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Tips for dining out with a person living with dementia

     Caring for somebody who is living with dementia can mean some planning and adjustments to things we often take for granted. One of those things is eating out, sometimes it can be difficult so Alzheimer’s Society in Southport, have some hints and tips from service users and carers from across Sefton to help you on your next outing.

  • I find people are very kind and helpful when I am out with mum. Mum struggles to pick up a cup without spilling her favourite cappuccino or hot chocolate – I have started getting her a straw which helps enormously, she enjoys it!
  • Child or smaller portions are about the right size and usually easier to eat.
  • I often take mum to the garden centre for lunch – soup and a roll, cappuccino and a cake!  We go early to avoid the queues.  I sit mum at a table then go and get the food.
  • We try to book a restaurant when its open, then we can choose a secluded place to sit to avoid too much noise and distractions. We can order quickly so there is not too much time to wait. We often decide what we are going to eat beforehand so there is even less delay. We tend to have a main meal and dessert, and then home for coffee.
  • I take Mum for a coffee and cake rather than a big meal as she gets agitated after a few minutes and it’s easier to drink up and go if we need to. 
  • With family meals, we tend to get takeaway fish and chips at home so that if dad doesn’t feel up to participating, it’s no big deal.
  • Visit places at quieter times of the day and avoid weekends.
  • Choose places with good lighting, not too loud background noise and, if possible an establishment where staff are Dementia Friends. 
  • Using the same establishment to provide familiarity and also the staff/management can identify your needs. (Lots of napkins, quiet table, close to toilets). Dependant on ability pre-order a selection of finger foods to be placed on the table, avoids any issues with cutlery, everybody can eat the same food. As a past restaurant manager, I would be happy to provide a regular order for my guests. 
  • Having the appropriate drinking vessel for the person with dementia, (if they require a beaker bring one). As a dementia champion i have not encountered many restaurants that have dementia friends training for all staff so please ask for what you need.
  • When my step mum went into a Care Home and found going out difficult, we used to take a picnic into the Home, and eat it in the garden. Her favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and cakes. We would talk about places we had been out for picnics in the past and it brought back happy memories. We had some lovely afternoons without the stress all round if she had difficulties when we were out in a restaurant or cafe.
  • My wife has an eating disorder and can’t manage a regular meal.   As a result I order a main and an extra plate. Initially it was worried it might be a bit embarrassing but nobody batted an eyelid.

     These helpful tips are from people caring for others living with dementia and how they have been able to find workarounds whilst out and about. Most cafes and restaurants are more than happy to help, so always ask if there is something you need or if you have any specific requirements. Living with dementia means just that – living.

     Cllr Cummins Cabinet member for Adult social care said ‘We hope to encourage more businesses in Sefton to become ‘Dementia Friendly’ for carers and people living with dementia alike. These tips for eating out are brilliant because they come directly from those dealing with dementia. We hope to make everyday outings as enjoyable as we can for everybody in Sefton’

     Linda Lawson, Information Worker for the Society said ‘Eating out when you have dementia can be a challenging experience for both the person with this condition and those who care for them. The best suggestions to make this experience more relaxing and pleasurable come directly from those living with dementia as we know they really do work. We want to encourage more cafes and restaurants to become ‘dementia friendly’, small changes such as clear signage, good lighting and staff receiving free Dementia Friends training can make a huge difference to a person living with dementia.’

     If you would like any further information about Alzheimer’s Society and dementia support in Sefton please contact 01704 539 967 or E-mail southport@alzheimers.org.uk or you can visit their website for more information Website www.alzheimers.org.uk or visit the Sefton Dementia Action alliance website to see what’s going on around Sefton http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/local_alliances/3794_sefton_daa

Soaring success for the Southport Air Show

This Weekend saw Southport skies filled with the roar of jet engines and the sparkle of pyrotechnics. This year the Air show was extended to cover Friday evening, this enabled the many spectators to line Southport beach as the sky above was lit up by an array of fireworks, planes and the typhoons scorching afterburner.

 Over the course of the weekend thousands flocked to the Air Show to see a great flying programme that included The Lancaster Bomber, Sally B, and many more, both days came to a close by the mighty thunder of the Typhoon.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Southport Air Show has been another amazing event in what has been an outstanding year for the resort and the whole borough. The fireworks on Friday evening were really special and gave the event a new twist.

