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Dementia friendly leisure centre

Published on Tuesday, 16th May 2017

new signs in place for dementia friendly leisure centre

Bedale Leisure Centre supports Dementia Awareness Week (15 – 21 May) by installing new signage to help people to navigate their way around the centre, particularly those living with dementia.

‘We wanted to create a leisure environment which is as welcoming, safe and accessible as possible for everyone who visits,” said Councillor Mrs Bridget Fortune, portfolio holder for Leisure.

“We know that for many people living with dementia, clear signage with contrasting colours and images can help them find their way with confidence. With this in mind we are working to becoming Dementia Friendly at all of our leisure centres (Bedale, Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk) over the next couple of months”.

The new signage at Bedale, funded by North Yorkshire Sport and Swim England aims to support patients affected by dementia to maintain their independence and reduce anxiety.

Research has shown that low impact exercise can be beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. Swimming in particular has the added benefits of reducing anxiety, improving mood and enhancing psychological well-being.

The Swim England Dementia Friendly Swimming Project has been developed to enhance the swimming experience of those living with dementia and their carers by improving facilities and removing barriers.

Once the changes have been made to signage at all the centres they will be awarded the official stamp of Dementia Friendly approval by North Yorkshire Sport and Swim England.

·       The new signage is just one of the ways Hambleton District Council is responding to the increasingly complex needs of local people affected by terminal illness to ensure they get the care they want and deserve.   Chris Riley from The Alzheimer’s Society returned to deliver a further dementia awareness session; taking the number of council staff who have now received this training to 210.