Dementia Awareness Week: Trust staff lead the dementia conversation with county wide treasure hunt.

Staff from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are encouraging the county to start talking about dementia by inviting everyone on a Treasure hunt.

This Dementia Awareness Week the Allerdale Memory and Later Life Service would like to move away from loss and focus on finding.

Nichola Duffy, a senior occupational therapist from the memory matters team in Allerdale explains:

“This year we wanted to spread awareness in a fresh and original way which includes the wider community and digital technology. Geocaching is the world’s largest outdoor treasure hunt and throughout Cumbria there are hundreds of packages (geocaches) hidden away, waiting for you to find them.”

 “Over Dementia Awareness Week the Allerdale Memory and Later Life Service will be adding new, exciting geocaches for you to find. During this week, we encourage you to spend time creating new memories with friends, family and all your loved ones whilst hunting for these treasures. When you find one, all we ask is that you take a picture and upload it onto social media with the following hashtags: #DAW16 #treasuredmemories #seethePERSON, flooding social media with dementia awareness.”

Nichola explains why the memory team came up with the idea:

“Many individuals voice a sense of loss when on their journey through a diagnosis of dementia and beyond, whether that is a loss of memories, skills, role or identity. However there are many strategies, approaches and support available to enable an individual living with a dementia diagnosis to continue to engage in what’s meaningful to them.  That’s why we wanted to move away from loss and focus on finding. Finding hope; finding new coping techniques; finding support; finding new ways of adapting; finding courage; finding laughter and finding YOU.  This is an even more important message when considering the recent Alzheimer’s Society poll which indicated that individuals were avoiding GP appointments regarding memory difficulties for fear that life would be over.”

The free app https://www.geocaching.com/play/search  (available for Android and Apple) turns your phone or device into a treasure map (a GPS tracker). This shows you the location of all the geocaches in your surrounding areas - X marks the spot!

Please don’t forget to take a picture and share on social media @CPFTNHS #DAW16 #treasuredmemories #seethePERSON

Let’s spread the message that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.