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Dementia today affects 850,000 people in the UK and yet there is still little understanding

A Suffolk care home has successfully launched a new support group to help families learn more about what has been described as a ticking health time bomb.   Dementia today affects 850,000 people in the UK and yet there is still little understanding in the wider community about a condition that some experts predict will affect one in three of the population in the future.   Kingsley Healthcare-run Spring Lodge, in Woolverstone, near Ipswich, held the first of what is intended to become regular events on Thursday morning.   About 10 members of the local community, including relatives of residents in the home, dropped by for coffee and cakes and the chance to discuss issues surrounding dementia which affect them and the wider community.   In an initiative promoted by the Alzheimer's Society, Dementia Friends Champions Wasantha Darshana and Hanro Steytler, the home's deputy manager, gave a talk on the subject and invited people to sign up as Dementia Friends.   The idea is that they can use their new insight by spreading understanding about dementia or perhaps visiting someone with the condition.   Manager Lisa Sheppard said: "People appreciated the chance to talk about their own experiences. We'll be looking to host another drop-in event after Christmas."   The idea is that Ms Sheppard and members of her professional team can be on hand to offer practical advice to carers in the community. They are able to share their experience of Kingsley Healthcare's person-centred WINGS dementia care programme and the company's best practice training with world leading experts from the University of Stirling.     Author: Stephen Pullinger

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