In 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025.
Cause UK’s client, Riverside housing association alongside organisations including the Alzheimer’s Society, is raising awareness and understanding of dementia, with our housing and support services enabling people to ‘live vibrant lives’ despite the degenerative condition.
As part of Dementia Awareness Week 2015 (17 – 23 May 2015), Riverside is creating a Dementia Friends support group at Crescent Court, Liverpool and a Dementia Reminiscence Pod at Hawthorne Court and West Park.
The Crescent Court Centre, is currently home to 60 retired men and women, offers safe but independent living with a 24 hour helpline and Scheme Manger onsite.
Kim Weldon, Riverside’s Scheme Manager and a Dementia Champion for the Alzheimer’s Society said “At Crescent Court we have numerous activities going on, during Dementia Awareness Week, to keep people active and to reduce isolation. We have bingo’s, quizzes, darts, pool, coffee and toasties morning , Naafi breaks, gardening, card making, hairdressing and much more.”
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Within the UK’s rapidly ageing population Dementia is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue.
Kim goes on to say “it feels good raising awareness during Dementia Awareness Week of such a cruel disease and helping to change the stigma attached. So far we have made 19 ‘Dementia Friends’ and have helped our tenants have a basic understanding of Dementia and where to obtain further support and guidance. It is possible to live well with Dementia.”
Riverside also operates Dementia friendly services at its Hawthorne Court Scheme, including a vintage kitchen reminiscence pod (pictured) which is a pop-up replica of a 1930s kitchen and a monthly community café.
Sue Fairly, also a Dementia Friend and the Hawthorne Court Scheme Manager said “We see over 30 people at our café and the reminiscence pod is a great talking point. For Dementia Awareness Week I will be taking the pod to West Park in Southport on the 28th May for Dementia Awareness Week were I will be delivering a small information session to the tenants there.
Each year, Riverside provides support for more than 4,000 people aged over 55, delivered to more than 3,000 people within its specialist housing centres. Its extra care housing gives older people with care needs the ability to access innovative, high quality and flexible service provision.
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Riverside is one of the largest housing association groups in the country, owning and managing over 53,000 properties for 85,000 customers across England and Scotland. In addition to providing over 34,000 units of general needs accommodation, providing low cost home ownership, and developing and building homes Riverside delivers supported housing through a sheltered and supported arm of the business which provides services to more than 11,500 clients with a diverse range of housing needs.