SCOTTISH Borders Council is supporting this year’s Dementia Awareness Week ( May 29 to June 4) as part of an ongoing commitment to raising awareness of dementia and helping to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers.

This year, the focus is on the stigma that some people with dementia continue to face, with a particular focus on those facing it earlier in life.

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Councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol, SBC’s Dementia Champion, said: “This year in Dementia Awareness Week, we want to raise awareness and reduce the stigma that people face. Dementia doesn’t discriminate, so why should we?

“What’s important is that we continue to see the person behind the diagnosis. Dementia doesn’t define them and it’s certainly not everything about them. I’ll always be a football fan, love eighties music and be an animal lover, and it’s the same for anyone who has dementia – we’re still us and always will be.

“I’ve also spoken with far too many people who’ve been hesitant about getting a diagnosis, because of the stigma they might face and the feeling of losing themselves. These are people who are missing out on vital information and support that could really help both them and their loved ones. My advice always is to reach out – whether you speak to your GP, an organisation like Alzheimer Scotland or drop into one of our What Matters Hubs sessions, there are people you can talk to.”

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Anyone looking for advice during Dementia Awareness Week itself can visit one of the information sessions being co-ordinated by NHS Borders across the Borders.

The aim is to give people the chance to talk about dementia and reduce the stigma surrounding it, as well being able to get advice about the support that is available for individuals and family carers living with a diagnosis of dementia. More information is available from the NHS Borders website and social media channels.

A number of the Council’s care homes have also been showing their support for Dementia Awareness Week, with Adult Social Care staff co-ordinating a range of activities that residents and family carers could take part in.

One example is St Ronan’s in Innerleithen who invited residents to take part in a sponsored walk around the home’s extensive gardens. They also held an afternoon tea with family carers, friends and the local community all welcome. They have raised an impressive £1,500 so far and plan to share the proceeds between Alzheimer Scotland and the residents’ comfort fund.

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Councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol added: “Our Adult Social Care staff do an fantastic job supporting people with dementia and their family carers, whether that’s through our care at home service or in residential care. We’ve also got Social Work teams across the Borders working incredibly hard to make sure people get access to the services they need, while our Local Area Co-ordination teams are there to provide advice and information on what’s available in local communities.

“The Council’s website is a good starting point for anyone looking to find out more. If you want to speak to someone in person, regular What Matters Hub drop in sessions are available at a range of venues across the Borders. You can also call 0300 100 1800 (Option 1) if you prefer to make an appointment.

“The Borders Dementia Resource Centre, part of Alzheimer Scotland, is another great source of information and support. You can contact them on 01573 400324 or at:”

What Matters Hubs are currently available in Duns, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Newcastleton, Peebles, Selkirk, Stow and Tweedbank.

To find out more, visit:

More information about the work of Alzheimer Scotland can be found at: or by calling their Dementia helpline on 0808 808 3000. Information about the work of Dementia UK is available at: