A vital North East charity will celebrate its 25th anniversary in October with a special conference and fundraising event at the Sage Gateshead.
Dementia Care, based in Newcastle, is a member of North East England Chamber of Commerce and has a special place in the heart of one of its team.
Chamber relationship manager Julie Digman’s father, Alex, was a regular visitor to Dementia Care’s Bradbury Centre after he was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia in 2010.
She said: “My parents had relocated to Newcastle from Norwich to be closer to me and not long after this time we received the diagnosis of dementia through the Newcastle centre for Ageing and Vitality.
Getting an early diagnosis is vital in helping families understand what to prepare for in the future and put in place services that will help both the person with dementia and the family caring for that person.
“Dad lived with his illness for four years and regularly attended the Bradbury Centre in Newcastle two days a week. These sessions were so important to us as a family, not only giving Dad valuable social interaction outside our family unit, but also giving my mum a break from the daily care routine.
Dad enjoyed painting, arts and crafts and music sessions delivered by trained professionals and aimed at maintaining vital life skills that become affected with dementia.
“The Dementia Care support enabled my dad to live at home so much longer than would otherwise have been feasible.
“Before he became ill with dementia dad, even at 70, was still very active and working as a freelance research scientist. Through going to the Bradbury Centre he was still able to have a good quality of life, in a friendly, supportive environment which was lovely for us all to see.”
In order to develop its work, Dementia Care’s regional conference will highlight advances in dementia-specific healthcare to help more people like Alex Grant. Attending the event will be healthcare professionals from across the country and beyond. It aims to address the importance of specialist care and advice services for people living with dementia, their families and carers, while also raising the profile of Dementia Care as a service provider in the region.
Dr Fraser Quin, chief executive at Dementia Care, said: “We are really proud of our long-standing tradition of providing expert care, support and advice to people with dementia and other neurological disorders, such as acquired brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
“Our conference is an excellent opportunity to build on this work and raise funds for us to do even more to support people living with Dementia.”
The charity joined the Chamber to build its links with the business community in the North East.