Liverpool launches Year of Dementia

Prince Charles gave his support last week to the launch of Liverpool’s Year of Dementia Awareness, in an event at the newly-refurbished Florrie in Dingle. Liverpool Primary Care Trust and Liverpool City Council launched the initiative as part of the city’s Decade of Health and Wellbeing, with the aim of developing an understanding and awareness of dementia, and working towards creating ‘dementia friendly’ environments in workplaces, public areas and communities.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT said: ‘We were delighted that HRH Prince Charles could attend our launch event to show his support to the campaign. Dementia can affect anyone and is a severe and deteriorating condition which causes memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. It is devastating for the person affected and their families. With no known cure for dementia we all have a responsibility to become dementia aware, and to do all we can to make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit easier.

Appreciating People is a partner in the Year of Dementia campaign, and also currently delivering an action research project with Mersey Care memory services on the application of a strength based, appreciative approach to thier dementia support services. AP co-director Suzanne Quinney said ‘The Mersey Care staff are excellent in the innovative ways that they provide support already to people recently diagnosed with dementia. I would have really welcomed such a service when my mother was first diagnosed. In the training that AP has done with them so far we have already started to break new ground in discovering how the Appreciative Inquiry approach needs to be adapted to suit this group. The next stage will be to work directly with people with dementia and with their carers/family members.

800,000 people are living with dementia in the UK – a number set to rise to over 1,000,000 by 2021. More than 60 per cent of all care home residents, aged over 65, have a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting 62% of those diagnosed.

Other highlights of Liverpool’s Year of Dementia include:
• Everton in the Community are performing reminiscence work with Mersey Care
• The Museum of Liverpool is undertaking House of Memories training (training around dementia awareness and performing memory walks and creating memory boxes)
• Alzheimer’s Society will be running Singing for the Brain sessions
• Mersey Care and Liverpool John Moores University are working with European health partners on the innovate Dementia project to develop high quality care programmes for people living with dementia
• Merseyside Dance Initiative will be hosting dance workshops with people with Dementia

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is supporting the launch of the Year of Dementia. MF&RS recently signed a national pledge on dementia, which forms part of the service’s ongoing commitment to helping vulnerable members of the community. Partners are all working together to support local communities increase their understanding of dementia, while PSS is providing training for local community groups and businesses.

Suzanne says: ‘It’s been very inspiring to be part of the YAD group – bringing the resources and commitment of such a diverse range of organisations to the planning of the Year of Dementia.

For more information on Appreciating People and our work with dementia support services, give us a call on 07940 726 067.