Buckinghamshire Council offers free events in support of Dementia Action Week

To mark Dementia Action Week 2022, which runs from 16 to 22 May, Buckinghamshire Council is running a series of events in the county. The awareness week is run annually by the Alzheimer’s Society, with this year’s theme being diagnosis.

Diagnosis rates for dementia have fallen to a five-year low and the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging those experiencing common dementia symptoms, such as memory loss, personality changes and changes in behaviour, to seek guidance and support in understanding those symptoms.

Research by the Society indicates that the biggest barrier to those seeking a diagnosis is the misconception that memory loss is a normal sign of ageing.

This year’s Dementia Action Week aims to help those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to understand potential symptoms, to come forward for guidance and support, and to feel empowered to take the next steps towards diagnosis.

During the week, Buckinghamshire Council will be running a series of events which are open to residents across the county to raise awareness of dementia-related conditions.

Tuesday 17 May

  • Aylesbury – To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, Aylesbury Town Council and Aylesbury Library will be hosting a FREE event as part of our dementia friendly initiative in Dementia Action Week.
  • Buckingham – Free drop-in session at Buckingham Library 10am – 1pm.

Wednesday 18 May

  • Adult Social Care Commissioning Virtual Post Diagnosis Information session. This session is for anyone who has had a diagnosis of dementia and their carers and would like to find out more about the condition, how to manage symptoms and live well and find out what support is available. It’s also an opportunity to ask questions to the Dementia Advisors. The session runs from 10:30am – 12pm.

In addition to the above, Virtual Dementia Tours – organised by Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Boards and local Dementia Action Alliances – will be available to interested residents.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is a life-changing experience and the only scientifically and medically proven method of giving a person with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like. Enter the world of a person with dementia and understand the simple changes you can make to your practice and to the environment to improve the lives of people with dementia.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is taken by over 200,000 people per year in the UK and is the benchmark training used by multiple NHS Trusts, HSE Trusts, care homes, nursing homes, families and more.

Available dates and locations for the Virtual Dementia Tour are:

Monday 16 May – Burnham Park Hall Interactive Dementia Awareness Experience – Monday 16 May, multiple times | Eventbrite

Tuesday 17 May – Beaconsfield Town Hall, Penn Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 2PP – Interactive Dementia Awareness Experience – Tuesday 17 May, multiple times | Eventbrite

Wednesday 18 May – Lace Hill Manor Care Home – Virtual Dementia Tour Session 2 Buckingham Tickets – Wednesday 18 May at 10:30am | Eventbrite

Thursday 19 May – Bourne End Community Centre, Wakeman Rd, Wooburn Green, Bourne End SL8 5SX

Friday 20 May Risborough Community Centre, Wades Park, Stratton Road, Princes Risborough, HP27 9AX – Interactive Dementia Awareness Experience – Friday 20 May, multiple times | Eventbrite

There are four sessions available on every day, each with nine places, including an interactive experience on the specially designed vehicle followed by a group debrief.

Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“Dementia diagnoses can seem daunting, but receiving the right care and support is the first step towards a better quality of life for both the individual with dementia as well as their friends and family members – who often serve as caregivers.

“With our events in support of Dementia Action Week, we aim to raise awareness of dementia across the county and help those facing dementia get access to the services and support they need. If you suspect you have symptoms of dementia, please visit your GP.

“Our library staff have taken part in Dementia Friends training, so they are able to recognise and respond appropriately to behaviour caused by dementia and do simple things that can make a visitor’s experience easier and more enjoyable. In Amersham, Aylesbury, Buckingham and Marlow libraries, in recent refurbishments we have created dementia-friendly spaces incorporating improvements such as quiet areas and better lighting to make them more welcoming and warm spaces for anyone with dementia.”