PEOPLE can learn more about dementia and how to live with the condition at a special free event tomorrow.
The awareness day is aimed at raising the profile of Oxfordshire’s growing number of dementia sufferers.
It has been organised by the Oxfordshire Dementia Awareness Campaign and takes place tomorrow between 1pm and 4pm at Headington Girls’ School.
Anyone interested in the condition can visit the Main Hall of the school in Headington Road, where there will be guests speakers, performances, 20 information stands and more than 35 service providers.
Among the speakers will be Oxford author and philosopher Marianne Talbot, who will talk about her book, Keeping Mum – Caring for Someone with Dementia.
It chronicles the day by day experience over three years of how she juggled a demanding job at Oxford University while looking after her mum as Alzheimer’s took its stranglehold.
Claire Ward – from the charity Guideposts Trust, which is part of the Dementia Empowerment Group that has helped organise the afternoon – said: “While dementia is a frightening and distressing disease, we want to show that through healthy options, support and care it is possible to live well and maintain your choices and independence – and have a full life for as long as possible.
“Raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with dementia is crucial for changing negative ideas into positive actions that help people with dementia to live well and independently in their communities.”
Promising a comprehensive range of information and an honest view of living with dementia, the event will also offer guest speakers, and a performance of Dementia Monologues, in which a person with dementia tells their story, using poetry, song, film and other media.
Ms Ward added: “We are particularly delighted that Marianne Talbot will be with us and we shall also be launching the innovative Information Prescription (IP) for Oxford City which provides key details about a first step to support and services available in the local area for people who have dementia and for those involved in their care and support.”
There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and it is estimated that by 2021, one million people in the UK will have the disease for which there is currently no cure.
In Oxfordshire, about 8,200 people have been disagnosed with dementia – 1,360 in Oxford – and these numbers are predicted to increase to to over 10,000 and 1,500 repectively by 2020.
For more information about the event, email odac@guideposts trust.org.uk or 0845 120 4048.