A new project designed to help people diagnosed with dementia take the lead on their own journey has been launched with the help of a £500 donation from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.
‘A Book of Me’, created by Hinckley-based social enterprise Beauty and Utility Arts, is a file which will accompany its owner from the point of diagnosis onwards. By filling in the file, the owner creates a unique picture of themselves, which in turn means families, carers and health professionals tailor the help they give to best suit the individual living with dementia.
‘A Book of Me’ is designed to empower people with a recent diagnosis of dementia, so they can continue to lead full and positive lives. There are three main sections: life story prompts, messages from others living well with dementia and contact details of support organisations across the UK. There are also sections for keeping track of information about appointments and planning ahead.
Aspects of the person and their life in the book include people they know, what they like to wear, places they have worked, holidays they have enjoyed, their food likes and dislikes, what they do in their spare time and places they know. All this is mixed in with creative suggestions about how to continue living well with dementia.
Katherine Brown, director of Beauty and Utility Arts, an arts and health social enterprise, has produced the resource within a project called Our Memory Lanes.
“By 2030 it is estimated that in Hinckley and Bosworth alone there will be 2,640 people living with dementia,” said Katherine. “I felt there was a gap for people with early diagnosis of dementia looking to keep information in one place. The book is a creative way of keeping control on the journey ahead in a very positive way.
“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is very challenging and I want to encourage people to take the lead in their own story. Living well with dementia is absolutely possible and I hope many people will find our resource useful.”
Hinckley & Rugby’s assistant marketing and PR manager Carla Loughrey said: “This is a lovely project which we are very pleased to be supporting. We’re going to display some sample copies in our branches so our customers can find out more about them.”
The books are available to buy online at ourmemorylanes.co.uk
“The Society’s donation is great – together with other contributions it means we could get 250 copies produced. We are a small social enterprise and couldn’t have done it without such help. It’s got the idea off the ground and now when we sell copies we can use that money to keep the project moving forward.”