As part of Dementia Awareness Week, health and social care organisations across Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire will be holding a dementia awareness event on Monday, 19 May 2014, at Turf Moor, Burnley. The event – for people with dementia, their families and professionals – will provide them with valuable information about dementia and services and support.
The event includes a number of different areas including a Virtual Dementia Tour, which will give visitors the opportunity to simulate what those with the condition experience and how it impacts on their daily living. There will also be an interactive marketplace, with workshops for those affected by dementia. Visitors will be able to meet those who provide care for people living with dementia and learn how to recognise the early symptoms of dementia and where to get support in their area.
An estimated 5,800 people across the area are believed to have dementiaand the number is predicted to increase by 50% in the next 15 years. Symptoms include memory loss, mood changes and problems with communicating and reasoning. There will also be the opportunity to see the latest innovative technology supporting people living in their home.
The dementia café will allow a friendly chat about the condition with people who understand in a relaxing atmosphere. Dementia Friend sessions will explain more about the symptoms of dementia and help in creating a better understanding and finding out about the support on offer for carers. Sally Naden, BBC Radio Lancashire will broadcast from the event, discussing living with dementia.
Representatives of Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Lancashire Care Foundation Trust and other organisations will be at the event to give information and ask for people’s views on services to support those with dementia and their families.
Carer Dorothy Wright said: “Early diagnosis is of the utmost importance. Do not delay because if you are noticing problems now, they will have been there for quite a while and deterioration to the brain will already have taken place. You can still participate in daily life and get enjoyment from familiar activities while on medication which are designed to stimulate the brain and slow down the process. Receiving more awareness when attending the initial GP appointment about memory problems will avoid a lot of stress and frustration to the patient and their loved ones. The symptoms of dementia develop very differently in each person so please do not ignore them and think it will go away, it does not go away and will take over you and your family’s lives totally. Seek and take all help available.”
Debbie Nixon, Chief Operating Officer for the NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said: “I am delighted that organisations across the area are coming together to improve awareness of dementia and dementia services. As the lead commissioner for these services, Blackburn with Darwen has led considerable investment in the area. Our commitment to community-based services will help improve outcomes and support independent living for people with dementia.”
Alex Walker, Senior Operating Officer at NHS East Lancashire CCG said: “Support to people with dementia and their carers is a priority for the CCG and improving awareness and understanding of the disease, as well as listening to the experiences of people living with dementia on a day to day basis, is at the heart of how we can improve our collective offer of support. We welcome the opportunity to work with partners in hosting this awareness event.”
The Dementia Awareness Event is being held at the James Hargreaves Suite, Burnley Football Club (Turf Moor) 19 May 2014 from 10am–3.30pm. The event is available to EVERYONE.
Those wishing to attend can either register directly on http://goo.gl/83I4S7, ring 01772 536294 or just turn up on the day. If transport to the event is a concern, please ring 01282 644880 for options available and to make arrangements.
For more information, please contact the CSU media team on 01772 214104