Brookdale centre help conjure musical memories for dementia sufferers

A specialist Southport day service for Sefton residents with dementia turned back the clock this week to join in with a national initiative to raise awareness of the condition.

Service users at Brookdale Resource Centre in Ainsdale – run by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions – enjoyed a day of reminiscence to mark Dementia Awareness Week which is organised by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The key feature of the event was a delicious afternoon tea which also featured live music from popular Southport vocalist Dave Benjamin, who presented a selection of classic songs from the last half-century and beyond.

Service users were soon dancing and singing along to Dave’s wide-ranging repertoire of musical memories which included rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country and western and pop and soul standards.

Brookdale Resource Centre’s day service enables the carers of Sefton residents who have an advanced dementia diagnosis to have an important respite break.

Service users enjoy a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, sensory stimulation, music and reminiscence therapies.

According to Brookdale Manager, Salwa Moustafa, it’s important for the service to lend its support to campaigns like Dementia Awareness Week.

She explained: “The main objective of today’s event was to provide fun for our service users, and thanks to the efforts of our staff and the entertainer they all joined in and had a really enjoyable time.

“However, it’s also important to use national events like these to raise awareness of dementia and the effect it can have on sufferers and their families, and in doing so to challenge the stigma associated with the condition.”

Figures indicate that someone in the world now develops dementia every three seconds, and that by 2050 around 131.5 million people around the globe will be living with the condition.

New Directions was established in 2007 as the first local authority social care trading company in the country.

Ten years on, the organisation remains at the forefront of the local care sector, with a team of more than 300 staff caring for older Sefton residents, or people with disabilities or mental health support needs.

For more information about the services offered by New Directions, or to find out about joining the team, ring 0151 934 3726 or visit