Event raises dementia awareness

Published Monday 11 May 2015 at 8:40

Age UK Blackburn with Darwen and the Blackburn with Darwen 50+ Partnership are hosting a dementia awareness event at King George’s Hall next week.

‘Healthy Minds’ will take place during Dementia Awareness Week on Tuesday, May 19 from 10-2pm and will gather together those people directly affected by dementia, members of the public, health professionals, Age UK, 50+ Partnership and Blackburn with Darwen Council officials.

The event will feature a talk from a person with dementia as well as a carer for someone living with dementia to understand what it is like to live with the condition and care for someone with it.

There will also be a dementia awareness workshop and dementia-related activities sessions as well as presentations by the Alzheimer’s Society, Fire and Rescue Service, Age UK BwD and the Council all talking about their involvement in local dementia care.

The event will be rounded off by a market place with stalls and information from the likes of: The Carers Service, The Stroke Association, MacMillian, The Wellbeing Service, Healthwatch, Telecare, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and the Care Network. Lunch will also be provided with a chance to socialise and network.

Organisers are hoping to create 100 ‘Dementia Friends’ on the day, who will pledge to increase their understanding of the condition and use what they learn to actively assist people in the local community.

A new project has recently been launched by the Blackburn with Darwen 50+ Partnership working with Age UK and Blackburn with Darwen Council to make local communities in the borough dementia friendly and identify those with the condition early and support them from diagnosis to the stage of needing more care and support.

It 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.

Vicky Shepherd, Chief Executive of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, said:

We know that the number of people living in Blackburn with Darwen with dementia is increasing, as is the number of people who are looking after someone. As Age UK, we also know how concerned older people are about dementia for them and their loved ones. We really want this event to help people focus positively on living well with dementia and being able to access support and information to help them do this, along with enabling local organisations to really understand living with dementia so that people can be independent for as long as possible.

Steve Tingle, Director of Commissioning and Adults Services for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

It’s only by understanding the issues that people living with dementia face from their point of view that we can fully appreciate the challenges they have to overcome on a day-to-day basis. This fantastic event, with its bumper day of activities and talks, will play a big part in achieving that and gather members of the public and key decision makers together to really turn the focus on dementia care in Blackburn with Darwen.

The event is open to members of the public but places are limited and booking is necessary. Contact Paul Harrison on (01254) 266620 or email paul.harrison@ageukbwd.org.uk to reserve your free place.

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