- A new booklet has been developed to help farming carers and people in rural communities support those with memory loss
- ‘Angels in Gumboots’ has been developed by Dorset farmer Jennifer Evans in association with national charity The Farming Community Network (FCN)
It is designed for families who are caring for people with memory loss and has been written for those in rural communities and on farms.
Jennifer’s husband Patrick developed dementia and she found during this difficult time that managing both her caring responsibilities whilst running the farm and prioritising which tasks needed to be done was a significant challenge.
While Jennifer had access to a wide range of information and support, she found there was a lack of farm-specific information to help her.
The booklet contains useful information drawing from Jennifer’s experiences, including support she received from FCN, as well as her ideas for visits to the care home and a checklist which could be useful to other people on farms caring for people with dementia and memory loss.
Jennifer said: “I found I had two patients: my husband, and the farm. I desperately needed to find out specifically how to respond to him in his new persona, while keeping him happy and loved. And at the same time, the farm was now visibly falling apart with buildings needing repair – which farm crisis to deal with first?”
Dr Jude McCann, CEO of The Farming Community Network, said: “For those working in farming and living in rural communities, dementia can have serious and potentially devastating effects. If a loved one has dementia and you are struggling with the upkeep and management of your farm, FCN can help.
“Our volunteers understand the pressures of running a farm, and we can talk to you about options, help you to prioritise what needs to be done and provide you with a sympathetic voice and listening ear during this challenging time.
“We hope this booklet will be of use to those caring for people with dementia whilst maintaining a farm, as well as signposting individuals towards the help that FCN can provide.”
The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.
A digital copy of Angels in Gumboots is available to download here: https://farmwell.org.uk/dementia-and-farming/