Groundbreaking projects improve quality of life for people with dementia


During Dementia Awareness Week (5th-11th July), South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be raising awareness of two groundbreaking initiatives it has launched recently to help older people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families.

Dementia Awareness Week is an annual event run by the Alzheimer’s Society that aims to raise awareness of dementia, and to raise vital funds to support people with dementia and their carers. This year’s theme for Dementia Awareness Week is ‘Be head strong’, which is all about being aware of the things everyone can do to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, has launched two major initiatives in recent months, one of which has been awarded charity funding, while the other has won a prestigious award. These include: • The ‘Portrait of a life’ toolkit, which provides information for care staff on how to create ‘life histories’ for people with dementia as a way of improving their quality of life. This initiative was awarded £15,000 funding from the Mental Health Foundation.

• The Dementia Toolkit, which is a resource folder designed to support care staff by helping them communicate better with people with dementia and recommending approaches to help alleviate carer stress. This initiative led to research fellow, Rebecca Spencer who headed the project, receiving the Medipex Innovator of the Quarter Award.

The Trust’s assistant director for older people’s services, Sue Barton said, "Dementia Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of dementia and the support available for those who live with the condition, as well as their carers and families. It is a great opportunity for us to promote the pioneering work that’s been going on in the Trust’s older people’s services recently, that makes such a difference to the quality of life of people with the dementia, as well as their carers and families. I hope that these projects continue to have a positive impact on dementia care and that more and more people benefit from them. We are developing and improving care for people with dementia all the time and I look forward to even more innovations being developed in the future. Watch this space."

If you are worried that you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms of dementia visit your GP. For more information about Dementia Awareness Week visit

Groundbreaking projects improve quality of life for people with dementia

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