Alzheimer’s Group launch photographic exhibition in Newry

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Friday, March 7th, 2014
Community, What's On
A Men’s Friendship Group organised by the Alzheimer’s Society launched an exhibition of their photographic work on Wednesday 5th March 2014. The five men, who are all living with dementia, have worked with a volunteer photographer to depict their ‘good’ days and their ‘bad’ days living with dementia. The exhibition entitled ‘My World’ includes the thoughts and experiences of other people with the condition from across Northern Ireland. There are approximately 3, 465 people living with the condition in the Southern Trust area. The event is part of the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities programme, which challenges stigma and supports people with dementia to continue living independently in their community for as long as possible. A dementia friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported and confident they can contribute to community life. Opening the exhibition, Councillor Michael Ruane, Mayor of Newry and Mourne congratulated the group on the fascinating exhibition and said, “The exhibition shows vividly the wide range of experiences of people living with dementia, both the difficulties but also what they can achieve.” Speaking on behalf of the group, John McErlane, said, “A major problem with this condition is communication. We often find it difficult to tell others of our problems or feelings, wants and needs. As a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, we have created this photography exhibition as a way to explain how this condition affects us and our carers.” Heather Lundy, Dementia Friendly Communities Manager for the Alzheimer’s Society, said that the group had three main aims, “The men in this friendship group wanted to demonstrate that someone who has been diagnosed with dementia has still got creative abilities but may need a little more help in expressing them. “Secondly they wanted to say to those who have dementia diagnosis – don’t give up, or hide yourself away. And lastly the exhibition was a way of saying thank you to all the people who help them on a daily basis”. You can see the exhibition at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre from Wednesday 5th March to Tuesday 18th March. The exhibition was made possible with the support of the Community Arts Partnership and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
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