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Feature: Help is close at hand for people with dementia in Harborough

Staff from Sainsbury's in Harborough with the Harborough Dementia group's founders Jean and Steve Kendall (far left and right). The group's Dementia Cafe project was the store's nominated local charity last year. (Copyright Fiona Hanson).

Staff from Sainsbury's in Harborough with the Harborough Dementia group's founders Jean and Steve Kendall (far left and right). The group's Dementia Cafe project was the store's nominated local charity last year. (Copyright Fiona Hanson).

 

Have you or someone close to you been recently diagnosed with dementia or do you suspect that someone you know, family or a friend is potentially suffering from this condition?

There are currently, approximately 44 million people globally suffering from Dementia, around 670,000 in the UK and it is predicted that the global figure will rise to 76 million by 2030.

So, if you are a sufferer or carer, in the Market Harborough district, what can you do?

It may be that you have a good support network already and have all the help that you need, but there are a lot of people out there, recently diagnosed, who may be feeling isolated and scared and want help and support.

Dementia Harborough was started three years ago by Steve and Jean Kendall. They had a relative who had dementia and who was feeling increasingly isolated, and their carer was feeling exhausted.

Steve and Jean wanted to open a meeting place where carer and cared for could go to meet people in a similar situation, share experiences, socialise and listen to professionals to learn more about their condition.

As a result they set up the Dementia Café Market Harborough, which over the next two years grew into the Dementia Harborough group.

Dementia Harborough is the ‘umbrella name’ for the Dementia Café, Singing for Memories and Healthy Walks, as well as other locally-run projects, including one with students from Harborough’s Robert Smyth Academy, The Rotary Club of Market Harborough and Harborough District Council.

The Dementia Café is run once a month in town and is a safe and relaxing place for carers, cared for and families to meet. There, they can get Information, listen to speakers, and meet with specialist professional workers as well as having a chance to chat with others in a similar situation.

Singing for Memories and Healthy Walks are also run once a month, both again, locally and very relaxed and welcoming.

I was lucky enough to go along to a Singing for Memories afternoon and it helped me appreciate how much singing old favourites, like Yellow Submarine and Give Me Sunshine, can bring back all those fabulous memories you have.

Dementia Harborough has provided support to more than 239 people over the last three years.

There are regularly 35-45 people attending the Dementia Café, and Singing for Memories has been so successful that it has had to move to larger premises, still in Market Harborough, to accommodate everyone.

So, if you live in the Harborough district, you have been recently diagnosed with dementia or are caring for someone that has, get in touch and come along to the Dementia Café, even if it’s only once just to give it a try, but I am sure you will find it helpful, comforting and supportive for the future.

For more information, see the website www.dementiaharborough.org where you can find out all about it, including links to other useful websites or you can call Steve or Jean directly on 01858 463754.

Feature kindly supplied by Emma Williams.

 

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