Are you a carer for someone with dementia – or do you know someone who is? It’s estimated that around 12,800 people in Suffolk are currently living with dementia, with the number rising in the future at a time when the NHS is strapped for cash and many people are left to struggle on with very little help.
In January two new dementia support groups were launched in Felixstowe to bring together local organisations and groups to support people living with dementia. The event supported by Suffolk Coastal and the Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance aims to identify priorities for people affected by dementia in the town and to look at what improvements can be made to help those people.
The groups run by dedicated volunteers support dementia sufferers and their carers, giving people the opportunity to make friends, enjoy conversation, find support and take part in activities in a friendly and relaxed environment.
The Memory Lane Dementia Support Group meets every Friday at the Salvation Army, Cobbold Road with support by both the Rotary Club of Felixstowe Landguard and Rotary Club of Felixstowe who have pledged £2,600 in funding to support the group’s running costs
A joint statement from Rotary says ‘ The main reason people join Rotary is to give something back to our local community. Rotarians in Felixstowe are delighted to have this opportunity to support people locally whose lives are affected by dementia. The two Rotary clubs will sympathetically consider supporting fundraising opportunities in the future’
The Felixstowe Parish Dementia Support Group meets once a month at St Johns Parish Church, Princes Road thanks to support from both the church and Trinity Players who raised £500 to support the group.
The event will also recognise organisations that have committed to making Felixstowe a dementia friendly community with window stickers and certificates presented by Suffolk Coastal Councillor Steve Gallant, cabinet member for Community Health.
A number of shops and organisations have signed up to be dementia friendly. They include: Argos, COES, Hills Jewellers, Gorgeous Jewels, Rotary Club of Landguard, Rotary Club of Felixstowe, Nick Barber Auctions, The Orwell Hotel, The Salon, Trinity Methodist Church, Walton Parish Nursing, White Gables Nursing Home, TSB and the Citizen Advice Bureau.
Helen Greengrass, Felixstowe Forward Change Director said: “Felixstowe has an increasingly elderly population so it’s positive to be working more closely with the Felixstowe Dementia Alliance to help encourage our communities to become more dementia friendly.
“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses recognised as dementia friendly and we hope that the regular support from these information sessions will help raise awareness and help those affected by dementia to live well in the community. .
“Anyone can become a dementia friend and any business organisation can work toward being more dementia friendly. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped either by volunteering time, resources or pledging financial support.”
The Memory Lane Dementia Support Group meets every Friday from 11am to 2pm at the Salvation Army, Cobbold Road.
The Felixstowe Parish Dementia Support Group meets the second Wednesday of every month at St Johns Parish Church, Princes Road from 10am to 12noon.
If you would like to attend the launch or wish to get involved with the Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07717 150993.
For further information visit: www.dementiafriends.org.uk