Ripon Cathedral becomes dementia friendly

Guides, volunteers, clergy, and employees at Ripon Cathedral who meet and greet hundreds of visitors every week have undergone specialist training to help them cope with the growing number of older people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Sheena Van Parys, owner of local at home care company Home Instead Senior Care, and her colleague, Pet Fowler-Watts, MBE, Community Liaison, hosted three ‘Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias Community Education and Awareness’ sessions at Ripon Cathedral so that their staff would be equipped with knowledge and helpful techniques to assist and support those visitors with dementia and their families who visit.

Home Instead Senior Care has developed the community workshops through adaptation of their City & Guilds accredited dementia training programme which was developed specifically for their caregivers. Throughout the session, they analysed the symptoms associated with dementia and the behaviours that may need to be carefully managed.

Canon Paul Greenwell, Canon Precentor for Ripon Cathedral
Sheena Van Parys comments: “As specialists in at-home care for older people, a number of our clients are diagnosed with, or have symptoms of, Alzheimer’s disease, and it is important that we can do as much as possible to maintain their quality of life.

“Working with the local community is a fantastic way for us to raise awareness about the growing issue of dementia and to share the knowledge which we have gained as a company.

“Pet and I are also Dementia Champions and volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative Dementia Friends in helping to make local communities dementia friendly and to reach the target of one million friends by 2015. All those who attended the sessions are all committed to become Dementia Friends and are committed to make at least one change to make their community dementia friendly.”

The sessions provided by Home Instead emphasised the fact that you can still live well with dementia and continue to do things that you loved to do, with the right support in place and a helping hand.

Julia Barker, Head of Operations at Ripon Cathedral also comments. She says, “I believe the Cathedral can be a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for everyone, through awareness and small simple changes. Ripon Cathedral as an organisation is joining the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).

“Further to joining the DAA, Ripon Cathedral also intends to become a member of the local Dementia Action Alliance group which brings together regional and local members to improve the lives of people with dementia in their area. We are keen to help make our community more dementia friendly.”

The Dementia Action Alliance is a movement with one simple aim: to bring about a society-wide response to dementia. It encourages and supports communities and organisations across England to take practical actions to enable people to live well with dementia and reduce the risk of costly crisis intervention.

For more information on dementia workshops, contact Home Instead Senior Care on 01423 774 490 or visit here >

To find out about becoming a dementia friendly organisation email: