'I don’t want to sit with a group of old people knitting spaghetti. There is nothing available for my needs. I feel like a square peg being bashed into a round hole.'
So said a fifty-something year old member of local support group Dementia Support South Lincs with young onset dementia, who had found that respite for both the person with dementia and their carer was geared to the ‘older’ person. It was against this background the formula for Square Hole Club was devised. It has now been running for three years and is open to people with young onset dementia, or who are in the early stages of the illness.
It takes place twice a month in a local sports and social club, so is not a ‘care home’ or ‘medical’ environment and because it offers a full day’s programme, the carer takes a much needed break to have some reviving ‘me-time’.
Square Holers themselves contribute ideas of how they will spend the day. Each session is themed. Travel, fashion and food are topics that have been explored, along with a day at the seaside which came complete with knotted hankies, a fish and chips lunch, and knobbly knees competition. One of the club’s friends (a former carer) is a talented photographer and took the accompanying photograph which shows Square Hole Club members, their support workers and volunteers.
There are up to 13 members at each session, supported by three professional support workers and two volunteers, whose role is to ensure everyone gains maximum therapeutic benefit and stimulation from the day - but above all the idea is to have fun!
The club is supported financially by the Lincolnshire Dementia Support Network Fund, and in November 2015 granted Dementia Support South Lincs additional funding to mentor the setting up of a second Square Hole Club in a neighbouring area of Lincolnshire.
Square Hole Club was a finalist in the 2015 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards.
For more information about Square Hole Club contact Kate Marshall, Dementia Support South Lincs memory health care worker, 01778 426756 / 07867 635611, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registered charity no 1162277