Leicester pop up shop in Highcross addresses dementia for annual awareness week

By Nathan Rodrigues

Dementia shop

A pop up shop in Leicester’s Highcross centre was opened by the Alzheimer’s Society, to mark Dementia Awareness Week 2017.

The event took place last week during 11am-4pm, from 16-17th May, as the charity provided further information and support on dementia, including details on available services.

There were also various activities for people to get involved with, such as writing personal messages for their loved ones on ‘forget me not’ flowers or on a memory tree display, while a living room setting was also created  for older people affected by the condition to reminisce about past memories.

 

Michelle Larke, Leicester Services Manager for the Alzheimer’s Society, said joining forces with their partners like Leicestershire County Council and the Leicestershire and Rutland Dementia Action Alliance was important to increase awareness.

She said: “We thought it was definitely worthwhile returning to the Highcross, in giving us a visible presence to do these dementia awareness activities.

“The awareness week is one of our flagship events but we are trying to work in collaboration with our partners as a way of spreading the message, to allow other diverse organisations and communities to get involved in raising awareness about dementia.”

Dementia Awareness Week is an annual event which runs from 15th– 21st May, as the pop up shop in Leicester featured a therapeutic bhangra demonstration led by DMU’s Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care Karan Jutlla, as part of the programme of activities.

The shop not only aimed to educate people, but also challenge negative perceptions about the condition.

Alex Preston, who was diagnosed with young onset dementia but has gone on to become an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and a dementia champion, believes even though attitudes are changing, there is still a ‘lot more work’ to do.

He said: “The biggest misunderstanding is people assume as soon as they hear the word dementia that somebody cannot do anything, which is wrong because these people can live well and communicate.

“People like myself and others are going out, trying to change this perception because most people are touched by dementia at some point in their life so being involved hopefully will make things better in the end for other people.”

Picture1

This graph shows the projected rise in the number of people affected by dementia in the UK (Source: Prince, M et al (2014) Dementia UK: Update Second Edition report produced by King’s College London and the London School of Economics for the Alzheimer’s Society)

For more information on dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society, you can log onto:  https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

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