 “Thousands of visitors attended the resort over the two days which will have had a real positive impact on local businesses in and around the town, this wouldn’t have been possible without Sefton Councils hard work and dedication to bring these exceptional events to our borough.”

 “The displays were incredible and an amazing experience for everybody in attendance. We already can’t wait for next year’s Air Show which will take place slightly earlier than normal from July 6-8, 2018.”

 Remember The British Musical Fireworks Championship take place on September 29/30 and October 1. The event will see 7 previous champions battle it out for the Champion of Champions crown, tickets now on sale from £4.50 at visitsouthport.com.

Bootle Town Hall Heritage Complex Centre

Sefton Council is exploring opportunities to create a cultural and heritage facility within Bootle Town Hall complex of Grade II listed buildings.

 In October 2016, Sefton Council published the Bootle Town Centre Investment Framework – a high level strategic document which looked to harness Bootle’s current assets and help reshape the town into a desirable residential, educational and business location.

 Feedback gained from the Investment Framework highlighted Bootle Town Hall as a great regeneration opportunity with the desire for increased cultural activity a key theme.

 Now a consultation and engagement exercise is set to start, looking at the potential to create a new cultural and heritage facility in the former Bootle Free Library and Museum within the town hall complex. Other civic functions within the town hall would still be maintained. 

 The consultation will run from October-December and a pop-up heritage centre looking potential options will also be in the Strand Shopping Centre during the school October half-term.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “By transforming this historic building into a new home of arts and culture in the town, we believe this would be a major statement of the Council’s ambition for Bootle.

 “Potentially this refreshed physical space will be supported by a learning and skills infrastructure, reaching out to the local community and developing materials that can be used in local schools, adult education centres and beyond.

 “We believe this project will help ensure the town hall remains the civic focus of Bootle and also deliver a new cultural offer that will be sustainable and manageable over the long term.

 “At the moment we are only exploring opportunities and want to gauge what local people think about this. Please take the time to look at the consultation and get involved and help shape the future of this wonderful grade II listed building.”

The consultation will go live later this month via sefton.gov.uk 

Tourism Brings Millions to Southport

Tourism in Southport is booming with an economic impact of more than £500 million brought to the area in 2016. 

 The figures are some of the findings from a new report which will be presented to the Southport Area Committee on September 20 which also shows there was a record 8.7 million visitors to the resort last year. 

 The impressive figures also reveal a four per cent increase in staying visitors of 722, 000, which contributes to 6,449 jobs (an increase of 1.4%).

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: 

“As is shown in the report, we’ve had a an exceptional year for tourism in Southport, and we have still got lots of exciting events coming up, such as the Southport Air Show and the British Musical Fireworks Championship.

 “Thanks to a fantastic and varied programme of events, and working alongside our partners and local businesses, there is so much choice for everyone, plus the high calibre of activities keep visitors coming back time after time.

 “We’re thrilled to report on the success of our efforts, which equates to an economic impact of £518 million last year, a growth of over 4 per cent from the previous year.

 “Tourism is a key priority for us, as it helps to provide employment and boosts the local economy. and we will continue to promote Sefton as a great place to visit, explore and enjoy.”

This success of tourism helps to make a direct contribution to the growth of the economy in Sefton and, in particular, the progress of the Southport Development Framework.

 As part of this initiative, work has already started on refurbishing and redeveloping Southport Pier thanks to £2 million funding from the Coastal Community Fund, and £900k investment from the council.   In addition, with bumper crowds recorded at this year’s Southport Flower Show, and the biggest attendance at Royal Birkdale for the Open Golf championship event, the 2017 visitor numbers for Sefton are predicted to be even higher.   

Business views needed!

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is seeking the views of businesses to drive skills improvements and accelerate business growth and success. The Combined Authority has launched its first (and biggest) business survey of its kind asking for views on accessing and developing a skilled workforce. 

The results of the survey will be used to inform the future commissioning of skills provision across the Liverpool City Region. 

Businesses from across the Liverpool City Region, of all sizes and from all sectors, will be asked for their views and experiences on recruiting and retaining a skills workforce, but meet their immediate needs as well as future plans. Businesses can complete the survey online

Importantly, the survey results and final report will be shared across the City Region so that young people, adults seeking employment, parents, teachers and careers advisers are aware of the skills and attributes that are being sought by employers.

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