As part of an ongoing pilot project, local mums have been visiting people with dementia at the Bromley MindCare Dementia centre in Beckenham with their babies and toddlers once a week.
The volunteer-led project came about with local mum, Alice, wanting to volunteer and contribute to the local community, whilst raising her baby son.
“I was looking for something positive and meaningful to do outside of the home with my son,” said Alice. “I came across an article about people with dementia comforted by babies in Japan, and this inspired me to approach MindCare Dementia Support.”
Mums and babies have been coming to MindCare Dementia Centre in Beckenham on a weekly basis and as Alice described, “everyone is a winner!”
“I have been blessed with a smiley, social baby boy who seems to bring out so much joy in people – he enjoys coming to the centre too. Myself and other mums get to make new friends with each other and have a regular activity to attend with a variety of other people, overcoming the isolation that many mums can feel.”
“And the people with dementia at the centre…. They love it and look forward to our sessions together!
“Seeing my son and the other babies sparks off memories and people attending the centre share their stories of their children and grandchildren,” Alice continued. “I find there is so much to learn about life and other people’s experiences through starting and sharing stories like this.”
Volunteers from Mindful Mums also have started to visit the MindCare Centre with their babies and children. Zania volunteers as a befriender for Mindful Mums in Bromley and she recently visited the centre with her daughter.
“Personal experience of caring for family members attracted me to this opportunity,” said Zania. “I have learnt so much about dementia on this visits and it is so personally gratifying seeing the joy in people just from spending time with me and my daughter.”
Saira Addison, MindCare Dementia Support Manager, said,
“In just the first few weeks, this project is having a really positive effect on some our clients living with dementia. One of the clients was not interacting much with other people and not taking part in some activities. Since the mums and babies have been visiting, the client with dementia is laughing, talking, sharing and taking part in activities much more and their family has reported positive differences at home too – that’s what living well as possible with dementia is about and we are glad that local parents can be part of that too.”
About Bromley MindCare Dementia Support
Find out more about how Bromley MindCare Dementia Support helps people with dementia and their families to live as well as possible with dementia by watching the video below.
If you would like to find out more about this baby and toddler pilot project at MindCare Dementia Support, please contact Saira Addison:
020 8289 3998