Waterfront Hall ‘Wrapped Up’ To Raise Awareness For Lewy Body Dementia

9th November 2023
Photo 4 left – right. Dr Joseph Kane (Clinical Lecturer Queens University), Emma McCleland and Rebecca Dorrian, Dementia Navigators Belfast Trust, Christopher Biggins, South Eastern Trust Dementia Navigators Francie McConnell and Linda Dornan.

An array of multi colours encircled the Waterfront Hall recently as panto stalwart and I’m A Celebrity favourite Christopher Biggins joined with Health Trust staff to raise awareness of Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

Members from the Lewy Body Society, which was founded in 2006, encircled the city landmark with a giant banner consisting of hundreds of hand knitted scarves donated by those affected by the condition. There was also a display of bespoke pompoms dedicated to people, past and present, whose lives have been impacted by this devastating illness, which, unlike Alzheimer’s, can progress rapidly with symptoms presenting such as recurrent visual hallucinations, sleep behaviour disorder, tremors and rigidity.

Interim Assistant Director for Mental Health Services for Older People in the South Eastern HSC Trust, Jackie Carr said: “Dementia with Lewy Bodies is the third most common type of dementia, although one of the least well-known and understood.  It is closely related to Parkinson’s and often has similar symptoms, for example difficulties with balance and movement.

“Our multi-disciplinary teams within Mental Health Services for Older People in the South Eastern Trust include Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Consultant Psychiatrists, Support Workers and Dementia Navigators.  We aim to ‘wrap-around’ the person living with dementia, and their families, offering a person-centred and caring approach. We understand that being uncertain about having dementia, receiving a diagnosis of a dementia can be worrying and upsetting. We are here to help.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Lewy Body Society Jacqui Cannon added: “From the Royal Albert Hall to the Waterfront hall in Belfast, we are looking forward in helping to raise ongoing awareness of Lewy Body Dementia. We want to thank everyone for their support.”