Brighton and Hove Food Partnership launch new dementia-friendly food project

 

We are pleased to launch our new three year Food Partnership project aimed at helping people with mild to moderate dementia.

 

The project involves two strands – cookery and gardening – and aims to help people with dementia by increasing confidence, physical activity levels and improve wellbeing.

The £20,000 project is funded by the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group to be managed by BHFP staff and with trained volunteers.

Participants will be referred from a range of sources including the Memory Assessment Service and must have a diagnosis.

If you would be interested in volunteering, find out more.

Project background and benefits

Gardening is something we know has health, wellbeing & social benefits. There is lots of national evidence about the benefits it can bring for people with dementia. Gardening is a multi-sensory activity which can be used to stimulate cognition – an approach recommended by NICE for people with dementia. It can increase confidence and physical activity levels, as activities are adaptable to suit a wide range of abilities. Spending time outdoors in nature can help with anxiety and mood and can often bring back happy memories of the past or previous knowledge. Staying active and eating healthy foods can help with establishing healthy habits at an early stage after diagnosis.

This new report out this month supports that gardening should be recommended by doctors for people showing early signs of dementia and heart disease.

Cookery can often bring back positive memories from the past. The chance to eat with others is an important moment which many people with dementia who may suffer from social isolation do not always experience very often. Participants report there is a sense of building skills and gaining confidence when learning at a cookery course.

We believe there could be similar benefits for cookery activities for people with dementia as with gardening – in terms of healthy habits, confidence and sharing memories in a multi-sensory environment.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved in this project as a participant please contact Olivia or 01273 431 714 to find out more about the referral and assessment processes involved  in joining these activity sessions.