Thursday, 21 May 2015

Newcastle and Durham benefits from Games for the Brain dementia project


The pilot scheme has been launched in Newcastle to help dementia patients stay as active as possible through hobbies such as table tennis





Hannah Woodworth, Dementia support Worker for the Alzheimers Society and volunteer Margaret George, playing ping pong in Eldon Square, Newcastle as part of Games for the Brain
Hannah Woodworth, Dementia support Worker for the Alzheimers Society and volunteer Margaret George, playing ping pong in Eldon Square, Newcastle as part of Games for the Brain
A Pioneering pilot scheme is set to be launched in the North East in a bid to make sure dementia patients are not left isolated after their diagnosis.
Concerns have been growing that many of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are often left feeling that they cannot enjoy hobbies and activities.
But now sports like table tennis are proving the perfect tonic to helping those constrained by their condition break free.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, men seem to feel these challenges more strongly than women, contributing to their sense of isolation within the community.
Now, a new scheme called Games for the Brain aims to reduce social isolation through enabling those living with dementia to remain physically active and enjoy activities in a way that is suitable for them.
The service is being piloted in Newcastle and Spennymoor, and is designed for men and younger people with a diagnosis of dementia and their careers.
Ken Payne, 61, of Penshaw, Sunderland was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimers three years ago but is refusing to let it stop him living life to the full.
Volunteering and singing, Ken thinks it is important people stay as active as possible for as long as possible.
He said: “This is a great idea. I know after I was diagnosed, I did not want to be sitting around the house.
“I volunteer for a housing group and I also perform my songs in different places. It’s important to keep busy.”
Two dementia support workers have been recruited in the North East to help develop a series of activities across a large part of the region.
The primary activity in the service will be table tennis as research shows the sport is particularly beneficial for people with dementia.
The game’s mechanics uniquely activates a number of areas of the brain at the same time resulting in an increased state of cognitive awareness in the player.
Hannah Woodworth, Dementia support Worker for the Alzheimers Society and volunteer Margaret George, playing ping pong in Eldon Square, Newcastle as part of Games for the Brain
Hannah Woodworth, Dementia support Worker for the Alzheimers Society and volunteer Margaret George, playing ping pong in Eldon Square, Newcastle as part of Games for the Brain
Hannah Woodworth, a dementia support worker in Newcastle and North Tyneside, said: “We understand that people have varying levels of fitness and abilities and therefore the service will be tailored to meet the needs of people at all stages of their dementia journey.
“We aim to provide a space for people with dementia to come and enjoy themselves, helping them engage in new activities and old hobbies.”
Claire White, a worker in County Durham, added: “This is a really excellent service that will enable people affected by dementia to carry on their hobbies or to take up new ones in their community as they choose.
“In the first year we will be targeting specific areas within County Durham, we plan to start in Bishop Auckland with a table tennis group in partnership with Bishop Auckland Table tennis club.”
The service aims to improve cognition, increase feelings of wellbeing and to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness so that people with dementia feel supported to participate in enjoyable and stimulating activities.

Mobility scotters

Pedestrians are not always protected these days even on public footpaths, because of cyclists and disabled scooter's. But  I like many ...