New one-stop resource in Swansea for people affected by dementia
A one-stop drop-in shop for people with dementia and their family and carers has opened in Swansea city centre.
The Dementia Hwb, staffed by volunteers, is based in the former Thornton’s confectionary shop in the Quadrant shopping centre near Swansea Bus Station. It is open from 11 am to 3pm, seven days a week, offering a friendly and supportive open-door, drop-in signposting service.
Funded as part of the Winter Wellness 50+ scheme, the pop-up information centre was launched on Saturday 29 January and is a 5-week trial led by voluntary group Dementia Friendly Swansea in co-production with Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, Age Cymru West Glamorgan and other local organisations.
The volunteers from Dementia Friendly Swansea are made up of former carers and well-informed individuals and professionals from local organisations who support those living with dementia and their loved ones.
Former carer and founder of Dementia Friendly Swansea, Hannah Davies said: “Having a loved one diagnosed with a type of dementia is world-rocking but having the right support at the right time can make it all so much better.
“Looking after Mum it felt like we lurched from one crisis to another for 10 years but seeing all this information and all the support that is available to help everyone involved means life with dementia doesn’t need to be a constant struggle.
“I hope people will drop in to see us at the Dementia Hwb and find out what could help them and their loved ones, with information available for every stage of the Dementia journey.”
The shop is open fronted, bright, and welcoming and easily accessible to shoppers and commuters. The volunteers say that it has been busier than expected and hope that the project will roll out after the initial period.
Volunteer Abi is a third-year psychology student at Swansea University and said that not only has she learned a great deal which enhances her studies since volunteering there, but she has also really enjoyed meeting people and connecting with them, after the isolation of the pandemic.
Keith, another volunteer has been involved with Dementia Friendly Swansea for many years, says he has seen the impact of dementia on family and friends, and feels that the shop is a real asset both to carers and those living with dementia.
The pop-up has lots of information posted up on the walls so people can walk in to read what they want plus there will be volunteers on hand to signpost where to get further information.
There will also be drop-in sessions to see experts able to provide more detailed information about their area of knowledge, such as Occupational Therapists, Carers Support, Advocacy, supporting a loved one living in a Care Home, etc.
Dementia Friendly Swansea was founded in July 2013 and has held monthly forum meetings ever since, seeking to improve communication between all organisations supporting those living with dementia across Swansea, and is one of a number of similar organisations working across Wales
For updates and further information follow Dementia Hwb Swansea on Twitter, or call into the shop for a chat.
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First rate initiatives like this need to be rolled out across our nation asp.
Quality , local and up to date Information and pathways for those living with dementia or those of us who have our other halves effected by this curse is a must.
Beti George must be made Wales Dementia Champion as she enjoys wide public recognition, academic links plus clear communication skills and her own personal experiences with much missed DPJ so well written about.