Dementia Awareness Conference, London, UK
BAPS Charities hosted a Dementia Awareness Conference on Tuesday 21 May 2019 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The event was co-organised with Community Action on Dementia (CAD) and the Brent Clinical Commissioning Group and formed part of the ‘Dementia Awareness Week’ being observed throughout the UK between 20 and 26 May 2019.
Community Action on Dementia is a community group of volunteers working with residents, businesses, faith communities and people living with dementia to create a dementia-friendly borough. The organisation aims to increase awareness about dementia services in Brent to people of all faiths and none.
The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of dementia and the integral role that faith-based communities and other community groups can play in tackling dementia. The conference was attended by representatives from various local faith and civic groups and comprised several workshops and presentations from experts, carers and sufferers of dementia.
Specific learning outcomes of the day included guidance on adapting buildings with improved signage, training for volunteers to become more acutely aware of dementia-related issues, encouragement to adopt more caring and inclusive attitudes amongst peers from various faiths, and proposals to provide religious services that are consistent and in familiar surroundings to engage with worshippers suffering from memory loss. As part of the learning, delegates also discussed a ‘dementia-friendly checklist’ for buildings.
Attendees were also offered a ‘Chair Yoga’ session to engage the mind and body in a practical manner.
The conference proved to be eye-opening and very helpful, with many attendees commenting on specific actions and improvements that they would make to their respective community places to enable a warmer experience for sufferers of dementia.
Dr Rajendra Shah, a lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, said, “It was very encouraging to see the positive and uplifting comments from attendees. The conference has raised vital awareness amongst faith-based communities and the open, honest and collaborative dialogue suggests that dementia sufferers will enjoy a more enriching experience across Brent in the future.”
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