The year nine students at The Priory School, in Longden Road, were told about the early signs of onset dementia and how to respond to those in our communities living with it.
Justine Ellory, Morris Care’s community relationship manager, is on a mission to raise awareness in, and educate, local communities on dementia. The company has six nursing homes and Ms Ellory ran a virtual session with over 100 fourteen-year-olds as part of their Lifeskills module.
Ms Ellory, a former pupil at the school, said: “I found the pupils’ response both fascinating and encouraging. They were genuinely surprised when I explained that one in three of us is likely to develop dementia and that over a million of us will have dementia by 2030.
"So, understanding how to see the signs of early onset and how to respond to those in our communities living with it, is vital for us all.”
Pupil Poppy Thorpe said: “I really enjoyed the presentation and to have a guest speaker makes such a difference after Covid.”
One of the main points that resonated with Justine’s audience was the importance of kindness.
A video showed an elderly lady getting to a hospital for an appointment and the hurdles she had to get over, helping the children to second guess the anxieties she faced.
A second video featured a man who had advanced dementia and who was transformed through music.
He had been a musician as a young man and when he listens to music it takes him to his happy place, so he can pick up a tune and sing along again feeling happy and calm.
“I think we were all moved by the real-life examples in the videos” Justine said. “Not just the tutors and the pupils - I felt emotional too!
“It is so uplifting to see how some interventions can bring about such a positive change for those living with dementia.”