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Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 14-20 May, is an annual national campaign designed to highlight and improve people's understanding of dementia, as well as the help and support available to people living with the condition and their loved ones.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is supporting this campaign, helping to improve understanding and raise awareness of a condition which affects an estimated 5,500 people in the East Riding today, as well as countless others in terms of friends, family and carers.
To coincide with this national week, a series of sessions and events are taking place around the East Riding.
Janet Smith, public health lead at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "As a local authority we are proud to support this campaign and all partner organisations involved with the events taking place across the East Riding. "The sessions and events are a great way to find out more about dementia which affects over 5,000 people living in the East Riding."With this figure set to rise to around 9,100 by 2030 it is more important than ever before that we all play our part in helping to build dementia friendly communities for the future."
Reading Well Scheme
The Reading Well scheme works with libraries and mobile libraries in the East Riding.
Reading Books on Prescription
This helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing through helpful reading. The scheme is run by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians with funding from Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust. It is endorsed by health organisations, including NHS England and Public Health England, and delivered through public libraries.
There are three Reading Well lists currently available, for adult common mental health conditions, for people with dementia and their carers, and for young people's mental health.
These books can be recommended by GPs or other health professionals from the relevant Reading Well list, or can be borrowed from local libraries without a professional recommendation.
The Tea Break Challenge
Two library representatives from East Riding of Yorkshire Council are currently touring venues in the East Riding to hand out free tea and biscuits while talking about Dementia Awareness.
The main focus of this event is to share the knowledge that people who take part in activities which stimulate the brain, such as reading, learning and doing puzzles, are less likely to develop dementia.
Katy Connolly, marketing officer for libraries, museums and archives, said: "We will be handing out little packs with a teabag, a biscuit and a leaflet to encourage people to read for pleasure to reduce their risk of developing dementia.
"The leaflet includes details of how to join the library and download eBooks/Audio books etc. The challenge is then to read for pleasure for just six minutes a day, as this has been proven to reduce stress levels by up to two thirds."
John Skidmore, director of corporate strategy and commissioning, visited the session at the Treasure House and said: "Many people have attended this session this morning, many who have a loved one or a friend who has dementia.
"It's amazing how many people with dementia or learning disabilities visit their local library and it's great to hear from staff about how libraries are helping and supporting people with this.
"The more we can do to raise awareness, support people and signpost them to the right dementia awareness sessions across the East Riding, the more we are helping the community as a whole.
"It's great to see people interacting with the staff at the Treasure House today and taking away the information on offer about being dementia aware."
The Tea Break Challenge will be at East Riding Leisure Bridlington on 16 May, East Riding Leisure Goole on 17 May and East Riding Leisure Withernsea on 18 May. All events take place from 10am-12noon.
Get Moving for Dementia
East Riding Leisure Beverley will host the Get Moving for Dementia event on Saturday, 20 May from 2-4pm. The event includes two hours of exercise incorporating aerobics, movement yoga and pilates for all ages and abilities. Health trainers will also be at the event offering health checks.
There will also be a Dementia Friends Session on Saturday, 20 May from 1-2pm.
These sessions are run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions, who are trained and supported by the Alzheimer's Society, and provide information about dementia and the small things people can do to help people live well with dementia.
For more information visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk
Safe Places Scheme
The Safe Places Scheme is a Humberside Police initiative across the Humber region and helps vulnerable people to stay safe while out and about in their community.
All East Riding of Yorkshire Council venues are now registered as Safe Places, which offer people suffering from dementia, learning disabilities/difficulties or people in need of help, a safe haven to visit where they can find help and support.
A huge number of businesses in the East Riding have also signed up to offer their venues as a Safe Place and many of the staff have undertaken training at a course specifically designed to teach how to spot signs of someone who is in need of help and how to communicate with them.
Anyone who feels vulnerable, scared, confused or lost can ask for help at any venue showing a Safe Places Scheme sticker on its window.
These sessions help people living with dementia and their carers to share memories and receive support in the East Riding.
The sessions, which are endorsed by the Alzheimer's Society, are aimed at enabling those living with dementia to meet others in a similar situation and enjoy reminiscing together.
During the sessions items from memory boxes, photographs and books are used to stimulate conversation.
Sessions take place at the following venues:
Brough First Thursday of the month – 2pm
North Bridlington Last Friday of the month – 1.30pm
Snaith First Thursday of the month – 2pm
Willerby Alternate Tuesdays – 3pm
Beverley Every fourth Tuesday – 2pm
Hornsea Fourth Friday of the month – 2.15pm
Hedon Last Tuesday of the month – 2pm
North Ferriby First Tuesday of the month – 10.15am
Hessle Last Friday of the month – 10am
Anlaby/Haltemprice Starts 25 September, every four weeks – 11am-12noon
Driffield Second Monday of the month – 2pm
Please book a place as soon as possible at your closest library as spaces are limited.
A member of staff from an East Riding library shared this information about the sessions: "A gentleman who had suffered a stroke came regularly to the sessions, growing in confidence as the sessions went by. He would talk about his time in the army on many occasions. He enjoyed the quizzes and games. "Unfortunately he suffered a further stroke and was unable to attend for two months. As he became stronger he returned home to the local Nursing Home temporarily. His wife was aware how he had enjoyed the sessions and the company along with the stimulation it gave to him. When he was stronger he was brought down from the nursing home to attend a session. This was quite an emotional session for all."
The member of staff went on to say: "We have another lady who is in the very late stages of dementia and will drop off to sleep quite regularly throughout the sessions. It is so rewarding not only for me but for her carer and the group to see her awaken from her sleep with a big smile on her face as she recognises a song that is being sung or photograph we have been discussing."
Research Awareness event
Humber NHS Foundation Trust will hold two sessions at 10.30am and 1.30pm on Friday, 19 May at the Parkway Cinema in Flemingate, Beverley, for people with memory problems.
A Humber spokesperson, said: "The aim is to demonstrate that research can make a positive difference to people's lives and give them a sense of hope."
Organised to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week, from 14-20 May, the sessions will tell guests about the Trust's research and how they can get involved.
Humber's research includes testing new services and treatments, genetics, promoting health and wellbeing and learning more about the quality of life of people living with dementia and those who support them.
Refreshments will be available and transport can be arranged.
For further details call Ashley Greenley on (01482) 301844 or email email@example.com
Waterview Lodge, Driffield, is holding a memory day on Tuesday, 16 and Thursday, 18 May to help raise awareness of Dementia.
There will be a tea party in the afternoon on both days and members of the public are invited to bring in old photographs and mementos to talk about and reminisce.
For more information visit the Alzheimer's Society website at www.alzheimers.org.uk or the Dementia Action Alliance website at www.dementiaaction.org.uk
Photo • Tea Break Challenge - Katy Connolly, Rebecca Coldwell and John Skidmore