Park activities cash to tackle dementia

Hundreds of older people in Scarborough may be living with undiagnosed dementia, according to estimates by the NHS.
Hundreds of older people in Scarborough may be living with undiagnosed dementia, according to estimates by the NHS.

A project based in a Wyre park has been awarded a grant of nearly £30,000.

The scheme will enhance the sensory qualities of the demonstration garden at Fleetwood’s Memorial Park, so people with dementia can make better use of the amenity. Grant and partnership funding totalling £28,000 has now been awarded to the initiative, councillors at Wyre will hear this week.

Fleetwood Memorial Park

Fleetwood Memorial Park

Details of the demonstration garden revamp will be revealed at tomorrow’s full council meeting at Wyre, when Coun Simon Bridge, street scene, parks and open spaces portfolio holder, will raise the issue.

Research into dementia in recent years has shown that people who suffer from the illness often respond well to features that increase their sensory perception, such as those which produce sound, light or even scent.

The Memorial Park is a highly-regarded assset of Wyre, having been been awarded Green Flag status for the last two years – and Wyre was successfully awarded Lottery funding of £2.4m in July 2013 to help restore it.

A council report stated: “During December the activities at Memorial Park included a number of wreath making sessions, a family activity, crafting baubles, and the popular Xplorer navigating challenge. A project to enhance the sensory value of the demonstration garden at Memorial Park has been awarded grant and partnership funding totalling £28,000.

The work will create a ‘dementia safe’ trail of features such as interactive sound panels and sensory planting, encouraging people living with dementia to visit more frequently and stay for longer.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 225,000 will develop dementia this year, the equivalent of one every three minutes, while one in six people over the age of 80 have dementia.