The sun shone on Dementia Friendly Musselburgh at its D in the Park at St Andrew’s High Church on Saturday. It was a day for the community to come along and find out more about dementia and to talk about life in Musselburgh if you have or support someone living with dementia.
What is great about Musselburgh if you have or support someone living with dementia?
People are what make Musselburgh a dementia friendly place to live and visit. There are lots of accessible and friendly shops and plenty of things to do including the museum, Lewisville Park with its walks and aviary; Ormiston Railway walk with its memory boards along the way. People told us they enjoyed spending time by the river, feeding the ducks and watching the eggs hatch and the ducklings grow up. Places were dog friendly and it was good to spend time with children too. The Hollies Day Centre, Lunch club and D-Cafe were valued and well known services in the community.
What would make Musselburgh more dementia friendly?
People were concerned about housing, that there aren’t enough places in the Day Centre now and what would it be like in the future? Folk said the surgery needs to be accessible by public transport and dementia friendly. There are places that are hard to get into physically; and crowded noisy places were not good for people with dementia. Sometimes improvements to cafes and shops had made them noisier and less accessible. Could we make the Tesco bus a surgery bus too? Hospitals were often not good places for people with dementia, how could we sort that?
What activities would be good for people with dementia?
We got lots of great ideas. Old music, films pictures and objects, opportunities to remember things together, singing, aromatherapy, Tai Chi, a Retro Cafe like Portobello has, more walks, opportunities to play and listen to music and spending time with younger generations especially children. People weren’t sure what was available locally.
What are the issues you think need addressed?
There’s a long list of things people want to tackle. Overcoming stigma and discrimination and raising awareness and knowledge about dementia. Better dementia friendly transport and housing. We must remember that younger people and people with learning disabilities get dementia and are often forgotten about. It’s important to get a diagnosis of dementia but it takes a long time. The loss of the Doll Museum which people enjoyed. People told us they needed more Day Centres and more activities for people with dementia; we need more care at home services helping people with dementia stay in their communities and at home.
And thanks to…
There were lots of activities too. Local agencies provided information and advice including The Hollies Day Centre, Carers of East Lothian, Strive, Ageing Well, Alzheimer’s Scotland and Age Scotland. Tesco, Greggs and Luca’s kept everyone fuelled with food and drinks- including a lovely healthy fruit salad (thanks guys, great change from cake!). The Fire Service were in attendance and providing information and a fire engine. Entertainment was provided by the Loretto School Pipe Band, the Dunbar School of Dancing and a Face Painter. And of course big thanks to St Andrew’s High Church and the congregation for the teas and coffees and (more!) cakes and providing the building and lovely grounds and doing the washing up! Thank you!
Making Musselburgh a Dementia Friendly Community is all about how we make our own communities great better places for people with dementia and carers to live, visit and work in. The conversation has started, but Dementia Friendly East Lothian is all about how we in our communities make it happen, with help and support from organisations – this isn’t just another consultation.
If you’re interested in doing more or finding out more, get in touch and/or come along to the next meeting of Dementia Friendly Musselburgh on 5 August at 2.15 at Carers of East Lothian on the High Street.
You can also tell us your ideas and what we can do to help you make where you live Dementia Friendly by filling in the Dementia Friendly East Lothian survey. We will use the results so Dementia Friendly East Lothian and others can best support your hopes and dreams. We’ve also got a Dementia friendly East Lothian Facebook Page if you want to join in or keep up to date. Anyone want to set up a DF Musselburgh Page?
Thanks to everyone for making it a very special day and a great way to start things off. Looking forward to exciting things ahead!