‘Remember the Person’ appeal

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LOCAL health bosses are asking you to “Remember the Person” during this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, which begins today.

NHS East Lancashire is supporting not only Dementia Awareness, which this year runs until Saturday, but all year round events such as Dementia Cafes and Support Groups.

Dementia is not a natural part of growing old. It is caused by diseases of the brain, the most common being Alzheimer’s. Dementia is not just about forgetting things; it also affects thinking, communication and doing everyday tasks. With the right support and know-how, it is possible for someone with dementia to get the very best out of life.

C atherine Wright, Commissioning Support Manager for Long Term Conditions and Community Services at NHS East Lancashire, said: “Dementia is something that will affect an increasing proportion of the population. In East Lancashire we have just under 2,000 people who have been diagnosed with dementia; our figures illustrate that this is increasing year on year. We also know that there are people that are undiagnosed, but the problem is that by the time they are diagnosed, it can be too late to help. Early diagnosis is one of our key work streams.

“We’d like to encourage people to ‘remember the person’ not only for a week, but all the time. The idea of the Alzheimer’s Society campaign is to try to encourage people to be a friend to someone with dementia. It is also trying to take the fear out of dementia by raising awareness and understanding of the condition.

“With the right support, it is possible for people to live well with dementia. We would encourage friends and neighbours to play their part by being a good listener to someone with dementia, or supporting family members who may have caring responsibilities”.

Dementia cafes offer information and advice in a friendly, enjoyable, and informal atmosphere. They are an opportunity to relax and have a chat with people in similar circumstances who really understand.

If you feel you, or a loved one, could benefit from the Dementia Café, the next one is Thursday, May 31st at Arcadia Café in Windy Bank, Colne. They are held the last Thursday of the month and run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

As well as Dementia Cafes, people with dementia and their carers are also invited to attend an informal forum.