By Rose Barrett
The Irish Men’s Shed Association last week launched a new manual Your Shed & Dementia aimed at raising awareness of the condition.
With an estimated 6,191 men living with dementia in Dublin, the Irish association has developed the manual in partnership with the HSE and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
Donaghmede Men’s Shed welcomes the new manual which offers tools to help ‘Shedders’ and their family to recognise signs of dementia, as well as offering practical communication and listening tips.
Martin Groves, Chair Donaghmede Men’s Shed stated:
“We have 26 members in total, about 16 regular members and all are aged from 54 to 84 years. We’ve experienced at least one member with dementia to date,” said Martin “But we’d welcome advice as to how best to support a member with the condition. It’s important as we age to remain included in our social outlets and to remain as independent as possible.
“Donaghmede Men’s Shed was founded on Men’s Day, November 19, 2014. We haven’t been able to host our regular meetings in the clubhouse during the Covid restrictions but luckily, one of our members has a large garden, and we’ve planted an allotment there.
“We are so grateful to have the space where we’re growing onions, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, cabbage, salads, carrots and egg plants. It’s a very productive space and great to have an outdoor facility like this.
“Our actual meeting place is at the HUB in Clongriffin, given to us through the generosity of Gannon Homes and Dublin Corporation. Luckily, none of our members nor their families were infected by the virus.
“We heartily welcome the launch of ‘Your Shed & Dementia’ and look forward to raising awareness among our members on the condition. We will support anyone who needs our help in anyway, especially re Dementia, and not just our members,” said Martin.
Alzheimer’s, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia are the four more common types of dementia and a person can have more than one type of dementia. More than 11,000 people develop dementia in Ireland – that’s approximately 30 people every day.
Common early signs of dementia include increasing confusion, reduced concentration, memory loss, difficulty communicating, personality or behaviour changes, apathy and withdrawal or depression, and the loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
Enda Egan, CEO, Irish Men’s Sheds Association, said: “As our 450 plus Men’s Sheds across Ireland are now finally beginning to reopen, a key priority is continuing to welcome men with early-stage dementia in different ways.
“Sheds are offering a range of activities, from DIY essentials, exercise classes and live music sessions online, to gardening and social events in the great outdoors.”
See www.menssheds.ie, to find out which activities are available at your nearest Shed.
Six Simple ActionsThe Dementia: Understand Together campaign is a public support, awareness and information campaign led by the HSE, which advocates the following tips:
- See the person, not the dementia
- Talk about dementia
- Ask how you can help
- Stay in touch
- Support the person to keep up hobbies and interests
- Make sure your service/space is easy to use
Contact Martin at 087 9141 115 if you’d like to know more about Donaghmede Men’s Shed.
“New members are always welcome,” he said “We are also looking for a sponsor to kindly provide us with a defibrillator.”