Somebody put the Kettle on!

Somebody put the kettle on! It’s Time for a Cuppa week and who doesn’t love tea, cake and a natter? It’s the start of March, or more importantly, the start of Dementia UK’s fundraising event – Time for a Cuppa! The perfect reason to do all our favourite things (gossip and drink tea) while raising awareness and funds for Admiral Nurses.

Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses whose job is invaluable within our aging population. They utilise their experience and expertise to support families living with dementia, offering answers to vast amounts of questions while providing practical solutions. Help can be given in numerous ways including; stress and fear prevention/management, skills training and techniques to improve communication between individuals with dementia and their loved ones. Further, assistance with finding additional care and support to give the best possible care can also be provided.

The vast array of skills Admiral Nurses poses is essential for their job as dementia is a multi-faceted, complex neurological disorder. There are multiple types of dementia and even though varying diagnoses are offered, each individual will experience dementia in their own, unique way. This is, in-part, due to wide range of symptoms encompassed in dementia including memory loss, aggression, sight and hearing loss, reduced ability to communicate, depression/anxiety and much more (Alzheimer’s Society). Its impacts can be physical, emotional and psychological and it can profoundly change the practicalities of everyday life.  Therefore, the role of an Admiral Nurse is vital to help dementia suffers and their families lead the best possible life. That’s what makes Time for a Cuppa so special!

Although this is a fun event to take part in, its importance is ever growing. Year by year the number of people diagnosed with dementia increases and therefore, the demand for Admiral Nurses continually grows. There are currently 850,000 people recorded as suffering with dementia today. Yet, this is set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 (Dementia UK). Therefore, the money raised by the amazing Time for a Cuppa hosts is so valuable. So far, it’s employed 30 new Admiral Nurses and thus, brought in-depth support to 6,000 more people affected by dementia.

There is an abundance of research into aging and dementia, particularly here in Bradford. The home of Born in Bradford also houses the Frailty and Elderly Care Research group which specialises in addressing the needs of our aging population. Their aims and methods are similar to that of BiB except instead of a cohort of children, they are investigating the older generation. CARE75+ is their cohort study consisting of community-dwelling over 75 year olds and this is utilised to better understand how successful aging occurs and how to prevent/slow down problematic aging e.g. dementia.

A large focus of this research group is frailty, a state of vulnerability to adverse outcomes, in older people. For example they have investigated pain in older people with frailty (Brown, Young, Clegg & Heaven, 2015) and reported the best practice guidelines for the management of frailty (Turner & Glegg, 2014). This research with the CARE75+ cohort is valuable in addressing the problem of Dementia as the research group have established an association between frailty and dementia. Clegg et al. (2013) noted that evidence from observational studies have supported a temporal association between frailty, cognitive impairment and dementia. Additional cohort studies have also suggested an independent association between frailty and dementia. Therefore, research into frailty can have positive knock-on effects in addressing dementia.

As well as raising funds and awareness, Time for a Cuppa is beneficial as it gives a chance for people to get together, share their experiences and find support in the community. The families of a sufferer of dementia feel the impact of this condition greatly; therefore these coffee mornings and the support they receive from Admiral Nurses is invaluable. You can read about one volunteer’s experience being involved in Time for a Cuppa here.

Here, at Born in Bradford, we know the joys of a coffee afternoon as we regularly share our baked goods and raise money for various charities. If you are the same then Time for a Cuppa is a perfect cause to get involved in. Alternatively, if you have never hosted a tea party before, Dementia UK supply all you need as a first timer! Here is how you can get involved:

Register for a free Time for a Cuppa pack as either an organisation or an individual at https://www.dementiauk.org/support-us/fundraise/time-for-a-cuppa-2019/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt8u8nsq44AIV4ZztCh2QlwaTEAAYAiAAEgJQJPD_BwE

Alternatively you can call 020 80365380 or email timeforacuppa@dementiauk.org. Or if you are unable to host a tea party and simply want to donate to Dementia UK, you can support today at https://www.dementiauk.org/support-us/donate/. Any support would be greatly appreciated – happy 10th anniversary Time for a Cuppa!

By Ria Furniss

References:

Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

Brown, L., Young, J., Clegg, A. and Heaven, A., 2015. Pain in older people with frailty. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology.

Clegg, A., Young, J., Lliffe, S., Rikkert, MO., Rockwood, K., 2013. Fraility in elderly people. The Lancet.

Dementia UK: https://www.dementiauk.org/understanding-dementia/

Turner, G., Clegg, A., 2014. Best practice guidelines for the management of frailty: a British Geriatrics Society, Age UK and Royal College of General Practitioners report. Age and Ageing.