In 1999, Heather Morrison and one of her co-workers founded the Deeside Forget-me-not Club.
The charity is now situated at the recently acquired Bennett House, now a purpose built facility, which places itself very locally in Banchory.
One of the reasons it was founded was to counter the lack of support in the area for sufferers of dementia also known as Alzheimer’s disease.
This disease mainly effects the memory capacity of aging individuals.
These individuals have to be taken into care by their loved ones or the local care homes.
Coming up is a semi-long video I took during a week’s voluntary work at the Forget Me Not Club.
It highlights the wide range of activities and the safe and calm environment offered by the charity for the clients, generally elderly folk, while volunteers and staff take good care of any suffering from dementia.
We hope enjoy you hearing and/or seeing the content of this video.
Video – 4 minutes 11 seconds (will continue playing silently for another 50 seconds while Sarah is speaking)
It is clear that Forget-me-Not does well to support their clients, but more importantly it primarily supports their carers and their families.
Carers have a difficult job to do,
but when they are given the right tools and advice whether it’s coping strategies, emotional, financial and other good support – carers can look after their loved ones for much longer than without.
Forget-Me-Not provides this necessary support as well as regular training courses for new carers, helping them to understand what is available to help them.
Also, Forget-Me-Not’s work supports the running of local care homes who are under pressure to look after their many service-users.
The initiative behind Forget-Me-Not was “Let’s support the carers” and that is what they continue to do today.
After people go into long-term care, the carers stay around the Forget Me Not club and become volunteers.
They understand what it is to care for those who suffer from dementia and do an excellent job being volunteers on a weekly basis.
If we win the £3,000 pounds for the Forget Me Not Club then we would like the money to be spent on a resource library at Bennett House for people with dementia and their carers.
This Library would include books, CDs, DVDs from the time of the client’s past, which would help them reconnect with their long-term memories.
Illustrated books, large print books, books for reading aloud, local history, audiobooks, music and films would allow clients to relive their childhood and time of growing up.
For carers, they would find resources to advise and educate them on the complexities of dementia to help them in their long term caring of their loved ones.
Deeside book store in Ballater would be where many of these supplies would be purchased.
Gresswell Library suppliers would source the library accessories e.g. library issue cards, date stamp etc.
A brochure about the services would be offered to clients and carers in the area, which would inform them about services to homebound persons with dementia, as well as services to carers in the area.
This should be displayed in the library and would also be distributed to doctors, nurses, social workers, public information centres and other places where the elderly and their relatives meet.
An observation I made when I volunteered at Forget Me Not – was that I immediately wanted to distinguish between the dementia suffering clients and from the volunteer helpers.
Until I realised that the aim was not to label people, but to form a community of people who support one another, to love each other and treat each other as equals.
Also, Forget Me Not, provides over 500 hours of free care per week with only 5 members of staff and a mainly voluntary capacity.
The charity as it is, requires ongoing support in order to operate.
Our initiative to win the £3000 for this resource library will also go towards keeping Forget-Me-Not running in full operation, and yes, we would like to win.