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Droitwich to pilot new £900,000 Dutch dementia scheme

Droitwich Editorial 10th Jul, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

DROITWICH has been chosen to pilot a new £900,000 scheme to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families.

The three-year project is being implemented and evaluated by the University of Worcester in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society.

The project, which has received €1,119,819 (£897,312.44) worth of funding from the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), aims to see the Meeting Centres Support Programme set up and researched. Similar centres in The Netherlands have been very successful, leading to people with dementia showing less depressive symptoms and having higher self-esteem than they would in regular day care.

And, with carers receiving more support, they said they felt more competent and more able to cope, which led to admissions to nursing homes delayed.

It is hoped the centres will yield similar results when they are introduced here, in Italy and in Poland, with the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) leading the UK programme.

They will offer those with mild to moderate dementia a number of weekly recreational and social activities, including newspaper reading, painting, singing, preparing lunch and shopping. Group activities will be adapted to individual preferences.

For family carers there will be informative meetings, discussion groups and assistance with practical, emotional and social issues.

And for both those with dementia and the carers, there will be weekly consulting sessions, social activities and excursions.

The centre will be opened in Droitwich in 2016 and an initial informative meeting, held in the town last month, was well-attended and the project was well received.

Prof Dawn Brooker, director of ADS, said: “There are over 100 Meeting Centres in the Netherlands that have demonstrated benefits for people living with dementia, reducing behavioural and psychological problems and delayed admission to residential care.

“The aim of the project is to adapt and to evaluate the Dutch Meeting Centres’ model for people with dementia and their families in the UK, Italy and Poland.

“Knowing that a service works in one country may not necessarily mean that it will work in another.”

Kumbi Mandinyenya, the operations manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Black Country, said: “With the right support people with dementia can live well with their condition.

“That is why it is so important we continue to look at and test innovative approaches to care.”

Email shirley.evans@worc.ac.uk or call her on 01905 542266 for more.

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