New Edinburgh project creates physical activities for people living with dementia

Edinburgh Leisure | Friday 11th May 2018 8:37am

New Edinburgh project creates physical activities for people living with dementia

Edinburgh Leisure is set to launch a new project called Movement for Memories, to support people living with dementia to get active, thanks to funding from the Life Changes Trust. Anyone living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia can make a self-referral to the Movement for Memories project or be referred by a health professional, dementia link worker or social worker.

Sam Scott, Health Development Officer (Dementia) at Edinburgh Leisure explains how the project will work: “When someone with dementia is referred to Movement for Memories they will be invited to a welcome consultation where we will identify their specific needs, interest and abilities to provide a tailored physical activity plan incorporating a range of Edinburgh Leisure activities. 

They will also receive an Edinburgh Leisure card offering 12 weeks of free access to a range of Edinburgh Leisure activities, followed by discounted access for a further 9 months. “It’s also really important that carers look after their health and wellbeing, so, when a carer of someone with dementia is referred to Movement for Memories they will get their own Edinburgh Leisure card providing discounted access to encourage them to incorporate regular physical activity in their life too.

It is estimated that there are currently around 8,000 people living with a dementia diagnosis in Edinburgh and this is likely to increase by 68% over the next 20 years, with 1 in 3 people expected to develop the condition.

Whilst there is no cure for dementia, studies show that physical activity may improve memory and slow down mental decline – therefore through our Movement for memories project we use physical activity to support the independence and wellbeing of people living with dementia.

Over the coming months, Sam Scott will be developing dementia friendly activities within Edinburgh Leisure, including swimming, the gym, golf, tennis, and fitness classes. He will also be introducing a Dementia Friendly Buddy Service, where volunteers will provide support to enable people with dementia and their carers to confidently access Edinburgh Leisure activities. 

If you would like more information on how to refer onto the project or are interested in volunteering, contact: Sam Scott, Health Development Officer (Dementia) / 0131 458 2209

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