Japanese G8 delegates study Plymouth dementia model

Elderly woman with dementia
Image caption Globally, the number of dementia sufferers is expected to treble to 135m by 2050

A Japanese delegation has been in Plymouth to study how the city is pioneering work in dementia care.

Japan was one of the G8 countries at a dementia summit in London this week where a commitment was made into finding a cure or treatment for the condition.

Delegates were taken to Stoke Damerel Community College, where dementia education is part of its curriculum.

An Alzheimer's Society "singing for the brain" session was also visited.

Croquet games

"Even when many memories are hard to retrieve, music can sometimes still be recalled - if only for a short while," society spokeswoman Teresa Parsons said.

"Singing for the brain helps people with dementia communicate, improving their mood and leaving them feeling good about themselves."

As part of Stoke Damerel's dementia education, pupils regularly play croquet with older people from the local community.

School spokesman Darren Towers said Stoke Damerel's curriculum-wide approach to dementia education had already been recognised in a report to the prime minister and both students and staff were keen to share their learning and experiences with their Japanese visitors.

The city council, university and the local NHS health trust are also working on a number of projects as part of the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance.

Other members of the alliance include Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, Plymouth Citybus and basketball team Plymouth Raiders.

Ian Sheriff, from the university, who is one of Prime Minister David Cameron's national dementia champions, said innovative and new techniques and treatments were being pioneered on ways to tackle "this devastating condition".

"Dementia has finally been recognised as the crisis it is, and Plymouth is setting the standard for others across the world to follow," he added.

Globally, the number of dementia sufferers is expected to treble to 135m by 2050.

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