Llys Cadfan, Tywyn
Is a care home in the seaside town in Gwynedd that provides later life care for those diagnosed with one of the many types of Dementia and also provides support and advice to family members and friends of those in their care. It is also a Day Centre and also provides short-stay provision for those living with dementia giving respite for carers as well as supporting people to continue to live within their own communities.
The staff at Llys Cadfan are dedicated, caring, knowledgeable professionals . They are exceptional people who genuinely care for the well-being of those in their care and love each and every one of the residents.
My personal exposure to Dementia.
My auntie was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and has been a resident at Llys Cadfan for two years. At first, I just visited to see my auntie and would leave with a heavy heart after each visit, but then I found I was staying longer and spending more of my time there talking to the other residents as well as my auntie and joining in with their activities. They are all individuals with different characters and all have stories to tell you, they love chatting with anyone who will listen.
Care at Llys Cadfan includes stimulating activities such as jigsaws, painting and drawing, craft activities, singing, bingo, word searches, quizzes, exercise class once a week provided by DementiaGo and trips out. Without the beach wheelchairs access to the beach that is so close is impossible.
Previous Fund Raising attempts.
The Cambrian News and Sibrydion Cymuned reported on the fund raising efforts initiated by the home. Liz Saville Roberts MP supports the project and would have mentioned it in her presentation - "Dementia: The Rural Experiences" at the Alzheimers Association Conference, Llandudno due to be held in March if it had not been for the Lockdown. DementiaGo recognises the mental and physical benefits and there have been community supported sponsored events, raffles and donations. I personally raise funds by giving talks around Gwynedd, Powys and Ceredigion and any expenses given to me is donated to Llys Cadfan.
Benefits of having Beach Wheelchairs
Residents , diagnosed with one of many types of dementia, staff and family members will immensely benefit from having beach wheelchairs at the care home. The home is less than a mile from the beautiful sandy beach at Tywyn and the promenade can easily be reached but access on to the beach is not possible without these specially adapted wheelchairs.
There are approximately 40 residents (20 with dementia) at Llys Cadfan, that also accommodates Day Care users and respite care visitors who stay for a few days or weeks all may be able to use the wheelchairs for visits to the beach.
If Llys Cadfan possessed these wheelchairs it may be a consideration of the home to hire the chairs out to visiting disabled tourists.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with:- memory loss; thinking speed; mental sharpness and quickness; language; understanding; judgement; mood; movement and difficulties carrying out daily activities
There are many different causes of dementia. People often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia and, together with vascular dementia, makes up the vast majority of cases.
There are around 850,000 people with Dementia in the UK.
Between 40,000 and 50,000 people in Wales currently living with Dementia. Including more than 2,200 people with young onset Dementia (Dementia that starts before the age of 65).
The impact of Dementia on society is much wider when we consider carers and family members.
Currently 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have Dementia in the UK, with 70% of people in Care Homes having Dementia or severe memory problems.
There are over 42,000 people under the age of 65 with Dementia in the UK. Any one of us, as we get older, may suffer from Dementia.
What is the impact of being diagnosed with Dementia?
The impact of someone being diagnosed with Dementia can be physical, emotional and psychological and can also profoundly change the practicalities of everyday life and it is only when a family member or friend develops Dementia that we start to understand the impact on the one diagnosed and their family and friends. Everyone is affected by this terrible and debilitating illness.
Partners feel guilty that they can no longer care for their loved one at home; they mourn the loss of their partner who is not the same person now that they once knew; they expect the same affection and love from their partner that they once had but no longer receive and they become frustrated at the lack of communication and attention they want. If they are elderly then they find it very difficult to change from having a partner living with them to being on their own in the family home.
Those diagnosed with Dementia are often living in their own world but the one who is also suffering is the partner and main carer who may have to deal with someone they don’t recognise and may treat them with anger and lash out.
My Family and the impact.
My uncle had been married for over sixty years when his wife went to Llys Cadfan and had to adjust to living on his own but visiting his wife on a daily basis. He saw a physically healthy woman and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t come home and for him to look after her. He had to learn that she was in the best place and that he could not have provided her with the 24/7 care she required. It was very distressing watching him struggling to cope and adjust, but he has and now communicates with other residents in Llys Cadfan and joins in with some activities such as one day they were making cakes but one didn’t know what to do so he did it for her, being a baker in his past he was so pleased to show them how to do it. Adjustment for him was difficult and took a long time but he had a lot of support from Llys Cadfan and his family. He could benefit from taking his wife with Dementia to the beach using one of these wheelchairs.
Raising Awareness of Dementia
This project will enhance the lives of those with it but also raise the awareness of Dementia in the community. Residents will relive their childhoods or time spent when their children were young and the enjoyment they had at the seaside near to their care home which they currently can not access.
Beach Wheelchairs cost between 3,000-4,000 pounds this doesn't include any ongoing maintenance costs.
Dementia sufferers remember their past and the times they enjoyed such as being on a beach with loved ones and these wheelchairs would make such a difference in not only them enjoying the experience of being on a beach but it would be stimulating and healthy.
The Future with your help
The staff at Llys Cadfan are exceptional professionals who genuinely care for the well-being of those in their care and love each and every one of the residents, these wheelchairs would help them too in being able to provide more stimulating activities by going to the beach.
Any one of us, as we grow into old age, may be diagnosed with Dementia and will rely on our family, friends and caring professionals like those I have found at Llys Cadfan. My purpose now is to raise awareness of Dementia and the help that is available and to be personally aware every day of how lucky I am, and to try my best to treat those with Dementia with my love and understanding. It could be me one day that suffers from Dementia and I know I would enjoy a trip to the beach to relive happy memories of times gone by!