Older people urged to attend memory loss programme

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The Northern Health and Social Care Trust is encouraging older people in the Newtownabbey area to take part in a Memory Loss Programme.

The programme, which will take place one day a week for 12 weeks at Inniscoole Day Centre, Rathcoole, will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the effects of, and how to cope with, memory loss in their lives, which will enable them to live in their own home for as long as possible.

It is estimated that there are 16,000 people with dementia in Northern Ireland, and that figure is projected to increase to 20,500 by 2017 and 47,000 by 2051.

Participants in the Memory Loss Programme will take part in therapeutic activities such as life story work, reminiscence work, the use of memory aids, quizzes, word games, falls prevention and information to encourage healthy eating.

Some work will need to be done by the course participant and their carer between sessions to achieve the maximum benefit from the programme.

Brian Serplus, Head of Residential and Day Care Services for Older People’s Services in the Northern Trust area said: “The programmes have been developed to provide participants with the opportunity to understand their memory loss and learn skills to help them cope with the problems they encounter in their lives.

“The programmes are person centred and on completion most participants will have achieved an understanding of the changes in memory they are experiencing and know what to expect as time goes on. Their carer will also gain an understanding of the problems their loved one is experiencing and learn some skills to help them in their caring role.”

Anyone who feels that they would benefit from attending the Memory Loss Programme should contact the manager of Inniscoole Day Centre on 028 9085 4333 for more information.