Living with dementia can be an isolating, scary and bleak experience for those with a diagnosis and their family carers. Zest Hythe is here to turn that around - providing varied, enriching creative experiences from a team of professional artists. Each week, the group will collaborate on new creative projects, coming together to challenge themselves, achieve and have fun, leaving participants feeling stimulated, valued and more hopeful. People living with dementia often thrive on routine, so the consistency and quality of our specialist support, a safe space to express yourself and remain active is key to families continuing to live well in the community. This group is situated in Hythe, which has the highest proportion of people living with a dementia diagnosis in Kent and Medway and will be further supported by our expert Zest Coordinator who will provide companionship calls and offer advice, signposting and safeguarding to ensure that our participant families are well cared for.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
People living with dementia and their supporters deserve access to cultural experiences that can significantly contribute to a good quality of life. When carers become fatigued and families become isolated there is a risk of secondary disability and a rapid escalation of problems that place demands on multiple health and social care services. Our project serves to prevent this risk, placing people with dementia at the heart of the community, modelling a dementia positive approach that can be replicated by families at home. Zest sessions are proven to be mood-boosting - data collected over a five-year period shows they have a significant, marked impact on the mental wellbeing of participants. Sessions will support friendships, peer-support, referrals/signposting, reduce isolation, and support some of our most vulnerable disabled people to celebrate their personhood, identity, relationships and independence in the here and now.
Steps to get it done:
Zest Hythe is often referred to as a lifeline by its participants. In their own words: "We had a lovely time at Zest this afternoon and we really rely on how much we enjoy it, it makes me feel so much better afterwards." "Zest is so important to us, we would greatly miss it if it were no longer running, it is so special and there is really nothing like it." "It takes quite an effort for me to get to Zest but I do because I find it really worthwhile to be with you all. Thank you for keeping in touch with me." "Zest is the best group I have ever belonged to, it is so well organised."
About the space
Kent County Council