A SPECIAL event to promote the services available for people with dementia is returning to Petersfield.
The Dementia Festival will take place on May 15 and will offer the best advice and guidance, not just for people with the condition but also for friends, families, carers and professionals.
Jeff Williams of Petersfield Dementia Friends said: “Around one in six people over the age of 80 is living with dementia and there are more than 1,600 people living across East Hampshire with a diagnosis of dementia. That’s why this kind of event is so important.
“As well as providing lots of information about living well with dementia, the festival encourages residents to be proactive and plan ahead as soon as they have a diagnosis.”
The event will be opened by The Petersfield Dementia Choir and East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, a Dementia Friends Champion, who will also host a training event.
The venue, Petersfield Festival Hall, will be split into sections representing the four main areas in East Hampshire – Petersfield, the southern parishes of Horndean, Rowlands Castle and Clanfield, Alton and Whitehill & Bordon.
It will feature presentations and Dementia Friends training, plus cakes, drinks, colouring and other activities in the Memory Café, crafts, dancing, and music from the duo Tea for Two, which also performed at last year’s festival.
Mr Williams said: “It is possible to live well with dementia and getting a diagnosis doesn’t mean your quality of life has to stop.
“Taking steps early and planning ahead for your future means you can live comfortably and happily for many more years.
“Getting the right advice and taking timely action is the key. Visiting the Dementia Festival will give you all the information you need to give you and your family peace of mind.”
Cllr Julie Butler, East Hampshire District Council’s deputy leader and the portfolio holder for welfare and community integration, said: “Last year’s event was a massive success and gave so many people the reassurance and information they need about all forms of dementia.
“This is a big part of the work East Hampshire District Council does to support the most vulnerable people in our society. This event will provide a greater awareness and understanding of dementia and help reduce social isolation among those living with dementia and their carers.”