Carer World - extracts & notes

Dementia Awareness Week - 2013   A fun day out for those living with dementia

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Thursday 23 May 2013 at the Couryard Theatre,              

Hereford -  10am – 4pm

The Courtyard hosted a large event entitled Remember Me on May 23 to honour Dementia Awareness Week

Building on the success of the event last year, this year the event was supported by Claridge Nursing Homes and The Courtyard aim to not only provide fun activities for those with dementia and their carers, but also raise public awareness of dementia through various taster sessions and information stands, including health professionals from the Alzheimer’s Society, DM Hop and Age UK.  This event gave staff that have been trained as Dementia friends an opportunity to put this training into practise. A display of vintage clothing and accessories from many eras past was available in the foyer area for public viewing.

Alice Saunders, Arts and Older People’s Project Coordinator at The Courtyard said:  “Whilst this event is about providing a fun day out, enabling those living with dementia to engage in the arts,  it’s also very important to raise awareness and break down the stigma that still so heavily surrounds it. Through many of our projects we try to reveal the person behind the dementia and through this event we hope to shift attitudes and make it easier to talk about dementia.”

The day started at 10am opening with an all day live drawing event.  Led by three local artists, Penny Allen, Jeanette McCulloch and David Symonds, the live draw wass open to all who have a willingness to get involved, regardless of experience level.  The day also involved a taster session of Singing for the Brain™, a stimulating, social activity thought up by the Alzheimer’s Society to enhance wellbeing and bring fun and confidence to those living with memory loss and their carers.  The taster session was also free to take part in and ran in the Courtyard’s foyer for half an hour from 11am.

From midday the Alzheimer Society’s local Memory Cafe’s was held in The Courtyard Café Bar.  These cafés provided the opportunity for people with dementia, their families and carers to informally meet to socialise, chat in a friendly environment.  On the day, The Courtyard played host to this event. Performed by a critically acclaimed one woman show from the Edinburgh Fringe 2012, Doorstep Theatre presented a piece which told the stories of Mr Albert North, a man born in Oldham in 1926 and acted out by Albert’s granddaughter and actor, Emily Summers.  The piece, entitled All Turn, was a show full of humour and heart and will take place in the studio theatre at 1.30, with tickets priced at £5.

The event finished with poetry readings from our local dementia poets and world renowned dementia poet, John Killick, who read work created from The Courtyard’s Dementia Poetry Project. 

David Ash, Alzheimer's Society's Area Manager for the West Midlands said: "The Courtyard Centre for Arts has been an inspiring Dementia Action Alliance member as they have generated a number of excellent and innovative ideas of how they can engage people with dementia in the arts community. The Courtyard Centre for Arts has not only signed up to the Dementia Action Alliance but have also trained staff to be "Dementia Friends", which will enable them to have a greater understanding of the needs of people who are affected by dementia. Alzheimer's Society is excited to be working with them and is delighted that the live drawing event will be running for the second year.”

Richard Claridge, Proprietor of Claridge Nursing Homes, and sponsor of the Courtyard said: "I've always been proud to support the Courtyard's work and am delighted to be involved with their older people's strategy.   We look after many clients with dementia at our Homes and anything we can do to help raise awareness of the illness and the impact it has not only on those affected, but the whole family too, can only be a good thing."  

Remember Me was at The Courtyard on Thursday 23 May 2013 .  For more information contact Alice Saunders on 01432 346514 or  

The events for Dementia Awareness Week   in 2013 , built on the previous year, an event run by Alice Saunders called Remember Me, which encouraged people with dementia and their families to attend a live draw event and contribute to a mural while sharing experiences.  Picture attached.

The Dementia Action Alliance is made up of over 100 organisations committed to transforming the quality of life of people living with dementia and their carer’s.  Members of Dementia Action Alliance have signed up to a National Dementia Declaration.  The Declaration explains the challenges presented to the society by dementia and some  of the outcomes they want to achieve. 

These are the following:-

I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me

I know that services are designed around me and my needs

I have support that helps me live my life

I have the knowledge and know how to get what I need

I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood

I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of family, community and civic life

I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for the future.

Signatories to the Declaration publish their own Action Plans on the Dementia Action Alliance website setting out what the will do to secure these outcomes and improve quality of life for people with dementia by 2014. 

One in three people over 65 will develop with dementia

Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051

Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them 

Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Alzheimer’s Society has a plan to deal with dementia. Help us support people to live well today and fight for a world without dementia tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting our website

Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit

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