Mid and East Antrim Borough council has backed Dementia Awareness Week by promoting a new pilot scheme to encourage social engagement for older residents.
The Braid, Ballymena was transformed into a dance hall as the Deputy Mayor backed the project ‘Painting Pictures in My Mind’.
As part of Dementia Awareness week, participants from six local care homes took to the dance floor to relive their dance hall days.
This taster session at Mid-Antrim Museum at the Braid previewed the museum’s Painting Pictures in My Mind project, and was hosted by the Deputy Mayor Councillor Timothy Gaston.
He welcomed all to the event and said: “The project will enable Council to continue to promote health and wellbeing in the Borough for older people and also those living with dementia.
“This in turn, will help build stronger, safer and healthy communities, which is one of Council’s top priorities.”
The Mid and East Antrim Museum and Heritage Service is working with Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) to develop the Painting Pictures in my Mind project to promote active engagement of older people in social activities using local heritage.
Deirdre McCloskey, Project Development Officer said: “As the older people’s network for the Mid and East Antrim area, Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership is delighted to have partnered with Mid-Antrim Museum to support this fantastic opportunity.
“Being involved in new and creative social activities is essential in terms of keeping older people active and involved. The opportunity to assist with this heritage based in-reach programme is our latest initiative to improve the lives of older people in our community.”
The project will allow participants to explore life in the Mid and East Antrim area during the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on working life, local industry, music and dancehalls. A heritage resource box for each theme will also be created during the project.
The six housing associations taking part are Gloonan House, Ahoghill; Mooreland Close, Ballymena; Wilson House Day Centre, Broughshane; Barn Halt Cottages, Carrickfergus; Lisgarel Residential Unit, Larne and Victoria Court, Whitehead.
Jayne Clarke, Museum and Heritage Manager said: “The project has been part funded by Northern Ireland Museums Council and we are grateful for their financial support for this event as part of Dementia Awareness week and for the project when it ‘goes live’ in September.”