READING’S Dementia Action Alliance is marking this year’s Dementia Action Week (20 – 26 May 2019) with a free event at The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) on Wednesday 22nd May.
The event runs from 10am to 4pm and will be officially opened by the Mayor of Reading. Highlights from the day include entertainment from the Young People with Dementia Choir, a fun exercise class, reminiscence sessions and Dementia Friends sessions.
THE MERL will be offering a Dance for Health session in the afternoon and there will be 30 minute tours of the museum on offer throughout the day, as well as opportunities to do some gardening.
Dementia friendly volunteers and Alzheimer’s Society Advisors will be on hand throughout the day to support people attending who are living with Dementia, their family and friends.
The café at The MERL will be open all day and people are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy in the garden (weather permitting).
Appeal to local businesses
During Action Week, the local Dementia Action Alliance is also appealing for local businesses to pledge their support and become dementia friendly. Dementia friends sessions are free of charge, interactive and informative. The 45 min session will ensure that participants understand the challenges persons living with dementia and their carers face, when going about their daily lives. Allowing dementia to be better understood means more support for the many residents who are living with dementia. To sign up to the Alliance and find out more please contact: Michelle.Berry@Reading.gov.uk
Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health, said: “Dementia is a condition that is affecting more and more of us. When our communities become dementia-aware and dementia-friendly, it can have a positive effect on promoting people’s ability to live independently for as long as possible. Families and carers also benefit from this approach as it can help support them to continue to care for someone living with dementia.
“If you are someone whose life has been touched by dementia, I encourage you, your family and friends to come along to the free event at The MERL on Wednesday 22nd May. There are lots of great activities on offer as well as the opportunity to find out about local support available.
“We are also urging Reading Businesses to join the pledge their support and commit your organisation to become dementia friendly by signing up to the Dementia Action Alliance.”
If you would like more details about the Dementia Action Week event, contact Michelle Berry on: 07834 335103 or email: Michelle.Berry@Reading.gov.uk or visit: merl.reading.ac.uk/event/dementia-awareness-event
Find out more about Dementia Awareness:
Reading’s Dementia Action Alliance (DAA)
Reading’s Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), founded in 2013, brings partners together with the aim of improving the lives of people with dementia. The DAA work to improve awareness and understanding of dementia so people have the information they need to reduce the risk of developing dementia as well as to live well with dementia. The organisation also aims to ensure people with dementia have equal access to the health and wellbeing support which is available to everyone.
DDA Members include: Age UK Berkshire, Age UK Reading, Alzheimer’s Society, Blandy & Blandy LLP, Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors, Enabled Healthcare, Gateley Plc, Health Education Thames Valley, Home Instead Senior Care, Reading, Progress Theatre, Q1Care Ltd, ReadiBus, Reading Borough Council, Reading Buses, Reading Libraries, Reading Voluntary Action, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and The Oracle Shopping Centre.
The Museum of English Rural Life is part of the University of Reading and is a free museum which celebrates the work and lives of those in the countryside. Over the last four years, as part of its community engagement programmes, it has developed innovative collaborative partnerships to explore how museum collections can support those living with dementia and their carers. The MERL is hosting the Dementia Action Week event as part of its Cultural Commissioning project which, in collaboration with Reading Museum, aims to enrich the quality of life of those living in the Reading area. Partnering with local organisations, the project aims to address social challenges and improve the health, well-being and economic success of our communities. This project is supported by Reading Borough Council’s Great Places Scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England. Visit https://merl.reading.ac.uk
A Reading Priority
Dementia is a key priority in Reading’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, with the aim to make Reading a place where people can live well with dementia and support families/carers of people living with dementia.
Reading’s Health and Wellbeing board has set out a commitment to improve the health and care for people living with dementia, their carer’s and family.
Dementia is condition that touches many people’s lives and despite the common myth – it doesn’t just affect older people, with over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK living with dementia.
In Reading it is estimated there are about 1,500 people aged 65 or over living with dementia and this number is expected to increase by 50 per cent over the next 15 years.
The National Dementia Helpline is 0300 222 11 22 for information, support or advice.
People interested in becoming a Dementia Friend can find out more at www.dementiafriends.org.uk