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Dementia friendly funding 'fit' for purpose

| Wednesday 16th August 2017 2:30pm

Dementia friendly funding 'fit' for purpose

Edinburgh Leisure has been awarded a grant of £189,000 to become dementia friendly.  The money, which comes from the Life Changes Trust, will be used to develop health and well-being activities for people affected by dementia across the city. 

Edinburgh Leisure will develop a range of physical activities for people living with early onset and mild to moderate dementia and their carers, so that they can become - and remain - physically active. 

Edinburgh Leisure’s specialist team will work with dementia communities to offer a free outreach service, providing tailored physical activity programmes for people living with dementia.  These will be held in either Edinburgh Leisure’s own venues, in partner venues or in community settings.

The project, called Movement for Memories, will support people living with dementia and their carers to access physical activities such as swimming, gym sessions, golf and tennis, as well as attend sessions which are specifically designed to be dementia friendly.  These will include group walks, dancing, gardening and walking football.

The key aims of the three year programme are that people affected by dementia experience:
• access to enjoyable and meaningful activities
• positive physical and mental health
• improved quality of life and well-being
• reduced isolation and better integration into their own communities
Discount cards will also be available to carers so that they can either join in with the dementia supported activities or have some respite time. 

Claire Craig, Edinburgh Leisure’s Health and Physical Activity Manager said: “At Edinburgh Leisure we see the positive impact physical activity has on people’s lives and as such we are delighted to be working with Life Changes Trust to develop the Movement for Memories project.  This project will use the power of physical activity and sport to enable people living with dementia, and their carers, to live more active lives to help manage their health and well-being.”

The funding is part of a second phase of Dementia Friendly Communities investment from Scottish charity, the Life Changes Trust.  The Trust invested £3 million in 14 dementia friendly communities in 2015, the success of which has led to a further investment of £2 million.

Dementia Friendly Communities are places where people affected by dementia, including carers and family members, are included and supported to do the things that matter to them. They also help empower those whose lives are affected by dementia so that they remain integrated in society, live as independently as possible and participate actively in decisions that affect their lives.

Some dementia friendly communities are geographical communities, relating to a specific location like those already established in West Dunbartonshire or Kirriemuir. Others are communities of interest that bring people together because they are interested in similar activities, for example, sport, art, walking outdoors or dance.

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said, “Many people living with dementia stop taking part in activities that may have given them pleasure in the past, or which allowed them to mix with their peers.  This project brings people together in a dementia friendly community of interest, where they have opportunities to be part of something that is meaningful to them, as well participate in healthy, stimulating activities. We are very happy to be funding Edinburgh Leisure, who are helping to make the capital a better place for people with dementia to live.”

The Life Changes Trust was established by the Big Lottery Fund in April 2013 with a ten year endowment of £50 million to support transformational improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of two groups: people affected by dementia and young people with experience of being in care.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

*Dementia Words - Our work with people with dementia has shown that the phrase “Dementia sufferers”, or using the word suffering to describe dementia has a strongly negative view from people with the condition.  We would request that you avoid using the phrase in headlines or in any article you publish to combat the negative way that people with dementia feel the condition is described. 

For more information on Life Change Trust funding for Dementia Friendly Communities, see the Trust website: http://www.lifechangestrust.org.uk/projects/dementia-friendly-communities

Edinburgh Leisure is a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for people to live active, healthy lives.  This is done by running over 30 leisure and sports venues across Edinburgh and they are proud to receive almost five million customer visits each year.  Projects like Movement for Memories are part of Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities Programme that use the power of physical activity and sport to change and improve the lives of over 5,200 people each year who are affected by health conditions, poverty, inequalities and disabilities.


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