Nobody should face dementia alone in North Argyll

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Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week begins on Monday (June 4) and Alzheimer Scotland is calling on the people of Oban and Lorn to help make sure nobody faces dementia alone.

Dementia affects almost every family in Scotland – it’s our biggest public health issue. This year, Alzheimer Scotland wants everyone to find out more about dementia, especially the small but vital things we can all do to help people live well with the condition. With the right information, care and support – alongside better public awareness and understanding – people with dementia will be recognised and valued in our local communities.

People from Colonsay to Dalmally, Appin to Kilmelford are being invited to drop into the Oban Dementia Resource Centre (DRC) on Monday for morning coffee – 10am-noon – or afternoon tea – 2-4pm – to take part. As well as enjoying a cuppa, staff will be on hand to talk about dementia and Alzheimer Scotland’s local dementia services.

There will also be an opportunity to spend five minutes actually experiencing what having dementia is like; and learn how everyone can help people with dementia with a little bit of understanding and by making small changes in how we interact with people with dementia.

Henry Rankin, a person living with dementia and member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group, said: ‘Being diagnosed with dementia turned my life upside down. I wasn’t sure what would happen, or how I would cope. How would people treat me when they knew I had dementia?

‘But with the right help, I’ve been able to plan ahead and decide what I want to do. I’m being supported to live well with dementia. I hope that this Dementia Awareness Week, more people find out about dementia, what it means to have the condition and how they could help.”

Oban dementia advisor Sue Pagan said: ‘People with dementia should be recognised and supported as valued citizens in our communities. We know that people can live well with dementia, but they cannot do so alone. We all have a part to play in making a difference. Come along to our resource centre in High Street to find out more – we’ll be welcoming new and familiar faces all week.’

The awareness week runs until June 10 and on Tuesday, primary seven students from the Rockfield Campus are doing their part by becoming Dementia Friends and learning more about dementia. On Wednesday June 6, visitors to Atlantis Leisure can chat to Sue about dementia and how important it is to keep fit and active in living well with dementia. On Thursday afternoon, Oban solicitor Gordon MacNab, William Campbell from the Nationwide and Argyll and Bute council benefits advisor Irene Boyd will be at our ‘Ask the Experts’ session at the Oban DRC. And on Friday there will be an open ‘Dementia Friends session at the DRC for anyone in the community who wants to learn a bit more about dementia.

You can join the conversation on Twitter with @alzscot using #DementiaAwareness or if you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Hour Helpline on 0808 808 3000.