Friday 22nd May 2015
Recognising that fear of dementia and the stigma associated with it, are serious concern for the over 55s, especially among BAME and Asian communities, the UCKG HelpCentre’s seniors group, Caleb, held an Alzheimer’s Awareness event at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park on Saturday 16 May.
Around 80 older people from all over the capital gathered at the north London venue to hear Pooja Deb from the Alzheimer’s Society explain that dementia is not a natural result of ageing, and that five out of six over 80s are unaffected.
She told the audience that dementia is a group of brain diseases that can happen to anyone. All these conditions progressively affect memory, emotions, thinking, speech and behaviour, and Alzheimer’s is but one type of dementia. While the various forms of dementia are not currently medically curable, it is possible to reduce the risk and much can be done to support sufferers and enrich their lives within their families and the community.
Encouragingly, she advised that one’s chances of getting dementia can be cut through healthy eating, and that remaining in touch with other people and learning new things is good for people in later life. What’s more, not all memory problems indicate dementia.
Pooja stated: “I’m so glad I was able to engage with the UCKG members around dementia awareness. It is so important we spread the message, and start this dialogue now as the numbers (affected by these diseases) are set to increase, over the next 10 years, particularly in the BAME communities.
“We need to be informed and educated, so that we can take all those necessary actions and preventative measures to reduce our risk. I’m very pleased so many of the attendees found the talk useful, and the feedback was very positive.”
Those who gave feedback included audience members Dolly Knight of south London, who found the talk very informative and easy to comprehend, and Teresa Gill of Croydon, who said: “The explanation was simple, now I know what to look out for”.
Kim Powell, Community Outreach Coordinator for the UCKG HelpCentre summed it up saying: “I found the event to be hugely informative because it helped me to understand the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s and interestingly enough that it doesn’t happen as a result of old age.” She added: “It helped me to pick up signs and symptoms and to know about the help that is available.”
Notes to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
Caleb is a special interest group of the UCKG that aims to support and assist all older people from age 55 up, and to meet the varied needs of people at different stages in their later years.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.