Innovative new project launched to progress Strabane as a dementia-friendly region

AN innovative new project has been launched locally in a bid to see Strabane become a dementia-friendly region.

Launched last Tuesday with an information coffee morning at Strabane and District Caring Services’ (SDCS) Bridge Street premises, the new scheme aims to help local dementia patients live "better and for longer" within the community.

Strabane and District Caring Services has entered into partnership with DEEDS (Dementia Engaged and Empowered Derry and Strabane) to roll out a project over the next three years here in Strabane.

A SDCS spokesperson said: “The aim of the project is to enable people living with dementia to live better for longer within their own communities and to progress the Strabane area as a dementia-friendly region.

“The project will deliver weekly activity groups, weekly memory groups, carers education and respite initiatives as well as a programme of events and activities to reduce isolation and enhance emotional wellbeing here in Strabane.

The scheme will also see the "development of new models and tools of care delivery.”

The spokesperson continued: “The numbers presenting with dementia are increasing steadily and where the desire is to maintain those living with the disease in their own home and community, this in turn required increased support, tolerance and understanding.

“The individuals and particularly family members have told us that they do not understand the illness, how it progresses and what they might do to make life easier.

"We choose to be partners in this project as there is a desire to assist people living with dementia. We also want to help in the development in new models and tools of care delivery."

As a partner in this project, SDCS's aim is to portray dementia in a positive manner showing that people living with dementia are valued members of society.

"In our daily work we engage with high numbers of individuals living along with or experiencing the onset of dementia. We have also established the need for family members' support mechanism requirements, when a family member has a form of dementia in dealing and coping with it.

“This has grown daily, and we intend to share our resources and experience to play out part in making life that little bit better for dementia sufferers despite the challenges associated with dementia. We want to become a more dementia friendly environment, one in which we can all play a part in,” the spokesperson added.

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