Dee and myself went on the radio recently, so for those of you who didn’t catch it here is what we talked about. Also a date for your diaries – a quiz evening at The Diner on Wednesday 11th May at 5.30pm with all proceeds from the raffle going to Forget Me Not. Hope to see you there.
FMN was started on Camposol by Colin Thackwell because he realised there was a need for those with Dementia/Alzheimer’s to go to a safe environment for a few hours a week. Colin has now retired from the group and Dee has taken over, and we´re realising that the people who we`re helping most are the Carers of our Clients, because they need a well-earned respite morning. Therefore, not all of our Clients are suffering from Dementia/Alzheimers but just need a safe interesting place to go so their Carers have some time to themselves. We have now made our Strapline “FMN is for Caring for the Carers”.
We have around 20 clients, some aren’t residents, so they attend when they´re here. We meet on Monday and Thursday mornings at The Social Centre on Sector B 10.30 until 1pm and we have a structured morning starting with a cup of tea and a craft project. Several of the men prefer to play dominoes at a separate table so a couple of volunteers play with them. At 11.30am we have chair exercises and are very lucky to have 2 qualified Occupational Health workers. The Clients really enjoy the chair exercises and we now combine it with sing-alongs and finish with a game of chair hoopla. At 12pm we provide a free lunch followed by bingo.
We have a nucleus of regular volunteers but we always need more because most of our Clients need one to one help. We also employ nurses and they participate in everything we do as well as providing first aid if needed. They have notes on each Client and can advise their Carers if they are having problems at home or if we notice any changes in the Clients behaviour.
Our volunteers are very valuable to us at FMN because without them we couldn’t run the group so are grateful for every minute they´re with us. They get to know our clients and their families and become involved in how they are that day, understand their capabilities, who they like to sit next to and whether they like tea or coffee.
FMN is important because it’s a service that´s needed on an Urbanisation like Camposol and surrounding areas that have a lot of UK Expats who don’t have a great command of the Spanish language. It would be very frightening for any of our Clients to go to a non English speaking Spanish group. The Spanish Health Authority is aware of our group and Silvana has said the Head of Social Services will be paying us a visit, and hopefully offer help and advice.
Our charity becomes an extension to the Clients family, giving much needed respite for the Carer and also help, advice and support when they find it difficult to cope. We keep on reaching out for Clients who are in the community that don’t know about us or find it difficult to get to us. Once they find us their life opens up and even more so for the Carer. This is why it’s so important for us to appear on the radio and write these articles to bring our profile to the forefront of people who may one day need our services or to mention us to their friends and neighbours.
The community on Camposol is getting older and more established and we need to recognise that people who moved here 20 years ago who were fit and healthy have now got needs that we can help with.