Dementia is a disease of the brain affecting 850,000 people in the UK, with numbers set to rise to more than one million by 2025.
For many, dementia begins with small changes and can become serious enough to affect daily life. Yet awareness and understanding of this disease remains low and many families are facing coping with it alone.
To help raise awareness during Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May) the Michael Flanders Resource Centre in Church Road, Acton, has arranged two open days which anyone may attend to find out more about the centre and how it supports those with dementia and their carers.
On the morning of Friday 19 May the centre will be open to visitors from 10.30am-12noon for a coffee morning. Visiting will be representatives from the London Fire Service who will offer advice on being safe in the home. Staff from Michael Flanders will be on hand for tours of the centre and to explain about the activities and support they offer.
From 1.30-3pm on Friday 19 May, there will be a range of activities to engage in including exercise sessions to improve strength and balance, gardening, pottery and an innovative table tennis and call to mind game from the BAT Foundation.
The BAT Foundation is a charity that delivers specialised table tennis Alzheimer’s therapy. Using a unique round three-a-side table tennis table makes a memorable and enjoyable experience for the six players. When not being used for table tennis, the table can be reversed for a Call-to-Mind game specially designed for people living with dementia.
There will also be representatives from local professionals working with older people who can provide advice and identify support options. Those attending include staff from Ealing Council’s adult services, the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Concern and Community Safety Police.
On Sunday 21 May the Forget Me Not Café at the Michael Flanders Resource Centre will be open from 11am-4pm. There will be refreshments, including a buffet lunch, a quiz and live music. The event will be attended by staff from Ealing Council Adult Services who will be on hand to provide advice and identify opportunities for support.
These two days offer those with dementia and their carers, families and friends, to share their experiences, find out about services available for them and to have fun in a relaxed, caring environment.