A SPECIALIST dementia service brought the excitement of London 2012 closer to home for its care users – offering them the chance to pull out their best Usain Bolt impressions at an Olympics themed event.
Fife Flexicare, a service run by Bield, organised the event and were even able to secure an authentic Olympic Torch to bring the glamour the games alive.
‘The Bield Olympics’ kicked off with a special opening ceremony and care user, Jean Smith, 83, had the honour of carrying the torch, as the games, which included shot put, quoits, skittles and darts commenced.
Fife Flexicare, provides a unique service to people with dementia acrossFifeand has bases in Levenmouth and Glenrothes. It regularly holds events and runs activities for its care users across Fife, with the Olympic afternoon at the Royal Oak Community Club in Lochgelly the latest event.
Jacqui Hardie, who manages the service in Glenrothes, said: “Our aim is to alleviate the isolation that is often felt by people with dementia.
“Social stimulation is a large part of our operations, and we organise day trips, lunches and other activities and encourage interaction with other users – with our successful Olympics event the latest example of this.
“It really was a fantastic evening which allowed our care users to get a slice of the action and have some fun in a group setting.”
In order to help the service continue to offer events such as these for its care users, Fife Flexicare is about to embark on a series of fund raising initiatives, raising money which will enable it to extend these events to others who wish to enjoy their benefits.
Patsy Smith, manager of the Levenmouth service, said: “What we do is a bit different. As well as providing a social outlet, we also help our users with healthy living, household skills and assist them manage their finances.
“We currently have a waiting list for the Fife Flexicare service as it has proven so popular among the community and lack of funding means that we cannot extend our services any further – which is why we will soon be kicking off a fundraising drive to hold more events like the Olympics evening.”
Fife Flexicare has been running for almost two decades and gives extra support on an individual basis to help people with dementia feel part of the community and provide assistance to allow them to stay in their own homes.
Lesley Whitelaw, whose mother regularly uses Fife Flexicare, said: “Fife Flexicare has really been a lifeline for my mother and has enabled her to stay in her own home independently and manage her own affairs.
“She looks forward greatly to her weekly visits and finds them stimulating and morale lifting. I am particularly grateful to Bield because, although I try to visit as often as possible, I live and work hundreds of miles away.”
Fife Flexicare, run by Bield -Scotland’s leading provider of housing, care and community services for older people – employs 30 staff who currently work with around 200 local people. Fife Flexicare is a dual registered service with the Care Inspectorate (Care at Home and Housing Support)
Chief executive, Brian Logan, said Fife Flexicare typifies the approach Bield has made to improve the lives of people who use its services under its new inspirational statement: Free to Be.
He said: “This Free to Be commitment goes very much at the heart of what Bield is all about – letting people make their own choices about how they live their lives but being there to support them when they need it.
“Many older people still have ambition and drive and we want to give them the freedom to do the things they love but which might otherwise be taken away without the right help and support.”
Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 15,000 people across 22 local authority areas.
More information can be found on Bield at www.bield.co.uk