Meeting Centres are a local resource, operating out of ordinary community buildings, providing warm and friendly expert support to people living at home with dementia and their families and friends. At the heart of the Meeting Centre is a social club where people can meet to have fun, talk to others, and get great help that focusses on what makes life great.
Where did Meeting Centres begin?
They were first developed in the Netherlands approximately 25 years ago. Currently, there are 150 Dutch centres with a national network that groups can utilise. International and UK research shows that Meeting Centres have positive outcomes for people with dementia and for family carers using the Adaptation-Coping model put forward by Professor Rose-Marie Dröes in 1991.
What’s the evidence?
The evidence shows that people attending Meeting Centres experience better self-esteem, greater feelings of happiness and sense of belonging. There was also evidence that there were fewer of the more distressing symptoms of dementia and a greater feeling of support. Family carers experience less burden, feeling better able to cope. People with dementia and carers reported high levels of satisfaction with the programme, seeing it as an important way of keeping active and feeling supported.
Adjusting to change
A diagnosis of dementia is a huge challenge to come to terms with, both for the person receiving the diagnosis but also their loved ones. If people make good emotional, social and practical adjustment to dementia following diagnosis, then it is likely that they will experience fewer distressing symptoms later and will be able to live at home for longer with a better quality of life for them and their families. Meeting Centres are a way of providing accessible support on a local level to act against this.
What takes place in in a Meeting Centre?
A team of staff and volunteers trained in the Meeting Centre ethos provide an enjoyable and flexible programme for both the person with dementia and their family carers.
Who is eligible to join?
Residents of North Tyneside who have a diagnosis of dementia or any other cognitive impairment, alongside a family member or carer.