church to know that this is a happy and accepting group and won’t worry if the folk with dementia behave in any unusual way. We want care givers to feel supported. Every person is precious and part of our family of the Church and loved by God.”
So what can you be doing to support this lovely little group?
- Invite those you know who might benefit from some ‘Good Company’.
- Pray for those for are struggling with the various stages of dementia and memory loss.
- Consider volunteering! We are especially in need of some more men who could offer friendship to those with dementia or their carers. You don’t need to be qualified – just have a heart to support.
Our next ‘Good Company’ gathering is Thursday 10th February from 1.30pm in The Oakwood Coffee Shop – We would love to see you there!
07 Mar 2022