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Dementia Friendly Community’s week of events will help carers and families

by Andy Tong

Dementia Friendly Community’s week of events will help carers and families

TONBRIDGE'S Dementia Friendly Community [DFC] will be holding its third Dementia Action Week to generate awareness and offer support to those who live with the condition and their carers and families.

 

The diary begins with a ‘dementia friends session’ held at Inspirations Hair Salon on the High Street on Monday May 21, from 1.30-2.30pm.

Inspirations has been a keen DFC supporter since it started. With a large number of elderly clients the hairdressers have adapted their service.

 

For example customers do not have to face mirrors, since the reflections can cause distress because of an inability to recognise themselves.

 

They also book repeat appointments for the same time on the same day of the week to benefit clients with impaired memory.

 

Salon owner Karen May says: “We all know that people like to look good and feel good and there are huge benefits to a person’s well-being when allowed a bit of pampering and routine, having a willing ear to listen and to chat just makes the service so important.”

 

On Tuesday May 22, Christ Church in the High Street will be holding a free ‘well-being day’ for people with dementia and their carers and family from 10.45am-2.30pm. During the day there will be a variety of sessions including Tai Chi, reflexology, hand massage and foot health, as well as crafts and singing.

 

There will also be a market place with stalls providing information, clothing and daily living aids.

 

On Wednesday May 23, the Virtual Dementia Experience returns to town for the third year running at Tonbridge Angels FC’s Longmead Stadium from 9.30-11am.

 

This gives residents the opportunity to experience what it might be like to live with dementia through sensory activities. The three sessions are being sponsored by Abbey Funerals.

 

There will be a showcase of sporting activity suitable for people living with dementia hosted by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s leisure arm tmactive in the Angel Centre on Thursday May 24

 

The week culminates in an award ceremony for the winners of the children’s art competition at Tonbridge Castle on Friday May 25 from 4.30-5.30pm.

 

Presentations will be made by the new Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Pam Bates.

 

“The team are really excited about all the events that are happening and we hope they will encourage people to become dementia aware,” says Chris Parker, DFC Tonbridge’s founder and chair.

 

“I am particularly excited about the response we’ve had to the children’s art competition.

 

“Some of the entries have reduced me to tears. They show a great understanding of dementia.”

 

The wellbeing day and virtual sessions will require prior booking so email Mrs Parker at dementiafriendstonbridge@gmail.com

 

PICTURE: CUTTING EDGE: Inspirations owner Karen May has adapted the way her staff serve clients