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‘Do something new’ for Dementia Awareness Week

Tuesday, 19 May, 2015
‘Do something new’ for Dementia Awareness Week

The Northumberland Ageing Well team are encouraging people to ‘do something new’ during Dementia Awareness Week.

Dementia Awareness Week, which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, runs from May 17 – 23.

Ageing Well in Northumberland aims to promote social contact, empower people to take part in their community, to share skills and understanding and to support and include people who might otherwise become isolated.

It is funded through Northumberland County Council and supported by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

This year the Ageing Well team will be raising awareness throughout the week and encouraging people to do something new.

Ageing Well manager Ann Brown said: “Because life doesn’t end when dementia begins, we’re trying to encourage people to do something new during Dementia Awareness Week.

“It can be anything from cooking a new recipe or different food at home, trying a new café or restaurant, re-discovering a talent such as painting or photography, having a go at a sport or different exercise or perhaps visiting somewhere new – it could be somewhere close to home or maybe a bit further afield, with family or maybe inviting a friend too.

“By doing something new, it’s not only possible for someone with dementia to hold onto their life and the things they love for longer, they can also continue to try new things and enjoy new experiences, too.”

Ageing Well works with local people to ensure that Northumberland is a good place to grow older. It promotes the health and wellbeing of older people within their local communities.

The project brings older people and local organisations together, offering information and support to help ensure older people stay active, connected and well; and delivers a series of activities to promote good health.

“Dementia Awareness Week plays an important part in helping people to understand the condition,” said County Councillor Scott  Dickinson, chair of the Health & Wellbeing board. “In Northumberland, we  have a large and rising elderly population. We know that an estimated 6,000 of our residents are living with dementia and with this figure is set to grow it is more important than ever that we all become more knowledgeable about dementia.

“We are working with our partners and experts in the field  to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, promote their independence and help them plan and maintain their social networks while  supporting their carers too.  There is advice available on how to recognise the signs and symptoms to help with early diagnosis, guidance on where to find support and how to help people manage the condition positively.”

During the week, a practical training session on dementia awareness was held at Cramlington Library on Monday (May 18) for professionals and those caring for people with dementia.

Also on Monday (May 18) Alnwick Dementia Forum discussed technology and equipment available to help people in their own home, to share information about what is available, how to get it and to share ideas about they think may be useful for themselves and other people with dementia and their families.

For more information about Ageing Well visit: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=15368

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