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Market joins dementia-friendly campaign

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Dementia friendly: Market traders who undertook the training with Alzheimer’s Society Marcia Vale, Carmarthenshire Council’s Community Resilience Worker Ed Dewar and Llanelli Market Manager Amanda Davies (Pic: Ron Cant)

Dementia friendly: Market traders who undertook the training with Alzheimer’s Society Marcia Vale, Carmarthenshire Council’s Community Resilience Worker Ed Dewar and Llanelli Market Manager Amanda Davies (Pic: Ron Cant)

LLANELLI Market has become the first dementia -friendly market in Wales, after 20 market stall holders joined an early morning training session last week pledging support to a project which will help create a dementia -friendly Llanelli.

Raising awareness of dementia in Carmarthenshire is extremely challenging. People living for longer and the number of dementia sufferers is expected to double in the next generation from the current known figures approaching 6,000, to more than 12,000 over the next 20 years.

There are more than 1,000 people with the condition in Llanelli town alone, with the highest prevalence in Bigyn, Llanedi and Glanymor wards where there are close on 500.

As well as encouraging families to disclose and seek help for dementia sufferers in their families, the council is working closely with the Alzheimer’s Society ‘ Dementia Friends ‘, training to work with traders and businesses in Llanelli to make life for those with the condition and their carers easier.

Councillor Jane Tremlett, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health, said: “Carmarthenshire Dementia Action Board has been raising awareness of the condition, of which more than 200 are known. ”

Signposting how to react if it strikes or is encountered is a key element of their role.”

The creation of a Dementia Friendly Llanelli comes at a time when businesses – including food retailers – are waking up to the financial implications of not meeting disabled customers’ needs.

Business Dementia Forums recent UK-wide research has found that 75% of disabled customers and their families will not use a business because of poor service or understanding.

As a result businesses both big and small are moving in the right direction, listening to the needs of their customers and incorporating best practice into their services.

Dementia Friendly Communities Co-ordinator , Marcia Vale , said she had been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of Llanelli’s Market traders.

Some of the traders said they had experience of dementia in their own families and had a great awareness of the vulnerability of those with the condition.

Mike Richards who runs the stall ‘ Times Past and Present’, selling and buying antiques, said he had one elderly gentleman in his unit recently who presented him with a fist full of far too many notes while at the same time asking to buy a clock on display.

“I recognised straight away the gentleman was exhibiting dementia signs. They generally want to pay in notes because they don’t recognise coins and they don’t like to hold people up and prolong a transaction because they are drawing attention to themselves and finding the situation quite stressful,” he said.

“At the training I was astonished to hear that those with some forms of dementia even when accompanied by their carers will not go into a shop with black matting at the entrance because their see a black hole and fear falling in.

“I didn’t know that signage in yellow gets the best interactive results with dementia sufferers but I this is something I will now engage with,” he added.

Another market tenant, Neville Gilasbey, who runs the 50+Late Life Planning Service said: “The training was a real eye opener. There are a number of things we can all put in place to make life easier and less stressful for those with dementia.”

Mr Gilasbey said he was even prepared to allow £25 off any transaction for customers presenting with dementia.

He said: “No matter what the business we all have a role to play. Some of the improvements people can make are quite simple.”

During the training, Marcia explained that some dementia sufferers cannot see white on white and if they are in a restaurant and are presented with a piece of cod, doused in white sauce on a white plate on a white table cloth with (whitish) mashed potatoes and peas they will only eat the peas because it is all they can see. The white salt cellar would be missed too.

Marcia said: “If there were colourful plates this problem would be overcome because of the contrast of crockery colour and foodstuffs.” Marcia said people tended to relate to dementia as degrees of absent mindedness or forgetfulness when that was only part of the problem. She was keen to point out at the training the misplacing your car keys or wallet was not a sign of the onset of dementia.

“There are 204 forms of the condition known and because of the complexities of the brain more is being discovered about the condition all the time,” she explained.

“For too long, dementia has been a taboo or embarrassing and unspoken about ‘mental’ illness that is often concealed within families. This is largely because it is one of the most feared brain diseases, robbing people of their memory bit by bit from which there is no recovery.

“Yet there is much that can be done to slow the process and improve the lot of those with the condition. It is understanding the nuances of the condition that was important .”

Cllr Tremlett said combining awareness with action was essential.

“We really want to create Dementia Friendly Communities across of Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford.

“The county’s dementia action board launched a brave, successful and ongoing cartoon campaign to create a wider platform to let more people know what help is available.

“We will soon have bilingual posters up in all GP surgeries across the county raising awareness.”

Llanelli Community Resource Team Resilience Worker , Ed Dewar , said work with the Llanelli GP Cluster had identified that dementia within Llanelli was increasing , as were the issues arising.

A recent review of the day care services had shown more than 80% of clients attending day care within Llanelli had dementia, some diagnosed and many not.

As a result, a task and finish group was established with the aim of further discussion, and creation of a Dementia-Friendly Llanelli rolled out across the town in stages to benefit carers, citizens and businesses of the town who have or support individuals with dementia.

Mr Dewar said creating Dementia Supportive Communities required a change in attitudes and behaviour towards dementia at all levels of society that would reflect the challenge and demographic change and impact of dementia.

The Welsh Government had made a commitment to developing dementia prevention services across Wales , and Dementia- Friendly Llanelli was contributing to this by implementing the Public Health Wales PANDA programme in educating individuals on lifestyle choices to lessen the risk of developing dementia.

They had produced window stickers and badges of recognition for businesses and their staff. Their long term vision was to create sustainable dementia supportive communities supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and Community First schools project.

Driving the campaign with the county for the Alzheimer’s Society , Mrs Vale said she hoped Llanelli would be soon be welcoming dementia -friendly signage by businesses big and small.

She concluded: “I am so proud of the Llanelli market traders who have shown so much enthusiasm and willingness to help overcome a problem that is not going to go away and is growing all the time.”

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Community

Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Business

Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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