A COMMUNITY has rallied round to support elderly people with dementia who are experiencing isolation.

Volunteers have teamed up with a health board to launch a tea room for OAPs to share memories, socialise and receive support.

NHS Lanarkshire came up with the idea to host a monthly cafe after identifying there was a need for more services for elderly people in the Hamilton area.

The Memories Tea Room is run monthly at Gilmour and Whitehill Parish Church and has been supported by local businesses who provide free food and hot drinks.

Dr Adam Daly, NHS Lanarkshire clinical director for old age psychiatry, said: “Reminiscing, sharing life experiences, memories or stories from the past, can often be helpful for a person with dementia as they are more able to recall things from many years ago than recent memories.

“So many of our own conversations and interactions rely on short-term memory, so reminiscence can give people with dementia a sense of competence and confidence.

“With so many coming back and new people arriving every month, visitors are clearly enjoying the cafe.”

The Evening Times is running a year-long campaign to shine a light on a condition that is predicted to affect one in three people in future decades.

Leigh Anne, one of the volunteers, said: “I can’t thank the church members enough for their support.

“We’ve also had great support from many of the local businesses who very generously provide us with tea, coffee and food every month.

“It’s a fantastic community effort to support what is a growing group in our communities.”

The Memories Tea Room is open between 1-3pm on the last Thursday of every month. The next cafe is on Thursday, July 27.

For more information on the café, contact the church at its coffee lounge Monday to Friday, or call Anna Lyon on 01698 429603 or Ann Paul on 01698 42697.

For more on dementia visit: www.alzscot.org/