BreakAway is a dementia-friendly social group founded to provide respite for carers living with a relative, at home, with dementia.
BreakAway is organised by a committee who are members of St Paul’s church. We meet weekly on a Tuesday afternoon and provide a relaxed friendly atmosphere for people with dementia. We are fortunate to have a large number of church members who volunteer as befrienders on a rota basis. Each befriender will usually provide one-to-one support for our BreakAway members who have a diagnosis of dementia. We are all volunteers.
BreakAway Session lasts two hours and we begin with a welcome cup of tea/coffee and chat, followed by a teatime teaser quiz and a game of musical bingo. We then break into groups with members enjoying various activities – crafts, knitting, dominoes, jigsaws, painting, memory books etc. This allows each of our members to do something that they enjoy.
After a rousing ‘Singalong’, the session ends with Afternoon Tea served with lovely home baking.
We receive referrals mainly through Dementia Link Workers based in Kirkintilloch. They are familiar with our group and what we are able to provide and can determine if their client, the person with dementia, might be interested in coming to BreakAway.
We will also consider direct referrals from a family or friend contact.
A home visit will be arranged to meet the family and, if appropriate, an invitation will be extended to join BreakAway. We provide printed information about the group and ask the carer and member, as appropriate, to complete an Information Form.
The carers of our members are very appreciative of all the time and preparation that goes into each of our sessions and for the care and attention which is given to their loved ones. One carer, in particular, has written a personal reflection on BreakAway – here are just some of the comments he makes :
BreakAway provides a flourishing example of voluntary work in action. Their commitment and impact have highlighted key features of management and delivery which are essential in ensuring high quality care and support'
The helpers give thoughtful attention to social bonding at coffee breaks and through heart-to-heart conversations, playing games such as dominoes or indoor bowling, group singing of songs from yesteryear
Caregivers who make use of BreakAway welcome and appreciate the support that is well-suited to the prerequisites of those for whom they are responsible. They take comfort in knowing that there is an emphasis on 'living well while aging' through the enhancement of features relating to personal and social health and well-being.