Kevin Whately will today unveil a new care and respite centre devoted to people with dementia. The North East charity Dementia Care has refurbished the specialist centre at Brunswick Village, Newcastle, after receiving a grant of £300,000.
The charity says that the centre is the only one of its kind in the region.
It will offer day care as well as respite facilities for carers at five houses on the same site.
Dementia Care's housing is an alternative to residential care for people with the disease.
Lewis star Kevin Whately's mother had dementia, and he had to move her out of the region to find appropriate care for her.
He will cut the ribbon on the new facility at a ceremony and meet residents and their families.
A new toolkit of tips has been launched to help people talk to friends and relatives with dementia. The number of people suffering from the disease is expected to double in the next 40 years as we all live longer. But new research suggests many of us are too scared to talk to people with dementia.
"We know there is a stigma associated with dementia and people are fearful of trying to communicate with those with the condition as they don't know what to say or how to respond to what might be perceived as unusual behaviour.
"Communicating with someone with dementia can present challenges, especially as the condition develops, but finding ways to maintain meaningful communication is the single most important way people can support those with dementia."
– Professor Graham Stokes, Director of Dementia Care at Bupa.
A playwright from the region has chosen the challenging subject of dementia for her latest production. Fiona Evans' father has the progressive brain disease and provided inspiration for Fiona's new play, 'Geordie Sinatra'. It's part of a project linking the arts with scientific research.