Next week (17 – 23 May) is national Dementia Awareness Week. The New Forest has the highest proportion of older people in Hampshire – over 25% of the population is over 60 – and as a result the district has a high and rising rate of dementia.

The New Forest Dementia Forum, co-chaired by New Forest District Council and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, is determined to address this key health priority and support residents and their families facing a diagnosis or dealing with the condition.

Daniela Raffio, Health & Policy Development Manager at New Forest District Council, says: “We believe that life doesn’t end when dementia begins and we’re working closely with partners to raise awareness of the issues relating to dementia and support the development of a range of services for people who are living with the condition.

“If you are worried about someone, encourage them to go and see their doctor because spotting the signs of dementia early means they can get the right treatment and support as soon as possible.”

The New Forest Dementia Partnership has launched a dementia newsletter, Forget Me Not, to provide information and support for sufferers and their carers. Available through doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, libraries and local Dementia Action Groups, the newsletter includes information, patient’s stories and local news and aims to help people to live well with memory loss and dementia.

Forget Me Not can also be downloaded from nfdc.gov.uk/dementia

The NF Dementia Action Forum also supports local volunteers to set up Dementia Action Groups to deliver support and raise awareness of dementia in their local communities.

Many of the local groups are putting on a range of events for Dementia Awareness Week.

The council funds Sports Reminiscence groups in the district, designed to help people with dementia unlock powerful memories, and a free memory group in Lyndhurst, which is now recommended by the Department of Health.

Spaces are available on this group. For more information please contact elena.prieto-ruiz@scagroup.co.uk or telephone 023 8028 6345.

Dementia Awareness Week Events:

Lymington Dementia Action Group
Tea Dance at Lymington Community Centre
23 May, 2.00-4.00pm
Tickets free but donations welcome
Please email DAW@dementiafriendlylymington.co.uk or call 01590 678340.

The Malt at Lymington Community Centre presents
Still Alice
15, 16 & 17 May at 7.15pm
20 May at 2.30pm
Tickets available on 01590 672337

Lymington Dementia Action Group
Dementia Friends’ Information Session
11am – 2pm, 17 to 23 May, various locations around Lymington & Milford

During the week volunteers will be on hand in and around Lymington to talk to people about dementia, including information about local support groups and services.

For more information on support for dementia in the New Forest visit nfdc.gov.uk/dementia

Age UK Advice
0800 169 6565

Admiral Nurses Direct
0845 257 9406

Carers Direct
0808 802 0202

The Lewy Body Society
0808 800 0303

Dementia UK
020 7874 7200