Making a song and dance about dementia with Wrexham care home

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Musical care home residents and staff are going to rock against dementia.

The week-long event at the Pendine Park care organisation will involve all seven of their care homes in Wrexham.

The aim of the Rock against Dementia event is to raise awareness about the cruel condition.

Pendine Park activities co-ordinator Chris Lewis has been signed up as a Purple Angel ambassador and she is organising the Rock against Dementia event which gets underway on March 19th. Chris is pictured with residents Gladys Cross and Sue Mullally, right.

Pendine Park have supported the campaign since it was launched in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014 in response to the screening of a film about dementia, Alive Inside, at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

One of the organisers is Christine Lewis, 57, the enrichment and activities coordinator at Pendine Park’s Highfield House Care Home.

The mother-of-three recently received gold award in the Promoting Fulfilled Lives category at the prestigious social care Oscars, the Wales Care Awards.

Now her commitment to enriching the lives of residents, many of whom suffer dementia, has been rewarded with another accolade.

Christine has now been signed up as an official ambassador by the global Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign.

After launching the campaign in 2014 to turn Wrexham into Wales’ first dementia friendly town, Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE was made and honorary Purple Angel ambassador.

The Rock against Dementia will be held over a week from Monday, March 19.

Christine said: “We are involving as many residents as we can but of course they only take part if they want to. We will be having dance events and live music as well as quizzes based on music knowledge.

“We are hoping to have a choir perform on the afternoon of Friday, March 23. It’s always a fun event and a chance for residents and staff to let their hair down.

“It’s a chance to have some fun, enjoy some music and get together to enjoy a party while learning a little bit about what is a devastating condition.

“The name Rock against Dementia shouldn’t be taken too literally, it isn’t about rock music and residents of different care homes will have the opportunity to hear music that most suits them.

She added: “I’m delighted to have been officially recognised as a Purple Angel ambassador. The Purple Angel campaign was set up by a guy called Norman McNamara a Devon resident who was diagnosed with dementia aged just 50.

“He was shocked when he was spoken to rudely by a retail worker when out shopping and decided to try and change how dementia was perceived and how people suffering dementia are treated.

“So he set up the Purple Angel Campaign. As an ambassador it will be my job to get around Wrexham shops, offices and even schools handing out leaflets and explaining what dementia is and how people should try and treat those they know or suspect are living with dementia.”

Ann Chapman, the manager of Pendine Park’s Bodlondeb Care Home and Centre of Excellence for Dementia Care says residents and staff will be celebrating Rock against Dementia.

She said: “We will be having music and song in our day rooms which residents can join in with if they wish. Rock against Dementia is a great way to raise awareness of the issues many people living with dementia face on a daily basis.

“And the Purple Angel campaign is also very important. It’s vital retail staff, schools and people working in other public offices are aware of dementia and recognise if someone is living with the condition.”

She added: “I am delighted Christine Lewis is now a Purple Angel ambassador and will be raising awareness of dementia not just in Pendine Park homes but around the region.”

To learn more about the Purple Angel campaign visit www.purpleangel-global.com