New cafés offer support to Young Onset Dementia patients

By Democrat reporter

Local people with Young Onset Dementia will now be able to meet and socialise with others in the same situation, thanks to a series of community cafes being set up by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

NHSGGC’s Young Onset Dementia (YOD) Service works with people diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65 years as well as their families and carers. It’s estimated that there are around 400 younger people across Greater Glasgow and Clyde with dementia.

One of the team members behind the idea is Assistant Psychologist Oona Kaarlela Galani.

Oona explained: “A diagnosis of Dementia is always a daunting one, but for a younger person this can be particularly difficult. Younger people with dementia can face particular challenges relating to work, their caring commitments and financial constraints.

“Until now there has only been one YOD cafe within Greater Glasgow and Clyde, provided by Alzheimer Scotland at Bridgeton Dementia Resource Centre on a Monday. It’s hugely popular and we want to enable more people to benefit from what these sessions have to offer.

“We have now set up four more support cafes, in Clydebank, Lenzie, Greenock and Eastwood where people with Young Onset Dementia and their family, friends or carers can attend.

“We’ve chosen cafes in local areas which are the sort of venues that anyone might use for a catch up with friends. The sessions last for a couple of hours and give people a chance to chat, play games such as dominoes, read a magazine and share experiences if they want to.”

A psychologist and a nurse from the service coordinate the session and will chat to people and help them to find other services to offer specific support. It’s also hoped that a volunteer can be recruited to help with general social activities at the cafes.

For more information, please call 0141 201 4805 or email Oona.KaarlelaGalani@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

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