Eccles baking dementia

An Eccles baking group is helping people with learning difficulties and dementia to improve their sensory skills.

People that attend the class, at Alexandra House Day Centre, feel, smell and taste the ingredients before eating their creations.

As well as stimulating the senses, the group hope to improve their social skills, knowledge of turn-taking and promoting choice.

The group was created as a result of the merger of Salford’s learning difficulty and elder services five years ago and is run by the community interest company Aspire.

Support worker at Alexandra House Ann Marie Walker said that all needs are catered for as if an attendee is blind then they are able to taste or feel the food.

She said: “By doing activties like baking, it keeps people’s minds active and stimulated rather than sitting at home bored.

“Due to the dementia they will regress but while we can keep somebody alert – we will.”

She added: “If places like this didn’t exist then these people would just be sat at home.

“In the past, when people were born with learning difficulties they were taken away and put into an institution but now we want people to be accepted as an equal into society.”

The group is also designed to offer a respite for carers in order for them to take a break from caring for their family member or friend.

Those who live alone are offered a place to go to avoid them being away from others for long periods of time which can have damaging effects on someone with dementia.

Assistant manager at the day centre Michelle Pemberton said that some people will only see a carer in the morning and be alone for the rest of the day.

She said: “This can lead to someone’s condition deteriorating so coming out and speaking with other people can really help.”

Aspire offer a range of other activities including bingo, quizzes and arts and crafts sessions.

For more information call the centre on 0161 788 0636 or visit the Aspire website here to find out more about the services they offer.

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