StudentNews_KarisKnight

Occupational Therapy student promotes the launch of her dementia support group on BBC Radio

Sat, 29 Aug 2020 17:19:00 BST
Karis created 'One Stop Demetia' during lockdown
Karis created 'One Stop Demetia' during lockdown

A GCU student is attracting media attention after appearing on BBC Radio Scotland to discuss the launch of her new online community group that supports those effected by dementia.

Third year Occupational Therapy student Karis Knight was inspired to create a new platform to bring together people who live with or are caring for someone with dementia.

Karis and her dad decided to create the Facebook page One Stop Dementia during lockdown as she was inspired by work she was doing at home for her exams.

She said: “I had a case study on this woman who had dementia and she wasn’t as worried as her family were.

Because it was during lockdown I was thinking it must be an even harder time now for people who are living with someone who has dementia so I wanted to create a platform for people to communicate.”

One of Karis’ friends was also suffering from the impacts of dementia within the family home and this is what motivated her to taken action.

She said: “One of my best friend’s grandpa has dementia, and she was living with him throughout lockdown and so many times she called me crying and not knowing what to do.

Her mum was also stressed but my friend felt like she couldn’t support her because obviously she didn’t know what it was like having a parent with the illness.

She wished her mum had someone to talk to who knew exactly how she was feeling.

There’s so much information out there from big companies and charities but I wanted to just streamline it in one place that’s non-professional”.

Karis reached out to the BBC herself to ask if they would be interested in helping spread the word about her unique new platform.

When Karis got in touch with a news presenter about talking on the show, she was surprised to discover the woman had faced issues with dementia in the family home herself and was therefore very keen to have her speak about this new project.

Karis explained: “She said to me if I had this at the beginning of my journey – just to feel like there’s so many other people out there who are going through the same thing it would have made me feel a whole lot more relaxed.”

During the interview Karis also explained how One Stop Dementia is different from the many social media platforms that aim to support those facing the effects of dementia.

She said: “So many people don’t want to publicly announce that their struggling – showing their own name and profile.

One Stop Dementia allows people to be anonymous and be vulnerable, sharing their stories and discovering others who have been through a similar experience”

The page also aims to help people cope with their own mental struggles when caring for a family member with dementia.

She added: “I want to reiterate to people not to feel guilty and ensure people that they’re doing the best they can.

The idea that I’m trying to create around this is that it’s very much anecdotal and real as opposed to scientific and professional.

I want the advice and support to come from people who have actually lived it”

Listen to Karis’ interview here.

 

By Rebecca Meechan
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