A new project has been launched to help make the County Durham town of Lanchester a better environment for those with dementia, and for those who care for them.
The scheme, working with the Alzheimer’s Society, was launched with a Musical Memories event, held at Karbon Homes’ Lynwood House scheme in Lanchester, aiming to create a safe environment for people who have dementia or memory loss, as well as their carers, family and friends. The event, which the group hopes will be the first in a series running throughout 2019, took a festive theme.
Alongside a singalong, a picture quiz and a number of other festive activities, an array of local groups and organisations were on hand to offer advice and raise awareness of the various support networks available.
Rebecca Haynes, Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator and member of the Lanchester steering group, said: “Dementia Friendly Communities is a programme by the Alzheimer’s Society which works to create dementia-friendly communities across the UK.
“The biggest aim of the new group is to reduce the stigma attached to dementia, and to work with people within Lanchester to educate them on how they can help people living with dementia to feel understood and able to contribute to their community.
“It is also really important for us to be able to raise awareness of the support networks out there for people living with dementia, as well as their carers, family and friends.”
As well as running events like this, the steering group is also working to make the local community in Lanchester more dementia friendly.
To date, the group have partnered with local GP practices and health centres to adapt the facilities for people with dementia.They are also working closely with local business owners to look at how they can adapt their premises to make them more accessible to those with dementia.
Andrea Alder, Volunteering Project Officer at Karbon, said: “The event was a great success and was well attended. It was lovely to see members of the community coming together, including community police officers and representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, to raise awareness and talk about dementia.
“Everyone at Karbon Homes is passionate about promoting inclusion and reducing loneliness and isolation within our communities, and partnering with organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society helps make this a reality.
“The benefits events like this one bring to our residents as well as the communities Karbon serves are fantastic and we look forward to continuing to support the work of the dementia friendly steering group in 2019.”