Somerset County Council has announced it is investing more than £200,000 in local creative and imaginative grass roots dementia projects.
New projects receiving backing from the authority include one that offers gardening and hedge-laying activities, and another that focusses on music to support people with dementia and their carers.
The authority is looking to invest more than half a million pounds in total to kick-start and extend projects and groups that run day-time activities for people with dementia and provide respite for their unpaid carers.
This is on top of its major spend on support for people with dementia which includes around £3.5m in special residential care, £4.5m in nursing care, plus a portion of the £14m it spends every year on homecare.
Age UK is launching the first charity-led Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) project with two qualified Somerset practitioners offering the therapy. It aims to help those taking part as well as their carers who will get four to six hours a week of “free time.”
Take Art is setting up a two-year programme of creative day time activities that provide dance and wordplay sessions to support people with memory loss or dementia and their carers.
Ark at Egwood provides land-based activities as the therapeutic use of outside space and animals has been shown to help restore wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem with people of all ages. Activities may include: horticulture, gardening, hedge laying, cooking, baking
creative crafts and art activities and group discussion.
The Council’s grant support scheme, which should eventually see £565,000 awarded, is supporting grass roots. They need to offer innovative, community-based ways of providing support that encourages people with dementia to socialise and take an active part in their communities.
Councillor David Huxtable, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: “The latest projects to benefit are imaginative and creative and will improve the lives of those with dementia and their devoted carers. This is the kind of support that we want to encourage and help flourish.”
“The growing prevalence of dementia is something that all local authorities will need to cope with and cater for in the long-term, and these projects sit alongside the major investment we make every year through our home, residential and nursing care budgets.”