DCSIMG

Leeds’s bid to tackle dementia

Care and Repair's Lisa Stones, project development officer, and Janet White, principal enterprise manager, with the Reminiscence Library

Care and Repair's Lisa Stones, project development officer, and Janet White, principal enterprise manager, with the Reminiscence Library

A Leeds pensioner was banned from a supermarket after they forgot to pay for their food.

And another was refused permission to board a bus because the driver thought they were drunk.

But these two people have one thing in common – they are both caught in the grips of dementia.

They are just two of the 8,600 people in the city who were diagnosed with the heartbreaking condition that can rob people of their identity – and ultimately, their dignity.

Nearly one-third of people who are suffering from dementia are living on their own.

A new report by Leeds Community Foundation shows that over 10,000 people aged over 65 in the city are suffering from depression.

And 3,232 pensioners have the most severe form of depression.

The dossier, which highlights some of the needs of the city’s elderly residents, claims that one of the greatest barriers facing people with dementia is the negative attitudes from others towards their condition.

Leeds is one of six “dementia-friendly” communities set up across the country and the aim is to create a city where people with dementia and their relatives and carers do not feel stigmatized by the condition.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for adult social care, said: “We all really have a role to play whether it is an individual, the council or the health service.”

* Leeds Community Foundation has launched a new fund to support older people in the city. For more information visit www.leedscf.org.uk.

COPING WITH DEMENTIA

Photographs of former sporting champions, ration books and old games.

These are just some of the items used by Care and Repair Leeds to help families who are coping with dementia to start a conversation with their loved ones.

Their Reminiscence Library, which was funded by a £20,000 grant from Leeds Community Foundation, has helped families to reconnect.

And the initiative looks set to be rolled out across the city.

Project development officer Lisa Stones said: “Dementia can completely change the personality of someone.

“It is lonely for the person with dementia and also for their carer.

“It just helps as a prompt to start conversations again and is something fun to re-engage with that person even if it is just for a few minutes.”

 

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