FMN Respite Breaks
A story by Forget-Me-Not Club
The Forget-Me-Not Club exists to support people with Dementia, their Carer & family. Within the organisation there is an opportunity to provide needs-led short break respite for people with Dementia to provide a break for Carers knowing their loved ones are in an acceptable and safe environment.
What FMN Respite Breaks did
For the last 10 years the Forget-Me-Not Club have taken clients and carers for two or three periods of respite care. Each period is of one week duration.
In 2014 thanks to funding from the Short Breaks Fund we were once again able to provide respite breaks at Jubilee House in Stonehaven. The Forget-Me-Not Club has a dedicated and willing group of volunteers and along with our existing staff, we are able to provide close support on a 24 hour basis during each weekly break. Consequently it has not been necessary to recruit additional staff.
The attendees at these breaks are chosen from our existing Club membership and over the years we have been able to offer our clients and carers the opportunity to attend. Often it depends on the health of the client at the time and their availability. In general we can cater for 3-4 client/carers per week.
Activities during a typical week are a mixture of the following: Outings to places of interest to the clients e.g. Alford Transport Museum, Aberdeen Winter Gardens, Inverurie Cattle Market, Aberdeen Maritime Museum and the House of Dun Tapestry display. Visits to several of the towns around Stonehaven.
Morning and evening walks along the boardwalk at Stonehaven beach. It is usually the case that morning coffee and lunch are taken out at restaurants in the vicinity. In the evening after dinner, clients are encouraged to play games and chat. They are also encouraged to discuss what they enjoy about the break.
During the walks and visits they often buy small gifts and postcards to take home as a reminder of their break and also to help put together a "story" of the holiday for the client and help the carer be aware of the activities and places visited.
What Forget-Me-Not Club has learnedThe Forget-Me-Not Club opened a Resource Centre in 2014 and there was no guarantee that the Club would be in a position to finance any short breaks, however the Fund has allowed us to provide breaks which otherwise may not have happened
Given suitable support people with dementia can help provide services to other people e.g. our museum volunteer
Time spent at Jubilee House builds memories for clients, volunteers & staff which are frequently used to advantage in difficult times