Council reaches out for Dementia Awareness Week

Published Thursday, 11th May 2017
Diane, Clifton Park Museum cafe attendant and Dementia Friend
Diane, Clifton Park Museum cafe attendant and Dementia Friend

Rotherham Council is getting out and about to the community to spread awareness of dementia, one of the fastest growing mental health conditions in the world.

Dementia Awareness Week, an initiative supported in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society, is a national event taking place from 14 May aimed at providing residents, businesses and authorities with the information and advice on how to help those living with the condition, both at home and in the community.

As well as information on what dementia is, advice and guidance is distributed on how to handle common situations in the community to help ease those who live with dementia, and help those affected lead active lives.

Last year, the Council held awareness sessions for staff, talking about the growth of dementia and lending support to those who have relatives or friends with connections to the condition.

During this year’s awareness week, these sessions will go beyond council staff, and will also visit traders and businesses within the borough, to spread the message to retailers in the hope of educating them on how to spot the signs of dementia and how patience and a variety of techniques can be used to communicate with those who show symptoms when out-and-about.

Local businesses have signed up to workplace workshops, and a pop-up session will be held at the Outdoor Covered Market for both the public and traders to attend across two separate sessions.

Terri Roche, Director of Public Health, said: “Dementia affects so many people, yet it isn’t widely known that people with the condition can lead fulfilling lives within the community. By educating businesses around Rotherham we can hopefully lend support to everyone who uses services, to spot the signs of dementia and act with compassion, patience and respect to all involved and offer appropriate assistance when it’s needed.”

Riverside Library is working with the Alzheimer’s Society to host a ‘Reminiscence and Awareness Workshop’ on Friday 19 May, where adult colouring and memories and Rotherham will be held alongside the support of ‘dementia champions’ who can offer advice to families and friends of those living with dementia.

The public pop-up information session will take place at the Outdoor Covered Market on Wednesday 17 May, 11:00am – 12:00noon.