Living with Dementia: Awareness Week

Dementia Awareness Week began on 18 May and activities have been taking place in various venues around Blackpool and Lytham. The Alzheimer’s Society has worked in conjunction with Lowther Pavilion, amongst other venues, to promote awareness of dementia and demonstrate that life need not stop when dementia begins. The aim is to highlight issues surrounding dementia, including how to tackle the subject, and give families of sufferers a little more help and understanding.

On Monday 18 May, a tea dance was held in Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom, featuring resident Tower organist Chris Hopkins. Those affected by dementia and their carers were invited to join in with a dance or just watch and enjoy others dancing.

Friday 22 May brings us Jimmy Jemain, top Cliff Richard tribute act, at Lowther Pavilion. Jimmy, star of Cliff the Musical in the West End, will be performing alongside the Knight’s Shadows.

The need for social inclusion and arrangement of these events is all part of the care and compassion for all involved. Lowther Pavilion is providing a place to visit, to avoid isolation and to meet other people. There are many outlets and organizations helping to spread awareness about the onset of dementia, showing simple ways to stave off the onset by trying to keep the mind active.

As part of Dementia Week, Lowther Pavilion provided on-site help and advice for sufferers and their carers by allowing a special meeting set aside to accommodate all, provided by the staff, members, and volunteers there. This Dementia Friends Information Session, hosted by Karen Donley who is a Dementia Friends Champion and has a volunteer role in Lytham St. Annes, provided the staff who attended with confidence in welcoming those living with Dementia into the theatre. Karen has been asked to return to Lowther Pavilion to host more events. For more information please visit the Dementia Friends website.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital also provided an awareness event and stalls were set up to promote understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. I picked up some leaflets from the stalls and found some useful contacts:

The NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, part of the Altogether Now legacy for Blackpool gives support and guidance on dementia. Phone 01253 477959.

Age UK: 01253 622812

Carers Trust – Fylde Coast Carers Centre: 01253 393748

Please phone any of the numbers given if you are worried about, or need help caring for, someone with dementia.

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    Local artist, (painting, drawing, collage, and occasional photography, (for reference), of landscape, and abstract, in oil, acrylic, and any other medium which captures my imagination. Contributor, and writer for altBlackpool. Collector, of sometimes anything, but mostly pot, and ceramics.

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