New dementia community opens in Lewisham

The Mayor, a keen campaigner for the voice of older people to be heard in his borough, officially opened the Memory Lane Community – an environment specially designed to encourage people with dementia to stay as independent and active as possible. The Mayor said: "I, like you, am fascinating to hear what David has to say and I'm also glad to see that Westwood House can now deliver much needed dementia services to the neighbouring community. I wish them every success." Afternoon Tea was served and guest speaker David Clegg, author of ‘Tell Miss Mills her husband is still dead’ and ‘Ancient Mysteries’ gave a short talk to the gathering. The latter, David’s earlier work is scheduled to be serialised on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour next month. David Clegg engaged the audience and gave an informative insight into dementia. During his speech, he said: "It's often said that people with dementia don't have a voice. That's not true; they just don't have a listener. I became that listener." Kate Gibson, General Manager at Westwood, said: “Our Barchester home has been open since 1988 and I am excited that we can now offer residential dementia care services to the local community. We have 25 residential dementia places with lounge areas and a life-skills kitchen. These featured rooms promote meaningful activities like baking and table-setting as people with dementia often take pleasure in the familiarity of everyday household tasks. “Everyone has really enjoyed having two special visitors at the home today and the home-made cakes have flown off the plates, which is always a sign of a good event!”