Deb Wiltshire, home manager at Care South’s Fern Brook Lodge care home in Gillingham, has set herself the challenge of walking 100km throughout the month of March with her dog, Pumpkin to raise money and awareness for Dementia UK.
The charity provides specialist dementia nurses to those affected by all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and is running a March Dog Walking Challenge to help families facing dementia.
Deb has worked in the care industry for 40 years and is a dementia champion at Fern Brook Lodge, a role which oversees the care and experience of residents living with dementia. Fern Brook Lodge is a residential and dementia care home which supports those living with dementia and Deb is passionate about going that one step further by sharing her skills and knowledge wider.
Deb is currently supporting all staff at Fern Brook Lodge to become Dementia Friends and, as part of this, is opening The Brook Room at the home to the wider community to use for free dementia sessions. Deb will also visit local church groups, companies, Girl Guides and Scout groups in the Gillingham community to deliver Dementia Friends sessions to help educate people and raise awareness and understanding.
Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions, both big and small, which can be anything from visiting someone with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue. Dementia Friends also get involved with volunteering, campaigning and raising awareness. If anyone is looking to become a Dementia Friend and would like to attend a session at Fern Brook Lodge, they can contact Deb directly at Fern Brook Lodge on 01747 834020.
Commenting on the challenge, Deb said: ‘I just want to raise what I can for the charity. Dementia UK’s research is moving in such a positive way that the future looks brighter for people living with dementia and for their loved ones. Any progress, however small, is a great thing.
‘Having the privilege of working with people who are living with dementia and seeing how this affects families is the motivation to get on and do that 100km walk with my little dog! He certainly does not mind – I just have to tell him to “get your shoes on” and he goes crazy for his walks.’
Deb has set up a dedicated donation page for the 100km walk where supporters can make a donation directly to Dementia UK: https://www.facebook.com/donate/908678477003280/