Heeley City Farm's Dementia Department provides a hub of support for carers for people with Dementia through Carers groups and info' support; and also to help people with dementia through Animal Assisted Therapy and other creative resources.
In 2015 Heeley City Farm opened a dementia department. Ran by Lee Pearse, with help from his brother Andrew, who cared for their mother, Valerie, for over 12 years. Valerie had a rare form of Dementia called Frontotemporal Dementia (formerly known as Pick's Disease). today the Dementia Department host many events across the city of Sheffield, they hold a 'Carers Group' for carers of people with FTD on the second tuesday of every month, they have launched 'Farming Comes To You', an initiative were the animals of the farm go into care setting for Animal Assisted Therapy. Farming Comes To You has already been in care homes, Cultural Dementia City event at Sheffield City Hall, International Older Persons Day in Sheffield City Centre and the Celebration Event for Carers Week at Hillsborough Arena.
Farming Comes To You
Farming Comes To You (FCTY) is a initiative set up by the Dementia Department (along side The Valerie Foundation) were we take the animals from the Farm and take them to care settings, for Animal Assisted Therapy sessions, so that people who are isolated, living with dementia and potentially missing the outside world can interact with animals. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has had research into it to find the benefits for people with Dementia. AAT has proven to help relieve symptoms in people with dementia, most notibly, agitation and anxiousness. Animal interactions can have a calming effect on people and someone with Dementia who might not necessarily communicate their agitation can show a more calmed demeanour.
FTD Carers Group
On the second Tuesday of every month we hold a support group at the Farm for people who care for people with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), formerly know as Pick's Disease.
In April 2016 the group started and has grown since with many for the people who came to the first meeting still coming today! New members are welcome, you can either just come down to the group when it is on or call before hand to get extra information.
The group is very informal, come down for tea and a biscuit, join in in the conversation or just sit and listen. The group is run by 2 brothers who's Mother had FTD, they understand how daunting being a carer can be and how little knowledge and support there can be for carers, especially in the world of FTD - a very rare form of Dementia.
The group is in place for people to come and chat about experiences, ask questions to others that might be going through the same thing, share coping mechanisms or just to get things off your chest.
Alex, our Dementia Department Project Officer, runs Nature Based Dementia Friendly Art Workshops in care setting or here at the Farm.