Published Friday 13 May 2016 at 14:45
Blackburn with Darwen residents are being encouraged to ‘confront dementia directly’ during the upcoming Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, May 16 to Saturday, May 21. Also running at the same time is Mental Health Awareness Week which this year has a theme of ‘relationships’.
A host of events and activities are being organised locally throughout the week to raise awareness of dementia and mental health and the support available locally.
Activity is being coordinated by Blackburn with Darwen’s Age Well Partnership and Age UK with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackburn with Darwen CCG and other partners and is aimed at people living with dementia or mental health issues, their families, friends and carers as well as the general public who want to learn more about the condition and what they can do to help.
Dementia and mental health work locally is part of a wider plan of integrated care between the Council, NHS and voluntary sector to provide more care and support for people in the local community.
To kick off the week on Monday May 16 , Community Restart are hosting a drop-in session at Devonport Court from 9.30am-12.30pm for dementia information, advice and guidance. Another information session will be held from 10am-2pm to provide guidance on what a person should legally do should they be diagnosed with dementia. This session will be hosted by Patrick Swanney at Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors, 25/29 Victoria Street, Blackburn. Meanwhile from 1pm-3pm a Dementia Friends session will be held at Spring Vale Methodist Church, Watery Lane, Darwen. Book a place call (01254) 222125. You can also take part in a ‘pedal around the park’ session at Witton Park from 2pm-3.30pm. Call (01254) 588814 for more details.
On Tuesday, May 17, Community Restart will hold another drop-in info session at Audley Community Centre from 9.30am-12.30pm. From 1pm-3pm, Audley Neighbourhood Learning Centre will host a Dementia Friends and Mental Health awareness Session. Please call (01254) 507720 to book a place. Then from 1pm-3pm there will be an Alzheimer’s Vintage Tea Party – Dementia Friends session at Kingsway.
The bumper week of events continues on Wednesday, May 18 with a Community Restart drop-in session at Hornby Court from 9.30am-12.30pm. The Carer’s Service will then be hosting a dementia information and activities session at its charity shop on Town Hall Street, Blackburn from 9am-12pm. Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors will host another legal advice information session from 10am-2pm, whilst a Dementia Friends and Mental Health Awareness session will take place at Bank Top Neighbourhood Learning Centre from 1pm-3pm. Book a place via (01254) 581175. From 2pm you can ‘walk around the park’ at Witton Park, refreshments will also be provided. Please call (01254) 588814 to book a place. From 1.30pm-3.30pm there will be a Men’s Peer Support & Activity Group at Reach Out/ Newground, 15 Ash Grove, Darwen BB3 3AH, with a similar session taking place at Manxman Tenants & residents Base (above Spar) BB2 3EP from 6pm-10pm.
On Thursday, May 19 Community Restart will host another drop-in session at Ferrier Court from 9.30am-12.30pm whilst Audley Neighbourhood Learning Centre will host a Dementia Friends and Mental Health awareness course from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Call (01254) 507720 to book a place. Also taking place from 1pm-3pm will be a Men’s Peer Support & Activity Group at Hopwood Court.
On Friday, May 20 there will be a dementia information stand at Darwen Market from 9am-1pm whist Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors will host their final legal advice information session of the week from 10am-2pm
Dementia Awareness Week will also see the official launch ceremony for new pioneering dementia care home, EachStep Blackburn on Thursday, May 19. EachStep Blackburn is a state-of-the-art dementia care service which will be opening to the public on Monday, May 23. The home aims to be part of and to give back to the local community and has formed great partnerships with the likes of One Voice, Age UK, Blackburn College, Blackburn Carers Service and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.
Councillor Brian Taylor, Assistant Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care and mental health champion, said:
It’s brilliant to see so many events going on to raise awareness of dementia and mental health throughout the week and beyond. There are lots of support services available across Blackburn with Darwen for people living with dementia and mental health issues and it is important to showcase these during the week in case any of our residents ever need them.
Vicky Shepherd, on behalf of the Age Well Partnership, said:
We have worked to develop a full and varied programme of activity for both Dementia Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Week to really give local people a chance to find out more about what support is available, and also how they could get involved, for example by becoming ‘dementia friendly’, so we do hope people will come along and find out more.
Dr Pervez Muzaffar, from Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said:
Dementia is one of the biggest medical issues facing the current population and future generations. It is important that people are aware of the condition and what support there is available to sufferers, their carers and family members. There are loads of support networks out there which can help if you are suffering or living with someone with this awful disease.
People fear that a diagnosis of dementia means their life is over but services can be tailored to their needs. If you are worried about your self or any one, you should raise the issue with your GP or another health professional.