Positive and practical support for families living with dementia

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Care UK will be taking a key role at this year’s Alzheimer’s Show on May 16 and 17 by sponsoring the exhibitor workshop, launching a new dementia guide and welcoming the public and social care professionals to its interactive sessions at London’s Olympia.

Delegates visiting the Care UK stand will be able to pick up a free copy of a new dementia guide – Listen, talk, connect – that provides practical advice to help people better understand dementia and to feel more confident communicating with their loved ones living with the condition.

Care UK will also be hosting two sessions in the exhibitor workshop at 11.30am each day, as well as a session in the practical activities workshop, where head of dementia Maizie Mears-Owen will talk about how to create dementia-friendly spaces at home.

Maizie said: “The Alzheimer’s Show is an incredibly positive event and I’m delighted that we’re sponsoring it again in 2014. Last year, we met some wonderful people and we were very lucky to be able to talk to them about their views on care. We spoke to lots of people about their needs and we were able to signpost visitors to services that would benefit them and their loved ones.

“This year we hope to do the same. For many people who are just beginning their journey care can seem a very intimidating idea and I think one of the wonderful things about the Alzheimer’s Show is that it demonstrates to people that care has a friendly face.

Maizie advises that communication and perception alter as dementia develops and there are very simple ways to work around those changes – signs on doors give people an instant clue as to what lies behind the door, which works well for rooms in the house and also for kitchen or bathroom cupboards.

Creating a memory box that contains photos or objects that are important to someone living with dementia is easy to do at home and can bring back happy memories for all the family. A rummage box can also make the most of the other senses people often take for granted, which are vital for those living with dementia. For example, material from a wedding dress, a baby’s blanket, perfume or aftershave, flower petals, dry autumn leaves or even some bubble-wrap, will appeal to the senses of touch and smell, as well as evoke memories.

Maizie added: “On our stand there will be an opportunity for visitors to meet experts on care at home and residential care, as well as the chance to talk to our colleagues who can give advice on ways of sustaining independence and improving wellbeing.

“During the event, I will be holding a practical activities workshop based around the tips in Listen, talk, connect and our As Easy as ABC booklet, which has 100 ideas for life-enhancing and wellbeing-promoting activities for people living with dementia and their families. It’s packed full of ideas from our activities coordinators and, if you can’t make it to the event, both booklets can be downloaded free from the Care UK website.”

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