Alzheimer Scotland has officially opened the newly refurbished West Lothian Dementia Resource Centre. The centre, located within Grampian Court in Livingston, will continue to serve as a community hub to support and connect people living with dementia and families across the region.
The opening celebrations were led by Lord Lieutenant for West Lothian Moira Niven, Alzheimer Scotland’s Chief Executive Henry Simmons, resource centre staff, local volunteers and supporters as well as people living with dementia and their carers.
The newly designed Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre aims to bring dementia to the local community by providing a stimulating and sociable environment for people living with dementia, their families and carers to access information, advice and support.
Lord Lieutenant for West Lothian, Moira Niven, said: “I am delighted to be officially re-opening Alzheimer Scotland’s West Lothian Dementia Resource Centre in Livingston. The new look centre will provide an ideal base for Alzheimer Scotland’s trained staff and dedicated volunteers to support local people with dementia and their carers.
“West Lothian has a growing older population and I’m sure the services available through the revamped centre will help many local people and their families.”
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We are committed to providing the best possible standard of information, activities and support to people with dementia and those who care for them, in the heart of the local community. Our new Dementia Resource Centre is a bright, welcoming and easily-accessible community hub, dedicated to ensuring that nobody has to face dementia alone.
“Alzheimer Scotland would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported today’s opening. The ongoing generosity of our supporters is what makes our vital work possible, both here in West Lothian and across Scotland.”
Alzheimer Scotland supports and activities available locally include a peer support group, support from the local Dementia Advisor, as well as local community activities including a supper club. Working in partnership with West Lothian Council, the charity delivers monthly dementia cafes in various locations across West Lothian and offers an Early Onset Support Service for people under the age of 65 through a bi-monthly day opportunities group and one-to-one support. The centre has also been hand-picked as a tech hub with opportunities to get to grips with the latest assistance technology to support living at home. In the coming months the centre hopes to provide a regular drop in service and is calling on new volunteers to get in touch about new Alzheimer Scotland local opportunities.
Lesley Millar, Locality Resources Coordinator from Alzheimer Scotland, added: “We are thrilled that we have been given the chance to refurbish our premises to help make the centre assessible to the local community. Plans are already underway to offer additional activities and groups from within the dementia friendly centre, and we are hoping to hear from people living locally who are keen to take on new volunteer roles to help support people living with dementia in their community.”
Alister McDonald, who is living with dementia locally, added: "When you're first diagnosed with dementia you don't know what's going to happen next, and it's a bit daunting. The hospital gives you a pack of information, but it's difficult to take it all in. Alzheimer Scotland’s peer support sessions and visits from our Link Worker really were a life-line to us. This helped me to meet people who were in the same position and get access to individual support and advice.
“I attend the Memory Cafes and Supper Club run by Alzheimer Scotland as they keep me in contact with what's going on in our area, and provides a social aspect suited to my needs. I also attend the dementia action network meetings which are really helpful as they keep us informed of what was happening nationally and gives us a voice to help inform government initiatives.”
Alzheimer Scotland is staging two open days for locals to view the newly refurbished centre on 1 April and 23 April (10am to 3pm). If you are keen to hear more about the broad range of supports available from Alzheimer Scotland in Livingston and to find out more about local volunteer opportunities, call Tel: 01506 533 108 or email: [email protected].