Attractions and services are making it easier for people suffering from dementia and their families to visit.
North Tyneside Council and Age UK North Tyneside have joined forces to make the borough more ‘dementia-friendly’, starting off in Wallsend.
A whole host of community facilities and services have shown their support, from leisure centres to a popular museum, cafes and gardens, local businesses and transport operators.
Coun Lesley Spillard, cabinet member for public health, said: “This brilliant project helps to strengthen our communities and ensure we can pride ourselves on being ‘dementia-friendly’.
“As well as making sure we improve access to community facilities and services, it also aims to challenge stigma associated with dementia and increase understanding.
“Through this important work, we hope North Tyneside will be recognised as a borough where those living with dementia are supported, respected and have the confidence to continue their involvement in community life.Following all of the great work in Wallsend, work is now being undertaken to officially register the town as a ‘dementia-friendly community’, and I look forward to hearing more about the project as it expands across the borough.”
One project has seen a history group established at Segedunum Roman Fort, which is run by Tyne & Wear Museum & Archives.
The group – named ‘Time Travellers’ – allows those with dementia and their friends and family to look at the museum’s archive collection and bring along their own objects and photos from the past to talk about.
Leisure centre staff are also some of the 5,341 people who have completed ‘Dementia Friends’ awareness sessions in the borough.
Delivered by Age UK North Tyneside, council officers and local dementia champions, the training helps people to better understand how those living with dementia may feel and how their perceptions change, as well as giving advice on how to approach and better support someone with the disease.
And Memory Cafes have also been established in Wallsend and Whitley Bay, providing an informal environment where people can gain mutual support and share ideas, advice and information about dementia. The sessions take place at:
l Olives at the Station, Whitley Bay, 10am to 11.30am, on the third Wednesday of every month;
l• The Olive Branch Cafe, The Wallsend Memorial Hall, NE26 6RN, 2pm to 3.30pm, on the fourth Wednesday of every month;
l Whitley Bay Comrades Club, 14 The Links, Whitley Bay, NE26 1PS, 1.30 to 3.30pm, on the last Thursday of each month.