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Published on 28 September 2010 09:00 AM

21st September 2010 was ‘World Alzheimer’s Day’, a day when people around the globe raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Marking the importance of this day, Jim Wells MLA and Chair of the Stormont Health Committee got on board the Fold Brain Bus - a revolutionary mobile therapy unit from Fold Housing Association that is used to help those diagnosed with dementia throughout Northern Ireland.

The Fold Brain Bus contains leading-edge technology that helps to engage people with dementia through cognitive and physical exercises, which are proven to reduce depression, agitation and stress levels.

According to Eileen Askham, Director of Care Services, Fold Housing Association: “With over 19,000 people across the province affected by the disease, and numbers expected to rise, this year’s theme of ‘Dementia, it’s time for action!’ is increasingly important. Our aim in introducing the Brain Bus is to make a real difference to people with dementia – to help them maintain their independence, and give them more choice and control over their lives”

Next stop! The Fold Brain Bus will be visiting Lisburn city centre on Tuesday 28th September 2010 as part of Age Awareness Week. Everyone is welcome to come on board and try out the technology for themselves.

About Dementia

Dementia refers to a condition that causes deterioration of the brain’s capabilities, including language, memory, understanding and judgement. Symptoms can vary depending on the person, but can include: forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty in finding the right words, and mood or behaviour problems.

The likelihood of developing dementia increases with old age, but it can affect people of any age. Although there are many causes of dementia, for example, vascular dementia, alcohol-related dementia and dementia caused by mini-strokes, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause.

About the Fold Brain Bus

The Fold ‘Brain Bus’ is a revolutionary mobile therapy unit for people diagnosed with dementia. It contains leading-edge technology that helps to deliver engagement for people with dementia through cognitive and physical exercises, which are proven to reduce depression, agitation and stress levels.

The interface is personalised for each user and provides an additional tool for social interaction by families and carers, ultimately resulting in improved quality of life for the person with dementia.

As a mobile unit, the Fold Brain Bus will improve access for people with dementia throughout Northern Ireland, whether in care homes or private housing, thus helping to tackle the care and diagnostic challenges posed by the rise in numbers with this condition.

Believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, the Fold Brain Bus has been established by Fold Housing Association, an organisation that has long been proactive in seeking innovative ways to improve the quality of life for people with dementia. It is based on It’s Never 2 Late (IN2L) adaptive technology developed in the United States and has been funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575