Trudy Harrison hears about vital work in Copeland as Dementia Action Week begins

Today is the start of Dementia Action Week and MP Trudy Harrison has been hearing about the vital work in Copeland to help people understand the condition better.

Around 225,000 people develop dementia every year – one person every 3 minutes – and that number is predicted to rise.

Mrs Harrison has this week signed herself and her staff up to take part in a dementia friendly session with community connections worker for Age UK Jan Fotheringham.

Jan, a dementia champion, who is based at Egremont’s De Lucy Centre, said: “We work in the community, across Copeland, and identify anyone at risk of being lonely or isolated. Part of the remit is supporting people who have dementia and their carers.

“Loneliness can cause a lot of physical and emotional problems, the more we can get people together the better and we set up groups where possible. People can live well with dementia, but they just need a little help to do that,” she added.

Mrs Harrison said: “My nana had dementia for five years. She was the matriarch of our family so it was a really hard time.

“I think what the Age UK team is doing in Copeland is incredibly important work and offers a lifeline not only for people with the condition in our area but also their carers who need help, support and advice.”

To raise awareness of Dementia Action Week, a clothes and accessories swap evening takes place at the Age UK De Lucy Centre, on May 22, 6.30pm-8.30pm, £3 on the door, to include refreshments.

Businesses can sign up to a dementia friendly session in order to better recognise and understand the condition and individuals can sign up to be a ‘dementia friend’ to help people living with dementia in their community.  Age UK also offers volunteers, who act as befrienders, to visit people in their own homes. Contact the team on 01946 828100 or email jan.fotheringham@ageukwestcumbria.org.uk for further information.