We teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver a FREE programme of activities to benefit men living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Participants are often socially isolated, as a result of their life-changing condition.
Regular physical activity, healthy eating and social interaction have been proven to significantly improve quality of life and can reduce the risk of dementia in later life. However there has been limited research carried out in this area.
In the autumn of 2012, we delivered a pilot project for men to see the outcomes of the project. This has been extremely successful and popular, and we have received extremely positive feedback from participants, carers and the Alzheimer’s Society who are our partners in the project.
For the physical part of the sessions we offer participants a wide range of alternative, gentle and easy-to-follow activities every week, including warm-ups, walking football, bowls, cricket, basketball, table tennis, volleyball, badminton and cool downs, among others. We always consult participants and their carers about what they would like to take part in and offer a broad menu of sports and physical activities. Activities are flexible, appropriate and appealing to ensure all participants are actively engaged and enjoy themselves.
In contrast, the social part of the session gives participants the chance to engage in conversation, create social connections and relax in the company of others while having a drink and enjoying a biscuit to replenish their energy levels. The project also gives carers the opportunity for a break and to meet other carers in the same situation.
The project increases participants’ skills, confidence and self-esteem, giving them the opportunity to interact with men who have the same condition, as well as reduce levels of social isolation that are associated with this group.
“Some people wrongly see dementia as a natural part of growing old, but there are more than 17,000 people under-65 with the condition, so it’s essential that there is suitable support and advice available for younger people with dementia and their carers. The work at Notts County FC Football in the Community encourages participants to remain fit and healthy, which is particularly important for people living with dementia. We are delighted to be supporting the club with it and believe that the better people feel, the better life will be for them and those around them.” – Helen Byrne, Alzheimer’s Society Locality Manager for Nottinghamshire