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Accrington Lions 'memory cafe' supporting dementia sufferers and carers

The new 'forget-me-not' cafe is held one Saturday a month

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Accrington Lions host a monthly forget me not cafe for those suffering with dementia.

A ‘memory cafe’ to support those who suffer from dementia and their carers is going from strength to strength.

Starting in April, the Accrington Lions have set up a monthly dementia support group in Oswaldtwistle called the Forget Me Not Cafe.

May Edmundson, president of Accrington Lions, says these events help dementia suffers by giving them familiar sights, tastes and smells.

The events also give carers the chance to have a break, while those with dementia can have a safe place to interact with each other in an environment which is familiar to them.

May says she has received brilliant feedback on the events, which take place on the last Saturday of every month at the Holy Trinity Church in Oswaldtwistle.

She said: “We have free tea and coffee as well as drinks like Dandelion and Burdock, Sarsparilla. We have photos and stories that might spark memories.

“Some people’s memories are triggered by smell and touch - they may struggle with short term memories but, by keeping conversation going, they will often recall things from years gone by.”

The two previous events have featured guest speakers, such as Simon McDermott, a former Pride of Britain Winner - who posted videos online of himself singing songs in his car with his elderly father.

May said that having someone like Simon giving advice was a really useful experience for many of the carers.

The Lions have also been giving away ‘guardian angel’ devices that give peace of mind to carers of those suffering with dementia.

If people come across someone who is lost or confused, they can contact the person’s family or carer using the information stored on a chip in the tag which can accessed using their mobile phones.

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May said: “The ‘Guardian Angel’ gives peace-of-mind for family members and relatives.

“We have a supply and we want to raise awareness.”