Special Shropshire football club supports dementia patients

Posted: 4th July 2022

A retired mental health nurse said a specialist football club for dementia patients has helped people living with the condition.

George Buckley has run sessions at the Severn Centre in Highley, Bridgnorth, since 2017, but had to stop during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said sessions, which are set to resume next week, aim to support people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

“They go back to the days of when they were playing football,” he said.

“It improves communication and is a good social activity,” the football coach added.

Love of football

Mr Buckley worked as a mental health nurse for 35 years and during the last ten years of his career specialised in memory.

When he retired in 2017, he wanted to combine his love for football with his knowledge of being a mental health nurse.

He said some of the members used to play to a semi-professional standard and it was great to see them enjoying themselves.

“We start as a group, doing some gentle stretches, some can do them sitting down depending on their mobility,” he said.

“Then we throw a ball around which helps with hand-eye coordination.”

Many of the activities during the sessions are aimed to help with mental coordination as players dribble the ball around cones and have a penalty shootout at the end of the session.

Carers are also invited to take part, Mr Buckley said, and meet people in similar situations.

The sessions will resume next week and are followed by a coffee in a “friendly atmosphere”.

Source: BBC.co.uk

Categories: Uncategorised