Our volunteer walking buddy training helps support the wider community
Earlier this month our walking buddy volunteers had a presentation from Margaret at the Alzheimer's Society in York to give us hints and tips and every day examples on how we can support our beneficiaries living with dementia.
It was a super useful session. We learnt how people living with dementia often had better memories of events from a long time ago, but that their short term, more recent, memory was more erratic. We were taught different ways we could deal with this that were empathetic to the individual.
We also were told how a person living with dementia’s emotional feelings can often be heightened and how they often remembered how they felt about an experience - feeling happy after a day at the beach for example - rather than the actual details of the the day; the fish and chips and the walk along the pier.
It was really good to hear examples of situations we might find ourselves in, and how to support the person in the most appropriate, caring way. After the session all the Move Mates became Dementia Friends and were given little badges to show others we have become one. The following day, one of our Move Mates went to Tescos wearing her Dementia Friend badge. She was just going to the checkout when a lady approached her and asked for help as she'd seen the badge. She said that she'd got her shopping but was feeling uncertain about the checkout process.
Our Move Mate happily went with her and gave her some moral support- nothing more than that was needed - just a friendly face!
Although the lady could have asked a member of staff, she saw the badge and wanted a low fuss way to get a little help that meant nobody else knew she had needed it.
Suffice to say, our Move Mate was delighted to have been able to give the support needed thanks to their recent training. And we love it too.
If you would like to become a walking buddy for a person in your local neighbourhood, fill out this simple form online: https://movethemasses.org.uk/buddies