Dementia Roadshow tour to provide lifeline to local families

A pioneering Dementia Community Roadshow will be visiting Northern Ireland from 15th January 2013, as it aims to increase local awareness and understanding of the condition.

There are currently 18,000 people in Northern Ireland with dementia and the number is rising. The Alzheimer’s Society Roadshow offers free information and advice to anyone with queries about the condition, as well as helping to promote the benefits of an early diagnosis.

During its current tour of Northern Ireland, the vehicle, funded by Tesco, will be at each venue for two days starting with Springhill Tesco, Bangor on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th January between 10am and 4pm, before travelling to Newtownards, Belfast, Newcastle, Portadown, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Magherafelt and Coleraine. People, who are currently living with dementia, are worried about a friend or a relative’s memory, or just have questions about the condition, are encouraged to drop by with no appointment necessary.

The Roadshow has already made a big difference to local lives, reaching 7,861 people in Northern Ireland so far. Olive Johnston, Dementia Support Manager in Fermanagh, was on board the vehicle during its last two visits.

“We have had great results with the Dementia Community Roadshow visits. I have watched people hesitate to come on board but it is clear that dementia is something that they have been thinking about for some time. We have all sorts of people come on board from people worried about their memory, people newly diagnosed and long-term carers. At the last visit of the Roadshow a concerned family sought help about the signs of memory loss and within a few months the person was receiving treatment; so that was one of our real success stories as early diagnosis is very important”.

Thelma Abernethy, Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Northern Ireland, said:

“The Dementia Community Roadshow helps us to reach out to local communities and people who may not know where to turn for help. Getting a diagnosis is the first step in unlocking the support and potential treatments that are available.

“Receiving an early diagnosis enables people to get access support when they need it and gives them the opportunity to plan for the future. We’re here to provide people with information about where to get help and encourage those with concerns about their memory to visit their GP.”

People can find when the Dementia Community Roadshow will be visiting their local area by visiting www. alzheimers.org.uk/roadshow.

It will come to Coleraine Tesco on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd February. The Roadshow is vising the Tesco stores in Northern Ireland between 10am and 4pm.