West Lothian Council is supporting Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland which runs from Monday 1 to Sunday, June 7, and explores the theme of ‘Let’s talk about dementia’.
The aim of the week is to encourage people to speak openly about dementia and overcome the stigma which often surrounds the illness.
It is hoped that the week will also encourage people living with dementia, and those who care for them, to share their own experiences; helping to improve understanding of dementia and highlight best practice.
More than 90,000 people in Scotland are currently living with a diagnosis of dementia, a number expected to double by 2031 as life expectancy increases. Over 2000 of those people live in West Lothian with over 100 of them being under the age of 65.
West Lothian Council’s advice shop works with key partners to ensure that customers who are affected and impacted by Dementia or Alzheimers have access to the appropriate support and advice.
Danny Logue, executive councillor for social policy said: “West Lothian Council is pleased to support Dementia Awareness Week. It is really important that people talk about the issues and gain a greater understanding of dementia and the support which is available.’’
If you or someone you know if affected by Dementia or Alzheimer’s and you would like advice or support, contact the West Lothian Advice Shop on 01506 283000 and select “option 2.” Alternatively you can email advice.shop@west lothian.gov.uk
And, in other news announced this week, dementia “ambassadors” from five West Lothian older people’s day care centres have had their achievements recognised by Stirling University’s dementia services development centre.
Professor June Andrews presented staff and volunteers with their certificates in recognition of the skills and knowledge they have developed during a two-year development programme.
The Optima Ambassadors Programme, funded by a grant of £55,750 from the Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation, helped the five Optima member centres improve the experience of dementia clients and their carers.
This helps those affected live well with dementia, preventing hospital or care home admission for as long as possible.
A spokesman for St Michael’s Hospital, Linlithgow, said: “We have gained a lot of insight into clients who have dementia.
“We have acquired new skills and are now putting these into practice in our individual roles with confidence.’’