In the UK there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia, and that number is set to increase every year. 225,000 people will develop dementia this year alone, that’s one every three minutes. One in six people over the age of 80 have dementia.
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 Briar Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon during Dementia Awareness Week to provide more information regarding the support options available for people who may be living with dementia.
Customers from Briar Croft, their family members, carers and guests from local care home, the Limes, came along on the day. A Dementia Support Worker from the Alzheimer’s Society, Louise Gillard-Owen, who is funded by Orbit and Stratford Town Trust, attended the event to provide valuable information and advice. She shared tips on how to define dementia and what it is and isn’t, how to spot it and how to treat and support those managing the disease.
A group also came out from OOMPH (Our Organisation Makes People Happy), an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s largest provider of fun, inclusive and effective exercise for older adults. They played music, danced and sang whilst performing the conga with pom poms around the communal lounge. The less mobile of the group sang and waved pom poms whilst seated. Everyone had a really great time!
Teresa Cooper, a customer who lives at Briar Croft, says; “I thought the event was very good. The literature and chat with Louise was very interesting and informative. The cake was lovely!”
Jane Akerman, Briar Croft Manager, says; “We’re very happy that customers enjoyed the event and found it informative. It’s essential 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.”
Briar Croft is Orbit Heart of England's first ‘extra care’ affordable housing scheme consisting of 64 flats, designed to promote independent living. The team at Briar Croft is working towards becoming a dementia friendly environment, with all staff at the scheme becoming Dementia Friends. Briar Croft also offers the latest in warden call technology, allowing customers to remain independent in their own homes with the help of a range of assistive devices.
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.