Joining forces to assist dementia sufferers

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Palm House, Sefton Park. Pic © Stephen Bramhill JMU Journalism

A bid to coordinate the efforts of local organisations tackling dementia issues was launched in Sefton Park this week.

The event, which took place in the Palm House, aimed to unite various groups, as well as sharing information on their work with people living with dementia and to also raise funds.

It was organised by NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) and the objective was to spark a change in how different related organisations can work together in a more collective manner.

Speakers discussed the complex issues involved and entertainment was provided with a performance by the Memory Singers; a group made up of people living with dementia.

YouTube: Stephen Bramhill

One of the speakers, Tommy Dunne BEM, is a representative of THRED, an organisation that wants to eliminate the social isolation associated with dementia.

He is living with Alzheimer’s and wants to ensure that the maximum can be done. He told JMU Journalism: “We need to be pulling this together; we need the professionals to work with the people with dementia.

“We can tell you what it’s like living with dementia and the experts can tell you what it’s like from the professional side.”

Dr Grahame Smith,CRN NWC, Dementia Advisor and reader in mental health at LJMU, was also in attendance. Like Tommy, he believes that unity between these organisations will improve their mission.

He told JMU Journalism: “It’s about the stalls being brought together and these people speaking to each other as well as people coming in and seeing what they’re doing.”

One of the main organisers of the event, and Research Delivery Manager for the NIHR, Sarah Dyas, is hopeful that this event will raise awareness.

She told JMU Journalism: “I hope that this has given people living with dementia a view that they shouldn’t live in isolation and that there are lots of organisations and support out there for them.”