Organisations across the city are marking Dementia Awareness Week, the annual campaign organised by the Alzheimer's Society to highlight a condition affecting nearly a million people in the UK, including 3,600 in Wolverhampton.
Members of Wolverhampton's Dementia Action Alliance will be holding a series of events from Monday 18 May to Saturday 23 May, 2015, and people who are worried that they, or someone close to them, may have dementia are being encouraged to find out more about the condition and the support they can get locally.
People are also being encouraged to become "Dementia Friends" and better understand the needs of people with dementia by taking part in one of the many Dementia Friends awareness sessions being held throughout the week.
The programme gets underway with an information session at Low Hill Community Centre on Monday 18 May from 10am to 12pm. Representatives from the Alzheimer's Society, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, New Cross Hospital and other organisations will be on hand to talk about the signs and symptoms of dementia, the condition from the carer's perspective and what people can do to help a friend or relative with dementia.
Age UK will be offering one to one advice and support at its Darlington Street centre on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 18 to 20 May from 10am to 2.30pm and Friday 22 May from 10am to 1pm. It is also holding a tea party on Monday 18 May from 4pm to 6pm and coffee morning on Saturday 23 May.
The Alzheimer's Society will be hosting an information stand at the Civic Centre from Monday to Friday 18 to 22 May, at New Cross Hospital on Wednesday 20 May from 2pm to 3pm and at the Mander Centre on Saturday 23 May. It will be holding Dementia Friends sessions at the Civic Centre on Tuesday 19 May from 10am to 10.45am and 11am to 11.45am and at the Mander Centre on 23 May.
People can also become Dementia Friends by attending the Living Well with Dementia session at Life Direct on Victoria Street from 11am to 2pm on Thursday 21 May. The free event includes a reminiscence corner and fun circle dancing taster sessions.
Asda will be holding an awareness day at its Wolverhampton store on Wednesday 20 May, with representatives from the Alzheimer's Society on hand to meet shoppers there on Friday 22 May from 10am to 3pm.
The Beacon Centre from the Blind is holding free reminiscence sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 18, 20 and 22 May, from 1.30pm to 2pm, while students and staff from the University of Wolverhampton will be highlighting the signs and symptoms of dementia and offering advice about maintaining healthy and active lifestyles at events in Wolverhampton city centre on Monday 18 May, Walsall town centre on Wednesday 20 May and Southwater in Telford on Friday 22 May, all from 10am to 3pm.
Dementia Awareness Week will also see the unveiling of Wolverhampton's new Joint Dementia Strategy, which sets out a series of steps members of Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance will be taking to improve the lives of people with dementia over the next 2 years. It will be launched at a special tea dance for people with dementia and their carers in the Mayor's Parlour of the Civic Centre on Tuesday 19 May from 2pm to 4pm.
Meanwhile, representatives from Wolverhampton Homes will be continuing work on a sensory garden for people with dementia which is being developed at Swanmore Close, Bradmore. They began the work last month and it should be completed in July.
Alzheimer's Society Information Worker Jane James said: "Dementia can be a very difficult subject to talk about, but the sooner people know what they are dealing with, the sooner they can feel in control again and get on with their life.
"Dementia Awareness Week is a great opportunity for people to find out more about the condition, and to become a Dementia Friend - and in doing so join the 1 million Friends nationally who are already doing their bit to help people living with dementia."
Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, said: "I'm really pleased of the work that has been carried to make Wolverhampton dementia friendly, and I'm proud to be part of the fantastic joint efforts put in through partnership working.
"As well as highlighting the help and support that is available to people living with dementia in Wolverhampton, Dementia Awareness Week will also see the launch of the city's new Joint Dementia Strategy, which will have a tremendously important role to play in improving services over the next few years."
Marlene Lambeth from F.O.S + Friends Tenants Group, who is helping to arrange the Low Hill event, said: "My family's experience of dementia is cruel, it can rob people of so many things including their dignity, and for their loved ones it certainly isn't a walk in the park. Awareness is so important."
For the full programme of Dementia Awareness Week activities, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6053;Title=National Dementia Awareness Week;Target=_blank;. All of the events are free, though places for the information session at Low Hill Community Centre and the Tea Dance in the Mayor's Parlour must be reserved in advance.
For more details about the help and support that it is available for people with dementia, please visit the Alzheimer's Society website at Type=links;Linkid=3328;Title=Alzheimer's Society;Target=_blank; or call 0300 222 11 22.
- released: Wednesday 13 May, 2015