Younger People with Dementia (YPwD) Pottery
Younger People with Dementia benefit from services tailored to their particular needs and the ones they are offered tend to fall under ‘older peoples’ provision. This is unsatisfactory as they can be diagnosed with dementia from as young as 45 years of age and older peoples provision is not necessarily appropriate or sufficient for their particular needs.
Following closure of the YPwD pottery class at Fulbourn Hospital we stepped in (with funding from ‘Friends of Fulbourn Hospital and the Community’) to ensure continuation of the workshops.
Currently funded by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation donors the workshops continue on a weekly basis (every Friday) in a professional ceramic studio in central Cambridge.
Our Younger People with Dementia programme provides a safe and therapeutic environment for participants with a dementia diagnosis early in life.
Sessions allow attendees to show ability and enjoy success within a safe and social setting, experience handling clay and be guided and supported to make objects which will then be glazed and professionally fired. It is well documented that such activity relaxes the person with dementia and they will invariably leave the session calmer and more engaged than when they arrived. This will impact positively on their day and allow their carer (often spouse or close relative) to enjoy close and relaxed time with their loved one or some respite away from their caring role.
The ability to successfully function and make objects and share activity with carers is vital at a time when ‘mistakes’ and ‘inability’ are increasing due to the progression of the disease. Many of those attending our workshops will be doing so for the first time and often will have previously led a very active and culturally rich life. Why should that have to stop!