Summer's here - and so is the ice cream van

Torbay Weekly

Well, it finally looks like summer's finally arrived in Torbaydos.

The gardens are about a month behind but I am sure they will catch up and the future's hopefully looking good.

I am sure another few weeks is not long to wait after such a long time in lockdown.

I know the national talking point is always the weather, but how does that affect people with dementia?

More than you probably know and here’s why.

Dehydration is always a huge problem in hot weather with most, but with people who live with dementia even more so.

Sometimes, if not enough fluid is drank it can soon bring on disorientation, dizziness and falls which can be so serious, it can even cause 'symptoms' of dementia where their thoughts, speech and actions are affected.

Then there is the added worry of a urine infection because of it.

This is why it’s so important to make sure all are hydrated in hot weather and there is a simple trick to combat this, especially in care homes.

Many years ago we trialled yellow plates and cutlery and knives and forks as well as clear plastic glass tumblers in a local cottage hospital in Devon (remember them? sadly missed) and asked the ward sister where the elderly were on to give us any feedback they had after a week.

Well, it only took three days before I got a phone call from the ward sister to say they had spent most of their days now filling the water jugs up on the ward - what a result!

Also, the use of yellow plates and utensils proved to help improve food intake had been so successful some were asking for more.

So you see, sometimes the most simple things can have the biggest difference and its things we do without thinking.

Most of us have clear drinking glasses at home but some don’t, and if you don’t, and you live with someone who has dementia please give them a glass so they can see the water in front of them, little things like this can help so much.

I have always said Torbay is full - no, packed - with unsung heroes.

They come in all forms and not all heroes wear capes.

As we are in the middle of summer, the first thing that usually comes to mind, apart from strawberries and tennis, is, of course, ice cream and ice lollies and there a lot of ice cream vans around Torbay.

But how many actually visit care homes and places for the elderly who can’t get out themselves?

One such van which visits the care facility where my wife and I live is London Boy Blue, who comes up the drive and parks right outside so people don’t have that far to walk.

Now there’s something you don’t hear every day!

All it takes is a bit of effort and thought for others to make people happy and I am sure this can be replicated by other ice cream vans all over Torbay.

After all, it’s not just the kids who love their ice cream!

Sorry to say that due to the Government’s four-week extension of restrictions due to Covid, our grand re-opening of our wonderful memory café on July 10 has had to be cancelled.

We will be back as soon as we are allowed, so please watch this space for a new date.

After a very successful new and old meet-and-greet volunteers' meeting, we are all ready to see you all very soon.