Pride celebrations in Wales should feel inclusive for everyone says dementia charity

For many people the excitement is building ahead of the Pride Cymru celebrations taking place in Cardiff on the weekend of June 22. With parades, events, festivals and parties set to take place across the U.K., Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is urging everyone involved to consider the needs of the almost one million people living with dementia in the UK, including more than 50,000 in Wales.

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The celebrations at Cardiff Castle will see tens of thousands of people coming together in love and friendship, to celebrate LQBTQIA+ lives, show how far LGBTQIA+ rights have come, and how in some places there’s still work to be done.

 

There are unique challenges that LGBTQIA+ people with dementia may face and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is keen to ensure they can enjoy the celebrations to the fullest. The charity says event organisers, those attending, and loved ones can make simple adjustments which could help people with the condition avoid becoming worried or disorientated.

 

Helen Payton, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Dementia Adviser in Cardiff, said: “Keeping a few things in mind when organising Pride events can help everyone to feel included and enjoy the occasion. Including people living with dementia in the celebrations can really enhance their wellbeing and may evoke happy memories.”

 

The charity suggests some simple ideas for making celebrations more inclusive:

Let the person with dementia know the event is coming up and try to gauge whether and how they’d like to be involved. Find out the details of any events and consider whether the person will feel comfortable there. Too many people, too much activity, lots of loud noises or sudden movements could be confusing and distressing.
Pride celebrations are likely to be quieter and less busy earlier in the day, so consider attending earlier on if the person living with dementia may find the busiest part of the day too much.
People with dementia may feel too hot or too cold but be unable to communicate that to you. For outdoor celebrations, ensure they are comfortable. Encourage them to bring layers, so they can cool down or warm up as needed.
If the person appears agitated at the event, try to provide reassurance by talking to them calmly and finding out if something is affecting them. For some people, pride celebrations may bring up difficult memories. Be prepared to leave the event if the person needs to.
Consider looking for a quieter area where the person can take a break if they need to. Being in a space with music, lots of people, and multiple conversations taking place can be overwhelming for a person with dementia.
Treasured photos, songs or activities can be a great way to engage with people with dementia and help to start conversations. Perhaps using previous Pride celebrations as a starting point, take the time out to sit down with your loved ones and reminisce. For those not attending the Pride events in person, the organisers may be streaming them, so consider watching on YouTube or other channels.

Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is here for everyone affected by dementia. Call their Support Line on 0333 150 3456, if you speak Welsh call the Welsh-speaking support line on 03300 947 400, or visit alzheimers.org.uk

 

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