Innovative dementia project triumphs at awards

Representatives from the Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Project. Picture: Clark James Bullock
Representatives from the Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Project. Picture: Clark James Bullock
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AN innovative project geared to helping people living with dementia has taken top honors at a prestigious national award ceremony.

Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Community Project triumphed in the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative at Scotland’s Dementia Awards. The event showcases creativity, innovation and dedication making a real difference to the daily lives of people living with dementia and their families.

The Lanarkshire project was developed following Motherwell becoming recognised as Scotland’s first dementia-friendly town centre in 2012. A spectrum of shops, services and businesses signed up to support people with dementia, their families and their carers.

NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, Alzheimer Scotland, Princes Royal Trust Lanarkshire Carers Centre and other partners have been working closely and the approach has since been rolled out across North Lanarkshire.

The Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Community Project extends the ethos of the original approach. Objectives include raising awareness about dementia, improving communication between the Muslim community and service providers and reducing the stigma of the illness.

Representing partners involved, Arlene Crockett, of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “This award is the result of strong joined-up working between all agencies – and the community.

“Our Muslim community realise the challenges in reducing stigma around dementia and want to support future generations of family carers.

“The project is an emerging movement for change, based on partnership working with a strong sense of community ownership.”

Meanwhile, Wishaw General Hospital’s ‘The Club’ was runner up in the Best Acute Care Initiative category. The care of the elderly team introduced The Club at the hospital to provide greater patient stimulation and interaction to combat stress and distress symptoms shown by some elderly patients. The Club also provides an opportunity for visitors to attend so they can help identify activities and spend time with their relative or friend.

The recognition comes at vital time. A new Act requires health boards and local authorities to integrate their adult health and social care services.

Janice Hewitt, Chief Accountable Officer for North Lanarkshire Health and Social Care, said: “We are delighted with this recognition - it’s testament to the hard work of everyone involved. Indeed, our mission is to provide the right support at the right time and in the right place.

“We want to ensure that people can look after themselves or have carers who are supported to help. When the time comes for care we want it to be well-assessed and managed.

“Whether in a hospital setting or in the community, we are committed to having our staff and volunteers suitably-equipped to support and care for those who need us.”