Dementia support available in West Leeds

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Pudsey Wellbeing Centre. Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

By Win Roddy

The recent interactive workshop hosted by Linda Craven, dementia friend ambassador, at Bramley Community Centre, gave a brief but very worthwhile insight into the effects of Dementia.  

Discussion took place regarding the advantages of receiving an early diagnosis and useful example using bookcase imagery demonstrated the different stages of memory loss. Information sheets outlining relevant types of support, including benefits, support groups and advisers, were made available.  

Reminder was given of what dementia is and is not:

  • is not a natural part of ageing
  • is caused by diseases of the brain
  • is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
  • it is possible to live well with Dementia
  • there’s more to a person than the Dementia

NHS and Alzheimers Society encourage people living with Dementia to maintain social interaction and involvement in activities – physical, mental, social and creative – thereby supporting wellbeing, keeping a sense of purpose and routine, and boosting self esteem. 

Across West Leeds there are a number of community groups supporting people living with dementia and their carers, some of which are included in Dispatch’s online what’s on section.

  • Leeds Older Peoples Forum during Dementia Awareness Week (13-19 May) are holding a Dementia Action event at Headingley Stadium on 16 May 11am – 3.30pm as well as other events throughout Leeds – Dementia Action Week 2024 Events – Leeds Older People’s Forum (opforum.org.uk).
  • Starting 14 May, Pudsey and Farsley MHA is resuming the Penny Lane sessions every Thursday at Pudsey Congs Cricket Club 2pm-4pm, suitable for people living with Dementia and their Carers. Weekly Singing Groups, covering various decades of pop music and songs from shows, take place weekly on Thursdays at Farsley St John’s Hall from 1.15pm-3pm. Mind Matters, sessions involving exercises and games for memory improvement, are held weekly on Fridays at St Wilfred’s Cricket Club, Calverley, from 2pm-3.30pm.  For enquiries regarding any MHA events Telephone: either 0113 256 2717 or 0113 290 9340.
  • Armley Helping Hands has recently introduced the ‘Time for Tea’ session; a community support group with dedicated nurses, for people with memory loss and Dementia and their Carers, on the first Thursday of every month at their Strawberry Lane Community Centre from 1pm–2.30pm.  Contact Karen Tel: 0113 2799292. 
  • Bramley Elderly Action holds Remember Thursday sessions for their members with memory impairment at their Bramley Lawn Community Centre; on Thursdays from 1.30pm-3.30pm.  Gentle exercise sessions are held at Bramley Community Centre on Mondays and Tuesdays, and at Rossefield Manor on Friday mornings.  You are advised to ring a member of staff for further information regarding these Tel: 0113 236 1644.
  • Pudsey Wellbeing Centre holds monthly ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions for people with Dementia and their Carers run by a trained facilitator in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society. Contact: John or Heather Slack on 0113 255 6252.

These are just a few examples of Dementia friendly activities across West Leeds – choirs seem to be growing in popularity, as well as gardening and litter picking sessions, some arts sessions, Tai Chi, chair based Yoga, welcome spaces and drop in cafes, to name a few. 

Leeds Neighbourhood Network Scheme – Leeds Older People’s Forum are great sources of information regarding local groups, support and events,

Leeds Adult Social Care, Memory Support Worker Service offer advice about living with Dementia and support available locally, Tel: 0113 231 1727; or email or memorysupport.lypft@nhs.net.  

You can also call the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. They’re open for longer hours and can put you in touch with local services.

Carers Leeds offer a wide range of advice and services via their advice helpline – 0113 380 4300: Monday to Thursday – 9am to 5pm | Friday – 9am to 4.30pm.  They run Carer Support Groups and courses from their offices in the centre of Leeds as well as throughout the surrounding Leeds area, including Pudsey Wellbeing Centre. For further information see their website.

If there are any community centres or individuals in the West Leeds area who would like their Dementia friendly events or activities included on  WLD’s online ‘Whats On’ section please do send them in to news@westleedsdisopatch.com.

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