Introducing The Bine

It’s a place where 20-30 people with dementia come together every day of the week during working-hours. In a safe environment and with as much help as they need, they’ll be engaged in real, meaningful projects and activities.

They do things for their community, for their family and friends, for one another. Like growing vegetables and donating them to a food charity. Or recording stories for the grandchildren. Or performing as a choir. (More ideas here.)

They’ll have the whole working-day free to resume their old careers or interests. Or take up new ones (perhaps with help from The Bine). Or if they enjoy the Bine activities, they can join in as helpers – and by volunteering 2 days a week, the person they care for will get free Bine membership.

Some people with dementia continue to function at a high level, and will be encouraged to do so, taking leadership roles. Others need a lot more help. But even if they can only manage to stir the ingredients on a baking project with someone holding their hand, they’re still helping – it’s still their cake. The key is making sure we have enough hands to help, when they’re needed. Our aim? Not more than 3 people with dementia for each staff member/helper.

We think about why. Is it because they’re sick or tired? Is the task too difficult? Or are we asking them to do something they don’t enjoy? When we understand the reason, we can take the right action to fix it.

We aim to set the gold standard in dementia care. Senior Bine staff in each location are trained directly by the Care Combine. But training is then ongoing for all staff and helpers, with a different training topic set online each week.

The standard membership fee is £400 per week. But if the carer volunteers for 2 days a week at The Bine, the fee is waived entirely – membership is FREE. Or for 1 day volunteering, it’s halved. The choice is yours. We believe that nobody should be denied good care because they can’t afford it.

In principle, yes – although The Bine would not be suitable for those whose physical frailty required specialist equipment. We reserve the right too to exclude anyone who poses a physical threat to staff and members of The Bine community. But otherwise, anyone – no matter what their age or capability.

Absolutely! The more helping hands we have, the better. Helping can mean just dropping in for a few minutes for a coffee and a chat, or getting fully involved in one of our big projects. And if you’re interested in a career in care (it’s a job that won’t be robotised), we can set you out on the right path.

We were hoping you’d ask. That’s The Care Combine’s intention – to help communities everywhere to set up their own Bine Centres. We’re setting up a model Centre first, and then we’ll be inviting people like you to join the network. But we can help you to start laying solid foundations right now: if you sign up as a Care Combine supporter, we’ll send you a weekly newsletter including practical tasks for those interested in setting up a Bine Centre.

Find Out More

This is a list of position papers we’ve published in our Bine Update newsletter. Read these for a complete understanding of The Bine – how the idea first started, what we hope to achieve in the longer term, and what we’re doing right now. Essential reading for anyone who cares about dementia care. Click HERE to subscribe to our newsletter for more weekly updates.
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4 thoughts on “Introducing The Bine”

  1. Alan what wonderful things you are doing. I wish you and Lena all the very best and good luck with Care Combine, what a fabulous way to improve the quality of the lives of all concerned.
    Lots of love to you all.

    • Thanks, Tina. And that’s the key isn’t it – improving the quality of life for ALL concerned. If everyone around the person with dementia is happy and relaxed, they’ll be happy and relaxed too.

  2. Hi there

    I am project coordinator for a dementia project , Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm . I’d love to hear from you. We work in a very unique and inclusive way . Kind regards

    • Bravo, Maxine – I’ve just visited your website, and what wonderful work you’re doing! I’d love to hear more about the Yealm project, and learn from your experience. I’ll email you shortly, from your website – Alan


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