Support welcomed for dementia sufferers

A NEW scheme has been set up to ‘provide comfort and stimulate cherished memories’ for Fermanagh residents who are living with dementia.
In startling figures, it’s estimated that there are over 20,000 people living with dementia in the North. The number is expected to double over the next 16 years, by 2040.
The Council has come up with a unique idea to try and provide support and comfort to people living with the progressive condition.
“We are pleased to promote our ‘Memory Boxes’. These boxes are thoughtfully curated to provide comfort and stimulate cherished memories for people living with dementia,” said a Council spokesperson.
Dementia, which occurs commonly in Alzheimer’s Disease, causes a decline in memory, reasoning and communication skills. Over time, there will also be a loss of basic skills needed to carry out simple tasks.
The Council’s ‘Memory Boxes’ are aiming to trigger happy memories for the people, as well a keeping their brain engaged and active.
“It [the ‘Memory Box’] went down a storm,” said a member, who availed of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s new scheme.
“We did the mindfulness session and the quiz and it was a lovely afternoon. I look forward to the stories of the River Project and the other ‘Memory Boxes’ which are also very interesting.”
Meanwhile, the Council has also been screening a number of dementia friendly films, to give people affected with the condition a sense of normality.
A number of movies, including ‘Meet me in St Louis’ and ‘Calamity Jane’, have been screened at the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh
Fermanagh House in Enniskillen recently hosted a special meeting to raise awareness about a missing person initiative aimed at helping save the lives of local people living with dementia.
Enniskillen man Davie McElhinney, who is a member and trustee of Dementia NI, is living with frontotemporal dementia.
“If I ever do go missing, I know the Herbert Protocol is in place for my safety,” he said.
“I would feel safer if every officer on the ground was made aware of it. It’s good for police as it gives them confidence that they can find the person more quickly.”

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