A dementia support café is due to be launched by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust next week to support people living with the condition and those who care for them.
The café is being set up by Angela Walter, the first hospital-based Admiral nurse in Devon. As reported by Nursing Times, she was appointed in May.
The café is designed to offer a place where people with dementia, their carers and relatives can socialise with others in similar circumstances, and learn more about the condition and local services available.
It will be one of many across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are separate from “memory clinics” or NHS dementia services that involve assessing and diagnosing the condition.
Since becoming an Admiral nurse in March, Ms Walter’s role involves giving expert practical, clinical and emotional support to people living with dementia and their carers and families.
Ms Walter said she hoped the support café will be a “safe, social and welcoming environment”, where dementia patients and those who care for them can talk to others to discuss their shared experiences.
“People are scared and patients need to be supported and have good friendships”
She also said she hoped to have recruited around eight to 10 volunteers to help run it.
“I think they struggle the most with other people,” Ms Walter said to Nursing Times. “People don’t know how to react to dementia.
“People are scared and patients need to be supported and have good friendships,” she added.
The first café will run on Wednesday 15 August from 2pm-4pm in the Raleigh Galley Restaurant, Level 0, at North Devon District Hospital.
It will continue to be held on the first Wednesday of every month from 2pm-4pm and the third Wednesday of every month from 4pm-6pm.
Tea, coffee and cake will be provided due to donations from the community. Entrance to the café is free of charge and people can drop in at any time.