Making Waves for Wellbeing - Dementia Awareness Week promotes free swimming

May 30 2017

Dementia Awareness Week was held in May and there were a number of activities happening across North Bristol to raise awareness.

Dementia Awareness Week was held in May and there were a number of activities happening across North Bristol to raise awareness. 

A well-attended conference was held in Henleaze with visiting speakers from the Alzheimer’s Society and BRACE, organised by Bristol Dementia Action Alliance and the Townswomen’s Guild.

Bristol City Council are encouraging people living with the disease to try a dementia-friendly swimming session. The council is working with many different partners to make sure that life doesn’t stop when dementia begins.

All Bristol leisure centres are now taking part, with staff specially trained by St Monica Trust on hand to support people with dementia and their carers, who swim for free. The centres also all have larger changing rooms, improved signage and carefully monitored temperature control to provide a safe and supportive environment for the swimming sessions.

Becky Pollard, Bristol’s Director of Public Health, said: “A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing the things you enjoy or trying new things, so we’ve been working to make sure people can still access the same opportunities in Bristol. “

As well as the swimming projects, the council is supporting Active Together www.voscur.org/volunteering/activetogether  which matches volunteers to help people living with dementia based on shared interests. Pairs regularly go out together to take part in activities they both enjoy – from dancing and Pilates to visiting art galleries.

The first swimming session is free. To sign up or find out more visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/museums-parks-sports-culture/dementia-friendly-swimming 

If you, or someone you know, is worried about dementia, call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email helpline@alzheimers.org.uk