Helping people with dementia and their carers stay active, a new programme of activities is set to be launched at the Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub in Warrington, Cheshire.

Designed in a collaboration between health, fitness and community club LiveWire and the Dementia Champions steering group in Warrington, they have developed a safe, tailored exercise programme for people with dementia and their carers.

The hub is considered “dementia-friendly,” which ensures that people with dementia feel safe, supported and comfortable in the environment.

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The exercise programme focuses on both physical and mental health aspects for dementia patients and their carers. The activities aim to improve strength, balance and fitness of the individuals in a tailored way, while also giving participants the opportunity to socialise and receive support.

Carers are invited along to the hub because they are at risk of developing dementia themselves. To help combat the physical and mental risk factors involved in caring for somebody with dementia, the “Healthy and Happy” classes aim to address these issues.

The classes allow people to try out a range of exercises, including chair exercises, tai chi, low-moderate intensity cardio exercise, balance and stretching. Each session includes 30-40 minutes of low impact exercise followed by a period of relaxation and breathing exercises.

Catriona Sudlow, Physical Activity and Inclusion Manager for LiveWire, told Warrington Worldwide: “Exercise offers a variety of benefits for people affected by dementia, both personally and for carers, with positive effects on both physical and mental health.

“Many people living with dementia stop doing the activities they love following a diagnosis and LiveWire want to provide an environment whereby people feel comfortable to continue being active in the confidence that staff are on hand to support them when needed.”

As well as the dedicated dementia activity classes, the Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub is incorporating a dementia-friendly approach to its entire exercise timetable. This involves instructors undergoing training to enable them to deliver sensitive advice and guidance to people living with dementia.

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