Our Town Council established the Uckfield Dementia Forum a couple of years ago to support those living with dementia and their carers.
The Forum meets on a regular basis. At the last meeting they discussed how they could support those residents during the COVID-19 emergency, particularly giving them the confidence to venture out to shops and to use public transport.
Helping with hidden disabilities
The social distancing requirements are difficult for most but can be even more so for those living with dementia and also those with hidden disabilities such as autism, chronic pain, anxiety, visual or hearing problems.
The Sunflower Lanyard
This led the Forum to discover ‘The Sunflower Lanyard’ which is a discreet way to let people know that one has a hidden disability; the lanyards are currently being used in a few locations including airports and some supermarkets.
It was agreed that these were a great way of supporting people and that the Forum would promote the lanyards in Uckfield and obtain a supply for our residents. It is vital that the scheme is promoted throughout the town so posters for our retailers and businesses will become available.
The lanyards have a fob clip so that if a wearer also has a medical reason for not wearing a face mask they can display a card explaining those reasons to avoid possible confusion.
The challenges of daily life
Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more challenging but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. Wearing the Sunflower Lanyard indicates to people around that you need additional support, help or a little more time.
Please look out for any of our residents wearing this lanyard. Uckfield is a very caring community and this will help to support it.