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Promoting greater understanding of dementia

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People with dementia and their families and carers will have the opportunity to get advice, information and support as part of St Helens Council’s events and activities for Dementia Awareness Week.

Dementia Awareness Week (17 – 23 May 2015) aims to promote greater understanding of the condition, let people know about the services that are available to support people with dementia to live well, as well as giving people with dementia and their carers the opportunity to have some fun and meet new friends.

In St Helens, records from March 2015 indicate that 1,450 people in St Helens have dementia – a condition that will affect an estimated 1 million people in the UK by 2025.

As part of this week, a special event will take place at Central Library, consisting of an information event and an author talk, on Wednesday 20 May, to showcase the support that is available throughout St Helens.

The information session will take place between 10am-2pm where there will be dementia and mental health support services, offering advice, including Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, Hargreaves Dementia Trust, Dementia Links, O Hanlon Centre (Memory Clinic), St Helens Carers Centre, St Helens CCG, Adult Social Care and Health, Integrated Access St Helens team, Helena Housing and more.

Following this session, Rita Salomon, author of Seeing Beyond Dementia, one of the Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia titles will be talking about her book and the successful Books on Prescription for Dementia scheme which has recently been introduced to libraries in St Helens. This will take place from 2pm in the Local History and Archives Library at Central Library.

All St Helens Libraries will be featuring the Books on Prescription for Dementia titles during the awareness week, which can be loaned by library members for free.

Sue Williamson, Head of Library Services said: “With more and more people being diagnosed with dementia, it is vital that we raise awareness of the services we have available to them. Also it is more important than ever that we all become more knowledgeable, to spot symptoms and early signs, and know where the available help is.

“There lots of services in the borough who provide a helping hand to people with dementia, their families and carers. I would like to encourage people to take this opportunity to attend one of the events taking place during Dementia Awareness Week.”

People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community. During the week, there will be representative’s from St Helens Council’s Public Health Team in Central Library encouraging residents to sign up to become a Dementia Friend.

Dementia Friends is a national campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society and Public Health England (PHE) to raise awareness about the illness and to build Dementia Friendly communities. Those signing up to be a Dementia Friend will be able to find out the small things that can be done to make a difference to people living with dementia. To find out more about Dementia Friends visit the website www.dementiafriends.org.uk.

The events are open to all and free to attend. Tickets are required for the author talk. For more information, or to book tickets, please call 01744 677446.

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