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Radical new care for people living with dementia

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Topics: 
approaches to dementia care, dementia awareness, exercise, hobbies

Gosh! This month’s exciting news is that Growing Support’s work enabling people with dementia to stay socially and physically active has received national recognition. We have been selected as one of the Observer’s 50 New Radicals for 2016.

Run in partnership with Nesta, an innovation charity working to help bring new ideas to life, the 50 New Radicals is a list of innovative people doing radical and useful things to make Britain a better place.

I’m thrilled that a national newspaper has even noticed we exist, never mind judging our work to have the potential to change the UK for the better! I’m also very proud that Growing Support has been placed alongside previous New Radicals such as Care Charts, Dementia Adventure and Sporting Memories who are all doing great work to improve the quality of care for people living with dementia.

However, part of me feels a little downhearted that society is still at the stage when something as simple as enabling people with dementia to take part in sociable gardening activities and stay connected with their community is considered radical.

To me, spending time outdoors, being with friends and sharing the enjoyment of working alongside one another is such a natural part of life its sometimes hard to understand why it isn’t already considered an essential component of care.

One day I hope it will be and Growing Support won’t be needed anymore. Until that day I’m grateful for opportunities like this to raise awareness, not only of the challenges faced by people with dementia in their everyday life, but also how the community can work together to help overcome them.

For now, it’s time to head off to the awards reception. I’m going to enjoy the moment and put off worrying about how to change the world until tomorrow!

See the full list of 50 New Radicals here: https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/series/new-radicals-2016

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Elaine Argyle

Access to the outdoors is known to have a positive impact on wellbeing, due to such benefits as exercise and activity as well as the promotion of social inclusion and interaction, however, for people with dementia, this access is often denied. The reasons for this are wide ranging including disor

Justine Schneider

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Yesterday I was gardening in front of my house. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an older man walking on the pavement opposite.  Not a neighbour, I thought, it must be someone out for their daily exercise.