Dementia author brings cafe to life

Carol and IanRenowned author and campaigner in dementia Ian Donaghy opened the Birch Green Dementia Bistro to a huge round of applause.

He proudly rounded off a number of training sessions by formally opening the bistro called Tea for Two, which will offer advice to families and friends.

And he then joined the gathering of staff, residents and relatives in a cup of tea and cake as the bistro well and truly swung into action.

Carol Nickeas, General Manager at Birch Green, paid testament to everyone who has contributed to helping create the bistro, particularly team leader for lifestyle Bernie Forshaw, and local tradesmen Jay Johnson and Anthony Swan.

Carol said: “Dementia care is rapidly becoming more important in the care sector and at Birch Green we take great pride in remaining at the forefront.

“Our staff never stop learning, and we embrace both tried-and-tested care techniques along with the latest in care, for instance incorporating technology into helping bring back memories for our residents who live with this disease.”

Ian, Director of Training For Carers, leads bespoke training for care staff including managers, nurses, kitchen staff and local authorities.

Under the training provided across four all-day sessions, Ian provided inter-active advice and activities on a range of dementia-related topics including person-centred care, communicating effectively with people living with dementia, using technology to support memories, and the impact of diet, non-verbal communication and lifestyle.

Ian said: “It has been a pleasure to share knowledge and experience of my work and family living with dementia with staff who are so eager to learn and understand more about the issues relating to all affected by it, and the impact person-centred care can make.

“This training is about celebrating the individual and focusing on the person rather than the condition, and highlighting what they can do rather than what they can’t.”

Based in York, Ian has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of dementia, education and learning difficulties, and has won Care Trainer of the Year at the British Care Awards.

He is also the author of Dear Dementia: The Laughter and Tears, a book which has been widely praised by people in the field of care including former TV celebrity and dementia campaigner Angela Rippon, who has described it as ‘a work of true love’ and ‘inspirational.’ Families at Birch Green described Ian’s book as ‘an invaluable resource’ to carry with them.

There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, expected to rise to more than a million by the year 2021.

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