CAMPAIGNERS are highlighting the support available for people with dementia as part of a national awareness week.

An estimated 850,000 people in the country are living with dementia, with the figure expected to rise to one million by 2025, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

And Dementia Awareness Week aims to educate people about the condition and the support available.

Great Western Hospital held an information stall in the centre’s atrium yesterday to launch a week of events.

Healthcare experts and representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, who help those with dementia, spoke to the public.

Sarah Finney, senior sister, said: “We’ve seen an increase of patients over the last few years with the condition, so it is important to promote this week.”

The workshop will again be held at the hospital today (TUES),while the hospital’s academy will be hosting dementia week events on Wednesday and Thursday.

Visitors to the hospital will be able to learn about the hospital’s new dementia-friendly ward, Jupiter, which opened in November 2014 following a £98,000 renovation project, funded by the trust’s charity Brighter Futures.

Trisha Hanlon, infection control resource nurse, said: “There’s a calmness on the ward and a great assurance. We hope the rest of our wards will be dementia-friendly in the future.”

On Thursday, the Alzheimer’s Society will be holding an information session at The Brunel shopping centre as part of the awareness week. In Swindon and the surrounding area, a host of care homes and GP surgeries will be running activities. One of those is Ridgeway House Residential Care, in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Andrea Wright, the centre’s activities co-ordinator, said: “We have got a lot of things lined up. We have got a sensory day going on, a quiz and a series of health walks lined up during the week.

“We always feel that it is very important to support this campaign and we are pleased to do anything we can.”

To stay up to date with GWH’s activities, Twitter users are being asked to use the #GWHDementiaWeek hashtag.

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