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Dementia Action Week at Praxis Care

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Dementia Action Week at Praxis Care

Praxis Care Teaches People About Dementia

Dementia Action Week took place 15th-21st May. To mark the week, Praxis Care delivered “Dementia Friendly Communities” workshops to 100 people.

Tracy Smyth – Dementia Carer Coordinator at Praxis Care

Mrs Smyth is an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Ambassador, allowing her to deliver the workshops across Northern Ireland. The goal is to make Northern Ireland a friendlier place for people with dementia. Tracy has had an impressive career in the social care sector, winning awards from the Alzheimer’s Society, from Dementia Friendly Awards and from the World Health Organisation before joining Praxis Care this year.

Dementia Friendly Communities Workshops

Led by Tracy Smyth, the workshops educated people about dementia. They focussed on how to best support people with dementia when you come across them professionally, personally or socially.

Workshop participants included Praxis Care staff, Mid Down and Lisburn District Community First Responders, and Magherafelt Women’s Group. Also attending was a class of third year beauty therapy students from South Eastern Regional College, Lisburn.

Beauty Therapy Students Honed Their Skills

After participating in the workshop, the beauty therapy students visited St Paul’s Court to put their new skills to use while providing hand and arm massages. St Paul’s Court is one of Praxis Care’s supported living services in Lisburn for people with dementia or cognitive impairment.

Betty McClune, a tenant at St Paul’s Court, enjoyed the morning of pampering and chatting with the students. She said, “The girls here are well trained to do the job, they’re doing very well and we appreciate their efforts, getting our hands massaged and such. I’ve enjoyed it very much indeed.”

She went on to say “It shows that there’s other people who can help you, and even to sit and listen to your questions and the ins and outs of your days. It helps everybody together to get connected with each other. It also takes us out of our own house and gives me the chance to get to know people as I’m a newcomer [at St. Paul’s Court].”

South Eastern Regional College

Lisa McCormick Baxter, Lecturer in Beauty Therapy at South Eastern Regional College in Lisburn, spoke about how much the students loved visiting St Paul’s Court and getting to know the tenants.

“For the students it’s been beneficial to get out and see what it’s like for people who live with dementia, what it’s like talking to them and delivering treatments to people, especially those that are struggling a bit with their memory.”

“It really benefits the students and their communication skills because they were so nervous, so it’s good for them to come out of their comfort zone and chat to clients that maybe wouldn’t ordinarily come into the salon. It’s been really good for them.”

Lisa confirmed they’re eager to return next year with more students completing the workshop with Praxis Care, then following with giving treatments to St Paul’s Court tenants.

Dementia Action Week Marked

Praxis Care’s dementia supported living services (The Croft, Newtownabbey and St Paul’s Court, Lisburn) are marking Dementia Action Week with parties to celebrate their supportive community environments and the resilience of their tenants.

The Coleraine Floating Support Service held an event for people living with dementia and carers in Coleraine Town Hall on 15th May. Attendees, learned about the importance of keeping active both physically and mentally.

Anyone in Northern Ireland who is a carer for someone with dementia or suspected dementia can contact Mrs Smyth at tracysmyth@praxiscare.org.uk, or call 07811 585 823 for free support. 

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