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Sights, sounds and smells featured at DoCare's dementia awareness event

DoCare’s drop-in event to mark National Dementia Awareness Week had visitors sniffing mystery smells, listening to music and delving into chatter boxes.

We put on the event to mark national Dementia Awareness Week and invited people to come along and learn a bit more about dementia and how they can support friends and family with dementia.

We had covered cups containing familiar smells – coal tar soap, lavender and citrus – which would spark feelings and memories; we put our chatter boxes on show – DoCare clients with dementia each have a chatter box, containing memorabilia (such as photos or books) to prompt memories and feelings; and we also had music and video playing of older songs and films, again which will spark interest.

DoCare’s Dementia Lead Kerry-Ann Lees coordinated the event and was helped by some of our team.

"A lot of work has been done around dementia and it has been revealed that while memory fades, feelings do not, so stimulating people’s senses through sight, smell and sound can act as a trigger and provoke happy feelings in a person."

Kerry-Ann, with her colleagues Jinny Searle and Kate Townsend, also offered memory tests. The iPad-based test is available through DoCare to any elderly people with concerns about their memory, and the results can be presented to a GP and potentially lead to a diagnosis of dementia.

We were also delighted to be joined by officers from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service, showing off their newly launched dementia packs, based around the national 'FireKills - fire safety in the home' booklet.

Dementia Awareness Week is run by the Alzheimer’s Society and aims to encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their concerns by addressing dementia directly and coming to the Alzheimer's Society for information and support.

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Society visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.