What is dementia and what does it mean for people who are affected?
Dementia is caused when parts of the brain stop working properly due to disease or trauma. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise. Around 7000 people in Cambridgeshire are living with dementia and so many more of us are affected as family, friends and carers.
Dementia is a profoundly life-changing condition, and is often people’s biggest fear in later life. Nearly half of people living with dementia do not feel part of their community. People living with dementia can still have a good quality of life at most stages of the condition, provided the right care and support is in place.
Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for services relating to social care. Please visit the County Council’s website (external link), to find useful information.
We can all make a difference
East Cambridgeshire District Council is committed to making East Cambridgeshire a dementia friendly community, and there are a number of groups which offer support throughout the district. Please check before attending as dates and times may change:
- Age UK (external link)
- Dementia Carers Support Service: Dementia Friday Club - 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely 01353 652092
- Sing! Together Ely – Singing for people with dementia or memory loss and their carers run by charity All In Sound - Monday mornings at Ely Beet Club, Lynn Road, Ely, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01353 662022 and visit www.allinsound.co.uk (external link). No singing or music experience needed
- Dementia Café Ely - Cambridgeandelyoffice@alzeimers.org.uk, 01954 250322
- Ness Court Dementia Group, Burwell – for carers and cared for, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month 10:00am to 12:00 noon, Tel 01638 743636
We can all play a part in increasing awareness and improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers locally. One of the steps we can all take is to become a Dementia Friend.
Dementia friends are people with a little more understanding about dementia and ready to show consideration in their local community. Go to Dementia Friends (external link) for details on how to become a friend, or volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.
- Becoming a Dementia Friend involves attending an information session (approximately 45 minutes) or completing an online module, reflecting on what it is like to live with dementia and some of the small steps we can all take to raise awareness
- Why not book onto your session now?
- There is information and support available for those who are worried about their memory and worried about dementia. People should also discuss their concerns with the GP. The Alzheimer’s Society (external link) is a good starting point for advice