Dementia can happen to anyone and at the moment, there is no cure. It can cause people to lose their memories, relationships and connections to the world, leaving them feeling alone and vulnerable. Life doesn't have to end when dementia begins, and we are working to do everything we can to help people living with dementia hold onto their lives and the things they love for longer.
Only one third of the people who have dementia live in a home where they receive specialist care. The level of care, support and understanding the other two thirds receive will vary widely. For this reason, Orbit Heart of England held an event at Shortwood Court in Coventry during Dementia Awareness Week to provide more information regarding the support options available for people who may be living with dementia.
Several people from the local community attended on the day. This included customers who live at Shortwood Court, their family members, carers and other local guests. Collette Jacobs from the Alzheimer’s Society, came along to provide valuable advice to people living at the housing scheme. She shared information on how to determine what dementia is and isn’t, how to spot it and how to treat and support those managing the disease.
Noreen Baughan, a customer who lives at Shortwood Court, says; “It was a great event, but it just went by too quickly. The dementia session was very interesting and I enjoyed doing the interactive dementia games with our scheme assistant, Donna!.”
The Wyken Male Voice Choir also came along and performed a number of songs from days gone by. Everyone joined in for a sing-a-long, clapping their hands and enjoying the music.
Kenneth Beck, a former member of the choir, was brought in by his carer, Tina Ditchburn who also works at Shortwood Court. Kenneth sang with the choir until about five years ago but he had to give it up due to ill health. He says; “It was great, I really enjoyed it. It bought me back to the days when I sang for them. I didn’t sing with them today as I’m a bit rusty now but I’m glad I was able to come along, enjoy a nice afternoon.”
Donna Bentley, Scheme Assistant at Shortwood Court says; “We’re pleased that customers enjoyed the afternoon and found the dementia information useful. It’s very important for us to raise awareness of what dementia is and how people can support people who are living with the condition, especially as the number of people living with dementia will continue to increase.”
Shortwood Court is a sheltered housing scheme that was built in 1987. It consists of 42 flats and cottages for people over the age of 55 and promotes independent living while giving people support if they need it. .
For more information about dementia, please contact the Alzheimer’s Society by visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk. You can also obtain a free Dementia Friends information pack by contacting Dementia Friends at www.dementiafriends.org.uk.