Fylde MP visits innovative dementia care project in St Annes

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Mark Menzies MP visited an innovative project in St Annes as part of his ambition to make Fylde a beacon for dementia care.

The Member of Parliament stopped by the home of Barry and Linda Newton, which is currently being converted into a lifetime home to help Barry manage his dementia.

Barry, a former chief police officer and senior Ministry of Defence worker, was diagnosed with early onset dementia two years ago, a diagnosis which had caused him to undertake a serious evaluation of what he and his family would need in the future.

The 66-year-old began to research the best ways to ensure his home was fit for purpose, with renovations now underway which will hopefully slow down the disease’s progression as he moves forward in life.

Following his visit, Mr Menzies said: “It’s really inspiring to see someone like Barry who has been diagnosed with dementia but is doing all he can to manage the disease to ensure he has the best quality of life, and to pass on information and guidance to others.

“Barry doesn’t just want his lifetime home project to be for him but wants it to be a test bed on which lessons can be learnt which will help people like him around the country. He is working with various organisations from the NHS to the Alzheimer’s Society and the local planning authority, Fylde Council, to make it happen.

“Whether it be through new building design ideas or the use of technology to make life easier for people with dementia, these are really important questions which could improve the quality of life for millions of people over the coming years.

“Doctors suggest that avoiding stress is one of the best ways to slow down dementia’s progression so something as simple as installing glass doors on cabinets in your home to prevent people with dementia worrying about not being able to locate something can have an impact. Other design features surrounding lighting and noise can also have a major contribution.

“I have today written to the minister with responsibility for dementia to commend Barry’s project to her and to ask if her department will get involved as this is someone who is going the extra mile for their community.”

 

PICTURE: Mark Menzies MP with Barry and Linda Newton and Holly Whittaker of Fylde Borough Council

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