BSL

Dementia & Deafness

Over the past 20 years there has been an increased interest into the links between hearing loss and dementia. Past research has suggested that people with a hearing loss are more likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia, and we wanted to understand why this might be.

Dementia Services

DSN wanted to get involved in understanding these links between dementia and deafness, and further increase our knowledge so that we could continue to meet the needs of our clients. We have been supporting cutting edge research into this area for the past 5 years, and from this we have been able to develop a new service ‘You Me and Tea’

You Me and Tea

With social isolation being a possible mediator between hearing loss and dementia, we set up the service ‘You Me and Tea’ which is a café and social group ultimately designed to meet the needs of D/deaf people with memory problems and/or dementia.

DSN recognised that there was no specialist services or groups in our local area for people with hearing loss, and thus our clients often felt excluded from ready-made groups or due to lack of confidence didn’t want to join.

You Me and Tea was launched on our 40th birthday in April 2016, and offers a relaxed atmosphere for people to come and socialise, do some fun activities and have a light lunch. We are a fully inclusive group, who welcomes everybody, specifically people who are D/deaf with or without memory problems or dementia.

We host a well-established group currently running on the 4th Tuesday of every month at our Northwich base, and ‘pop up’ regularly at different locations throughout Cheshire (Check out the events section for dates). We have recently won funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to host our You, Me and Tea café’s in the East of Cheshire, which take place at different venues, three times per month.

As each group is different, activities are entirely group led depending on specialist interests, but activities range from painting, arts and crafts and board games and reminiscence therapy, quizzes and day trips out. We like to include seated exercises and always finish with an afternoon tea style light lunch and cup of tea.

For any more information about a café or to come along, please contact any of our our offices.

Sensory Boxes

In collaboration with the Richard Sharp Sensory Project as a result of the hard work and fundraising efforts of the Sharp family, together with various donations from the public and Vale Royal CCG, a library of memory boxes have been created.

These boxes have been made up to suit various hobbies, as well as common reminiscence themes such as Christmas, Easter & Springtime, and war time years. The boxes are designed to stimulate memories and conversations for people with sensory impairment and dementia.

These boxes are used commonly by DSNs dementia services team, predominantly at You, Me & Tea, a monthly café for people with sensory impairment and/or memory loss along with their friends and carers. They are also available for free loan to individuals and families, where we ask for a small donation towards transportation and use of the boxes.

We currently have a partnership with the dementia ward, Croft Ward at Macclesfield Hospital. Felicity Sharpley, Occupational therapist has said “Service users with dementia have enjoyed inspecting the objects, socialising and discussing memories associated with childhood and springtime. Sensory objects with unusual textures, reflective material or applique provides cognitive stimulation for those with severe dementia”

If you would like to, or know of anyone who would like to loan a sensory box, please contact Jenna Littlejohn.

News

Deafness and Dementia in the spotlight at national conference

Deafness and Dementia in the spotlight at national conference

Pioneering research funded by a Cheshire-based charity, has been put into focus at a national conference.Deafness Support Network have been working alongside University of Manchester, to create guidelines of how to best assess patients both with a hearing loss and a...

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Research

Our post-doctoral researcher, Jenna, is investigating how we can best recognise, manage and support hearing and vision impairment for people with dementia.

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