Alzheimer's Australia (NSW): Your Shed and Dementia a Manual

alzheimers au logo This manual provides advice on how to give support and communicate with men with dementia and male carers in a sensitive and supporting way. It could be a starting point for conversations around engaging men in Sheds. Each section of this manual can be read separately or as a whole. It also includes information on how to join a Men's Shed.

"There is now also some evidence that involvement in meaningful activities that include social engagement can potentially slow down the progression of dementia.."
Men with dementia or those caring for someone with dementia may find that friendships become more difficult to maintain and may feel socially isolated. A men's shed can be the ideal place to do something enjoyable with other men and build social connections.

What is a Shed?

A Shed is a place where men are welcome from all walks of life, regardless of background, religion, education, profession or race. It's a male friendly place where men come together to work on meaningful projects at their own pace in their own time and make friends, where the main purposes are improving quality of life and social interaction, health and wellbeing.

Each Shed is different, some are small (20-30 participants) and some are large (more than 200 participants). The activities at the Sheds vary from woodworking and metal craft to gardening and other activities. The AMSA Website  has a Shed Finder  to help locate Sheds nearby.

Overview

This manual is based on information from Alzheimer's Australia's "Every Bloke Needs a Shed" pilot project. A two year project from 2011 to 2013 where the main focus was increasing social engagement of socially isolated older men by participating in their local Men's Sheds. Particular focus was given to men with early-stage dementia and male carers of people with dementia (PWD).

Key information discussed in this manual:

  • General Information About Dementia and Some of the Common Early Symptoms.
  • Ways to Support Men with Dementia to Participate in a Shed.
  • Communicating Effectively and Helping Members with Early Stage Dementia to Connect Socially at the Shed.
  • Tips Supporting Shedders Who Are Carers of a Family Member or Friend with Dementia.
  • Being Brain Healthy.
  • Information for the Shed Leadership Team.

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